Basketball Manitoba has begun compiling a collection of information on what Manitoba athletes have agreed to attend what
post-secondary schools for the upcoming season including the CIS, CPAC,
CCAA among others. 
The following post-secondary schools have announced that the following
athletes have agreed to play for their team for the 2008-09 season...

Below is a summary of the signings to date. Scroll further down the
page to view a copy of the official news release on the signing (listed
newest to oldest).    You can also click on the logo of the school's
website for more information on their programs.

Athlete  Current School / Hometown


 Men's Basketball 

Rejean Chabot

Stephen Fox

Andrew Kraus


University of Saskatchewan

Savannah, Georgia

Acadia University 


 Women's Basketball

Stephanie Lacey-Avon

Kelsey Solarchuk 

Neelin HS

Oak Park HS 

 Men's Basketball

Nathan Dixon

Cameron Wicker 

Xavier Smith 

Ryan Fahandeg

Lakeland College

Detroit, MI 

Lakeland College (Sisler) 

Kelowna, BC 

 Women's Basketball    
 Men's Basketball

Chris Jordan

Justin Phillips

Adam Dobriansky 

Newtonbrook School (Toronto)

Newtonbrook School (Toronto)

Monmouth Univ (MBCI) 

 Women's Basketball    



Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hickson Secures Inside Game and Assistant Coach

BRANDON, MB – Brandon University Women’s Basketball Coach Jaime Hickson is pleased to announce the commitment of several new athletes to her program. Meghan Allison, Lezley Sutherland and Nicisha Johnson will all be adding size and depth to the program’s inside game during the 2008-2009 season. The three new post players will join Bobcats Women’s Basketball Team Captain and Fifth-Year Jennalee Burch in the battle of the boards.

Nicisha Johnson, 6’2”, has been living and training with the Bobcats since her arrival in Brandon last December. She made the decision not to play the second half of the 2007-2008 season so that she could acclimate to the academic and athletic pressures of being a CIS athlete. Lately, the Toronto native has been chomping at the bit and eager for action.

“I can’t wait for season to start,” says Johnson. “Sitting on the sidelines during last year’s wins killed me. I really can’t wait to be on the floor and apart of this year’s success.”

Lezley Sutherland, 6’1”, of Peguis, is a returning Bobcat who played for the Lady ‘Cats in 2002. She was a late addition to the practice squad last season, and is now physically and mentally ready to dawn the jersey once again.

We are looking forward to having Lezley in our official line-up,” says Coach Hickson. “She is fundamentally solid and will give us a presence under the rim.” 

Meghan Allison, 6’1”, of Gibbons, Alberta is the last piece of the puzzle for the Lady Bobcat’s inside game. Having spent her last year studying at Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton and playing in Edmonton’s City League, where she was MVP, Allison has decided to make the CIS leap.

“I’m anxious to move to Brandon and play for the Bobcats,” says Allison. “Hopefully I can reach my full potential and help my team move to the top.”

Local basketball veteran and talent Kirsten Davies, has also joined the Bobcat line-up as an assistant coach.  Davies will join returning assistant, Melissa Stoesz to the bench line-up.

For more information on Brandon University Bobcats Athletics, please visit:


For further information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Jaime Hickson

Head Coach, Women’s Basketball

Brandon University

Phone: (204) 727-7431



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Canadian Mennonite University Point Guard Commits to BU Bobcats Women’s Basketball Team

BRANDON, MB – Outlook, Saskatchewan point guard Christie Anne McCullough has committed to playing for the Brandon University Women's Basketball Team for 2008-2009 season. The 5’6” point guard is a transfer from the Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) of Winnipeg. Christie Anne will complete her Bachelor of Arts degree with a History major at BU while playing for the Bobcats.

As a Blazer from 2005-2008, Christie Anne racked up both athletic and academic awards.  In 2006, 2007 and 2008 she was named to the Central Plains Athletic Conference (CPAC) Women’s Basketball First Team. As captain of her CPAC Champion Team, she was named CPAC Championship MVP 2007. She was the 2006 & 2007 CMU Women’s Basketball Team MVP, the 2005 CMU Female Rookie of the Year and the 2007 CMU Female Athlete of the Year. The Association of Christian College Athletics (ACCA), of which CMU is a member, gave Christie Anne a Women’s Basketball All-American Honorable Mention in 2007 and named her Academic All-American for the 2008 season.

When asked why she chose BU, Christie Anne replied, “It gives me a chance to play basketball in the CIS and I don't have to go to a huge university to do that. It will be an easy transition from CMU. I'm looking forward to experiencing the community I have heard and read so much about. I also feel that the Bobcat team will give me an opportunity to push my boundaries and be part of a like-minded team.”  

Head Coach Jaime Hickson could not be more thrilled to be adding the veteran point guard.

“I coached Christie Anne in her rookie season at CMU,” says Hickson. “Back then I knew she had the talent to play CIS, but understood and respected her decision to pursue a Christian education. I admired her for turning down CIS offers as she prioritized her education. I feel very fortunate to be able to offer her this opportunity and am excited to be coaching her again. She is a strong leader, a compassionate person and a great academic. She will not only fit in to our program, but be able to lead it as well.”

For more on the BU Bobcats, please go to:


For further information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Jaime Hickson

Head Coach, Women’s Basketball

Brandon University

Phone: (204) 727-7431



July 2, 2008

Bobcats Men’s Basketball program names new Assistant Coach

BRANDON, MB – Brandon University Bobcats men’s basketball Head Coach Keith Vassell has found his man. Chris Kraus will join the new-look Bobcats this fall as one of Vassell’s main assistant coaches.

As a player, Kraus played in the NCAA Division 2 for the Stonehill College Skyhawks out of Easton, Massachusetts as starting point guard for 4 years, earning All-League and Northeast Regional team honors, including several individual statistics placing him amongst the NCAA’s national leaders. Chris led his team to the Final Four in 2005-2006 and played for Canada’s National Junior team in France in 1999. He was also a member of the Team USA that won a Gold medal in Australia in 2005. Kraus went on to play in the Amateur Athletic Union for the New Jersey Gym Rats, as well as professionally in England for London United.

“With these contacts in the Northeast region and vast life experiences, Chris will have a tremendous amount of recruiting connections for the Bobcats,” says BU Athletic Director Kirk De Fazio.

When Kraus returned to Canada he was an assistant coach at Acadia University, helping them earn a berth in the National Canadian Interuniversity Sport Championships in 2006-2007. Kraus was also an assistant coach at Stonehill College in the spring of 2006, focusing on recruiting for his former College.

Kraus has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and has set a goal of continuing to develop his portfolio for admission to the Faculty of Education at BU.

“Chris has an extensive background in communications, and this will be a major asset for working in the community and fitting in quickly with his new players,” says Coach Vassell.

“From a basketball perspective, Chris is very intelligent. I remember Chris when he was in high school. He had incredible talent back then and brings all kinds of expertise to our program. He and I will be a great fit philosophically,” adds Vassell.

For more information on Brandon University Bobcats Athletics, please visit:




Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - A top ranked local talent is coming back to Winnipeg and joining the Wesmen. Head Coach Dave Crook is pleased to announce that Adam Dobriansky has committed to the University of Winnipeg Wesmen Men’s Basketball program. Adam will be eligible to play for the Wesmen at the beginning of the 2009-2010 season.

Dobriansky, a 6’10 post joins the Wesmen after spending two seasons at Monmouth University in New Jersey (NCAA Division 1). In 2006-07 Dobriansky red-shirted and last season played his first season with the Hawks.

Adam had an excellent career at Mennonite Brethren leading the Hawks to the provincial final in 2005-06. In his senior year, he led the team to a 32-5 overall record and was named a Graduating and KPAC All-Star and was named to the All-Manitoba Team. Adam was honored with the MBCI Boy’s Basketball Coach’s Award and the MBCI Athlete of Distinction. He averaged 21 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks per game in his final year at MBCI. Adam was a Wesmen Classic All-Star (2005) and an Adidas All-Star (2006). He was also a member of the Canadian Cadet (U17) Men’s National Team in 2005.

The Dobriansky name is a familiar one to the Wesmen family as his parents Roman and Karen were both members of the Wesmen Basketball squads.

"We are extremely happy to have Adam as part of our program.  You don't find many big talented young men playing basketball in the CIS these days and I believe Adam can raise our level instantly when he becomes eligible. I also think it is a great story for him to join the Wesmen following in the footsteps of both his parents who played here in the 70's”, said Head Coach Dave Crook.


Sheldon Appelle

Sports Information Coordinator

University of Winnipeg

(204) 786-9823



Tuesday, June 10, 2008 – A pair of talented high school players from Toronto are heading west to join the University of Winnipeg Wesmen Men’s Basketball program. Head Coach Dave Crook is thrilled to announce that Chris Jordan and Justin Phillips have committed to joining the Wesmen for the upcoming 2008-09 season in September.

Chris Jordan, (18) is a 6’5” forward from Newtonbrook Secondary School. Jordan was named a Toronto High School Regional All-Star on two occasions (2006 and 2007) and was named MVP of the team in 2006. in 2007, Jordan was named to the all-star team at the Five Star Basketball Camp at Florida State University. Jordan was named 2007 PHYBA MVP (Peel Halton Youth Basketball Association) in Mississauga, Ontario. Jordan is widely renowned as one of the best high school dunkers. In his final year at Newtonbrook he averaged 17 ppg and seven rebounds.

“I am looking forward to being a positive addition the Winnipeg Wesmen Basketball Program and I feel my style of game will bring a different look to the team. I believe that by staying humble and staying hungry everyday there is no reason you cannot be successful”, said Jordan.

Justin Phillips, (18) is a 6’2” guard also from Newtonbrook Secondary School. Phillips was named senior high school basketball MVP in 2007 and 2008. In 2007, Phillips was the recipient of the 6th Man Award at the Five Star Basketball Camp at Florida State University. In his final season at Newtonbrook, Phillips had an all round solid season finishing with 12 ppg, five rebounds and five assists.

“I can't wait to come to Winnipeg and join the Wesmen basketball squad. I have only heard good things about the university, the faculty, and the students that attend this school. This is the perfect opportunity for me to play for Coach Crook at a great university in one of Canada's finest cities”, said Phillips.

Head Coach Dave Crook is looking forward to the start of the 2008-09 season in September to see what Jordan and Phillips can contribute to the team.

“We are extremely excited that these two players have committed to the Wesmen and we look forward to big things from both of them starting this fall. They are a pair of exciting athletic players who will help shape our style of play this fall”, said a gleaming Dave Crook.


Sheldon Appelle

Sports Information Coordinator

University of Winnipeg

(204) 786-9823



June 3, 2008 

BU Men’s Basketball Head Coach Keith Vassell announces new player, assistant coach recruits

BRANDON, MB – Brandon University Men’s Basketball Head Coach Keith Vassell has announced two new additions to his Bobcats team for the coming years. Vassell’s newest recruit on the court is Andrew Kraus, who will red shirt with the Bobcats during the 2008-2009 season. Meanwhile, Vassell has recruited former Bobcat Tyrone Smith to take a spot on the bench in the coming season as an assistant coach.

Kraus, who is originally from Toronto and currently resides near Crystal Beach in southern Ontario, was a starting guard for Canadian Interuniversity Sport Finalists the Acadia Axemen during the 2007-2008 season. He will enroll in BU’s Physical Education program and red shirt with the Bobcats during the 2008-2009 season, training in preparation for 2009-2010. Kraus has three years of eligibility remaining, and plans to to apply to the Faculty of Education in pursuit of his second degree.

“Kraus is a natural leader,” says Coach Vassell. “Andrew has a high basketball IQ, sees the court extremely well and has a tremendous work ethic. Andrew loves to win; hence the Bobcats winning tradition is a natural environment for him to demonstrate his leadership.”

Greg Francis from Basketball Canada observed Andrew at the May Canadian National Team Ontario ID camp, observing that “Andrew has very good dribbling, passing, and shooting skills. He looked very strong and athletic.”

“Andrew is a fierce competitor,” says BU Athletic Director Kirk DeFazio. “He loves to train and I look forward to sharing our strength and conditioning program methods.”


“I see myself succeeding in a small town atmosphere, where there is a tremendous amount of support for the Bobcats,” says Kraus. “I chose to go with Coach Vassell because he has the ability to inspire his players to achieve their goals. Coach Vassell’s extensive life experience was the key in my decision to play for the Bobcats.”

Meanwhile, Tyrone Smith, who played wit the Bobcats during the 2000 to 2002 seasons, has agreed to join the Men’s Basketball coaching staff. Smith was a Second Team All-Canadian twice and a member of the World University Games team in 2001. He is excited to be a part of the coaching staff and wants to use this experience to develop his coaching resume. Smith, who has lived in Brandon since 2002, will fill an assistant coaching role working with guards to help with skill development.

“What Tyrone brings to our coaching staff is a lot of intangible skills that only experienced players understand,” says Coach Vassell. “Also, he is a winner who the players at BU will be able to relate to.”

For more information on Brandon University Bobcats Athletics, please visit:

For further information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Kelly Stifora

Communications Officer

Brandon University

Phone: (204) 727-9762




Wednesday, May 21, 2008


BU Men's Basketball Head Coach Keith Vassell announces first two recruits

for 2008-2009


BRANDON, MB - The Brandon University Bobcats' new Men's Basketball Head

Coach Keith Vassell has landed his first two recruits for the 2008-2009

season: Stephen Fox from Savannah, Georgia and Rejean Chabot, a guard who

comes to BU from the University of Saskatchewan.


Stephen Fox was a sensation in 2004-2005, while playing for St. John River

Community College in Florida. During that freshman year, Fox was the number-

two rebounder in the nation, and averaged 13.5 points per game, 13.5

rebounds per game, and four steals and seven blocks per game, leading to his

being awarded the Student Athlete of the Year award.


In his sophomore year, Fox switched Colleges and played for Georgia

Perimeter College. That year, his team reached the National Tournament and

Fox made ESPN headlines in a home game on January 17, 2006 when he managed

to break the backboard during the game. Fox is known as an aggressive

rebounder and displays outstanding athleticism.


Fox is very excited to be coming to the city of Brandon, where he will major

in Business Administration at BU.


Coach Vassell describes this athlete as a key piece of the puzzle for his

starting rotation


"Stephen is an incredible athlete that will play well within the Bobcat

system," says Vassell.


Coach Vassell's second recruit, Rejean Chabot, was a starting guard for the

University of Saskatchewan for two years. Chabot has committed to Coach

Vassell and will also be attending Brandon University next fall as a Geology



Coach Vasell says Reggie "is a tough-minded athlete that has exceptional

quickness and will play the number-two position. Reggie is a strong

student-athlete and is also a nice fit for the Bobcat high tempo game."


"I am excited about coming to a winning program," says Chabot. "I just want

to win. I believe in my coach."


For more information on Brandon University Bobcats Athletics, please visit:




For further information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:


Kelly Stifora

Communications Officer

Brandon University

Phone: (204) 727-9762

Lakeland College Men's Basketball 

The Lakeland College Men's Basketball team is proud to announce the addition of the 6 Manitoba players.

'Lakeland Rustlers Basketball has always had talent from Manitoba and we are proud to say that we have found six players that will continue to help us acheive the success that we have built.'   says coach Tom Groat.

Daman Morrissette - a 6'4 forward from the provincial champion Garden City Gophers, will provide the inside and outside game that will cause match up problems for teams throughout the ACAC.  Daman was one of the top 5 graduating players in Manitoba this year and marks the 3rd time in 4 years that Lakeland has attracted a top 5 talent.

Colin Laplante - a 6' guard from Windsor Park Collegiate, will provide the Rustlers with a variety of options.  'His shooting has proven to be his most lethal weapon but it may be his ball handling and defense that make him such a valuable assets,' states Coach Groat, 'Colin will continue to grow as a player and we expect big things from him in the near future.'

Elsam Mohammed - a 6'3 forward/guard from Kildonan East, will be a great all around addition to the Rustlers, his ability to shoot, drive, rebound and play defence show the all around skill set that is will allow him to make an impact very quickly for the Rustlers.

Richard Longstreet - a 6'2 guard from Crocus Plains, had red shirted for the Brandon Bobcats but has since decided to join the Rustlers and get some on floor game experience.  'Richard showed throughout our ID camp that he is a player who can shoot the ball but will also provide a lot of leadership and basketball smarts', says Coach Groat.

Evan Kowbel - a 6' guard from Nelson MacIntyre, is another player that has been out of high school for  a year, but has used his time off well.  'Evan has made a very strong commitment to his physical conditioning, his shooting and his ball handling,' states Coach Groat, ' He has the ability to come in and play multiple roles for the team and that will help him to acheive great success.'

Kliff Kenyon - a 6'7 forward from Sturgeon Heights, is a playerthat the Rustlers se an incredible amount of potential in.  'Kliff has not gotten to play as much as he would have liked and we feel that he now feels ready to put the effort required into learning the game and becoming an impact player at the college level,' states Coach Groat, 'He has a lot of athletic ability at 6'7 and we feel that with some time and patient, this will be as big a signing as any at Lakeland College.'

David Harmon, recruiting coordiantor will be available with the players at the Graduating All Star Game on Saturday, April 19th. 

For more information contact

David Harmon

Recruiting Coordinator



April 8, 2008

Oak Park forward Kelsey Solarchuk commits to Bobcats women’s basketball team

BRANDON, MB - Kelsey Solarchuk, a 6’0” forward from Oak Park High School in Winnipeg, Manitoba, has committed to playing for the Brandon University Bobcats Women's Basketball Team during the 2008-2009 season.

Solarchuk, who played inside for the Oak Park Raiders this past season, looks forward to making her move to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport level of play, and to the perimeter of the Bobcats line-up, where she will play in the guard spot.Bobcats Head Coach Jaime Hickson believes that Solarchuk’s size, ability and “basketball smarts’” will make for a smooth transition while also increasing the height and depth of the BU bench.

Admittedly, Kelsey will automatically add height and size to our perimeter but it will also put her in a position to obtain greater success, in a league that is much larger on the inside than what she is used to at the high school level,” says Hickson. “We are very excited to have Kelsey join our program.” 

 “I chose BU because the Women's Basketball program is on the rise, and I'd like to be part of the re-building,” says Solarchuk. “The coaches strive for you to be successful not only as an athlete, but as student athlete as well. I'm looking forward to being involved with a team that already has a reputation of being a family.”

For more information on Brandon University Bobcats Athletics, please visit:

For further information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Kelly Stifora

Communications Officer

Brandon University

Phone: (204) 727-9762



April 1, 2008 

Local Star commits to Lady Bobcats basketball team

BRANDON, MB - Local product and upcoming Neelin High School graduate Stephanie Lacey-Avon has committed to play for the Brandon University Bobcats Women's Basketball Team for 2008-2009. The 5’9” left-handed guard will begin her career with the Bobcats immediately as spring training has already begun.

Lady Bobcats Head Coach Jamie Hickson is excited to have Lacey-Avon join the program.

“Stephanie is a natural athlete and competitor with a strong passion for basketball,” says Coach Hickson. “Her abilities to read and react are as strong as her speed and dribble attack. Defensively she is a menace on the ball. We are excited to have her join our roster and look forward to watching her develop at the next level.” 

Neelin High School Head Coach Jill Watt says of Stephanie’s potential: “She has a passion for the game combined with the ability to create on the floor. I know that she will push herself hard to contribute immediately at the university level. She is an unselfish player who has always encouraged those around her to perform at their highest capacity. I am proud that Stephanie has made the decision to continue playing basketball at the university level. The women's program at BU is gaining a great athlete in Stephanie as well as a determined young individual.”

In further Lady Bobcats basketball news, it has been confirmed that guard Tanysha Robinson will not be returning to play for the team during the 2008-2009 season.

For more information about Brandon University Bobcats Athletics, please go to:


For further information, please contact:

Kelly Stifora

Communications Officer

Brandon University

Phone: (204) 727-9762



March 18, 2008

Bison men’s basketball team recruits four players for 2008-09 season

Two guards and two forwards join the Herd for the upcoming season

The Manitoba Bison men’s basketball team has started their preparations for the 2008-09 season by announcing four new recruits. Bisons head coach Rick Suffield is pleased to announce the commitment of Nathan Dixon, Cameron Wicker, Xavier Smith and Ryan Fahandeg to the Bison program for the upcoming season.

Nathan Dixon is a 5'11" point guard from Lakeland College in Alberta. Nathan was a first team Alberta College All-Star who led the north conference by averaging 20.1 points per game (ppg) this season while scoring a season high 37 points twice during the season. In the 2007-08 season, he was second in the conference in steals (2.8) and assists (4.3). Nixon help pace the Lakeland College Hustlers to second place finish this season in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC). At the 2008 National Junior College Championship in Montreal, Nixon was selected as a National Tournament All-Star.

Suffield stated, “Nathan is very quick and a floor general that understands the game. He is the general that will be the starting point guard for his two remaining years. I have made it very clear to him that our goal is to be the conference winner and get to the final four in Canada West in year one. Nathan could be a starting point on any CIS team in the country and I am looking forward to his leadership.”

Cameron (CJ) Wicker is a 6’5” forward from Detroit, Michigan. Wicker played two years of Junior College where he was a captain and an excellent athlete. He led his team in offensive and defensive rebounding as well as averaging 16 ppg.

Suffield said, “CJ can run the floor and brings our level up immediately. CJ will add athleticism, competitiveness and the desire to win. He fits the goal I have of getting to a National tournament quickly.”

Xavier Smith is a 6’2” guard from Lakeland Junior College in Alberta. He was a top player in our province under Coach Scott Martin at Sisler High School. Smith was also a first team Alberta College All-Star that averaged 16.7 ppg (fourth in north conference) and 55.2% field goal percentage (third in north conference) this season.

Suffield commented, “Xavier is a warrior. He brings his energy and efforts to the court everyday. His work ethic will be contagious. Xavier will get the tough hoop, ‘he will take the charge’, and he wants to win. Every coach wants a player like this in his program and I am happy for Xavier to be returning to his hometown.”

Ryan Fahandeg is a 6’4” forward from Kelowna Secondary school in Kelowna, B.C. Fahandeg averaged 23 ppg, eight rebounds per game, is an 85% foul shooter, and shot 38% from the 3-point line for this season. He was also named to the Provincial All-Star.

Suffield talked about Fahandeg, “Ryan is one of the most ready players to come out of high school and be able to play at the CIS level right away that I have seen in years. His body (6’4 and 208 lbs.) plus his athleticism makes him ready for action. Ryan is a great scorer who will come in and make noise immediately. He did grow up in Winnipeg but left in grade six, so we welcome him back with open arms.”


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