Women’s season capped with All-Stars

Hawks Mary Asare (far left) and Llyandra Kerr (second left) line up with the rest of the West Region all-star team prior to the OCAA all-star game on March 28. (Courtesy of Scott Dennis) Hawks Mary Asare (far left) and Llyandra Kerr (second left) line up with the rest of the West Region all-star team prior to the OCAA all-star game on March 28. (Courtesy of Scott Dennis)

Andy Redding
Sports Reporter

The OCAA all-star game was the happy conclusion to a busy month for the Humber women’s basketball team.

Durham College hosted the 2015 OCAA women’s basketball all-star game and skills challenge this past weekend, where the best of the best converged to showcase their talents.

The Humber Hawks, fresh off an OCAA Championship, and a trip to Vancouver Island for the national championship, were well represented at the event, seeing four different players take part.

“It’s been a very hectic few weeks, but it has been one of the most rewarding few weeks of my life,” said Humber third-year shooting guard Natalie Hagopian. “I am so glad to have had the opportunity to win gold in provincials and compete in nationals. The all-star weekend was just the cherry on top.”

Fourth year Humber players Mary Asare and Llyandra Kerr were both chosen to play for the West Region all-star team, which defeated the Eastern all-stars 77-68.

“It was a great honour to play in the all star game,” said Asare. “Especially since Ajay (Humber’s head coach) was coaching and I had the opportunity to play with my teammate.”

Prior to the all-star game, Humber’s Natalie Hagopian and Ceejay Nofuente competed in the skills competition.
Hagopian, who shot 28.7 per cent from beyond the arc this season, was honoured to be asked to compete in the three-point competition amongst the top shooters in the league, she said.

“I worked hard all season to improve my shooting and I’m glad it paid off and I got recognized for it,” said Hagopian.

Second-year point guard Ceejay Nofuente, who led the Hawks with five assists per game this year, showed off her ball-handling skills for Humber in the Skills Challenge.

Although happy to be competing in the event after undergoing ACL surgery a year ago, Nofuente is already looking forward to improving her performance next year, she said.

“It was a great experience,” Nofuente said. “But I’m really hoping to do better in it next year.”

With the all-star game and the season in the rear-view, Humber players are already looking towards offseason training to help them defend the OCAA Championship in the upcoming season, Hagopian said.

“The offseason is the most important part of our season,” said Hagopian. “Our offseason training will be one of the reasons for our success next year just as it was this year.”

If Humber can repeat its success from this season, they may need another cherry to put on top of it next year.

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