By Suki Chhoeun

On Saturday, May 9th, 2015, Athlete Initiative hosted their 2nd Annual Battle of the Border All-Star Charity event in support of Shayil Home where two rival provinces are featured.

On early Saturday morning, both Manitoba men's and women's team traveled from Winnipeg to Regina to face off against a collection of talented ex-university and college players from Saskatchewan.  Drawing over a large crowd, the event raised close to $1500 for Shayil Home of Souls Harbour.

The first game featured the Saskatchewan and Manitoba Women's team where all-stars such as Manitoba's most decorated players, JoAnne Wells and Debbie Yeboah hit the hard court to battle for charity and bragging rights.

Both teams exchanged baskets from the tip off right through to the end of the game.  Manitoba's fast paced play along with solid rebounding from the inside helped them win this years battle 67-63 bringing home the trophy and bragging rights until next year.

Following the women's game, the Men took action in a high flying, slam dunking, alley hooping display of phenomenal basketball.

Team Saskatchewan brought their bag of tricks and pulled away after the second half with a lead of 60-45, The Manitoba men came out with great efforts running the ball and looking or good scoring opportunities  keeping it close until half time.

Andrew Spragrud and Troy Gotselig of Saskatchewan put on a dunk show for the fans of the game.  Unexpected alley oops and hard throw downs helped them with a convincing win of 108 to Manitoba's 67.

High Scorers include: Debbie Yeboah 24pts, JoAnne Small 21pts
Andrew Spragrud 21 points
Troy Gotselig 20pts

  • Women's MVP - Debbie Yeboah 
  • Defensive Player - Maja Kravlovco 
  • Men's MVP - Andrew Spragrud 
  • Defensive Player - Will Bergmann 
  • Women's 3pt competition champion -  Debbie Yeboah
  • Men's 3pt competition champion - Kyle Vince

Athlete Initiative would also like to recognize our partners who helped make this event possible; thank you to our sponsors Melynda Loder from Hotel Saskatchewan, Adam Wedlake from Basketball Manitoba, and the University of Regina - Center for Kinesiology Health Studies.

We would also like to recognize the outstanding job our volunteers did! Thank you Rox Archer, Mandy McAfee, Naomi Picard, Hannah Picard and our volunteer referees Levy Bay, Mike Hudey and Neil Donnelly.

Participating Athletes from Manitoba:
JoAnne Small, Amey Ogidan, Danielle Baril, Randie Gibson, Kelsey Solarchuk,
Alex Maciver (University of Winnipeg), Sarah Lopes (BU), Mubo Illeboye (UM), Patti Parker (PUC), Will Bergmann, Matt Opalko, Stephen Ralko, Given Isaac (University of Winnipeg), Kyle Vince (BU), John Wolfe, Colin LaPlante (Lakeland) and Matt Loewen (RRC).

The Saskatchewan team also saw many all-stars including Cymone Bernauer (Bouchard), Maja Kravlovco, Brittany Read, Jennilea Cappola, Taylor Pelletier, Katie Polischuk, Megan Chamberlin, Leane Philips all from the University of Regina, Amanda McConnell (Laurentian), Andrew Spragrud, Mike Linklater, Troy Gotselig, Rejean Chabot (University of Saskatchewan), Jordan McFarlen, Drew Kuzminski, Brendan Hebert, Jeff Lukomski, Jamal Williams (University of Regina) and Kai Williams (SDSU).

Next years Battle of the Border event will be held in Winnipeg, Manitoba in June 2016.

See you next year,

Suki Chhoeun,
Event Organizer
Athlete Initiative

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