Basketball Manitoba is pleased to announce the 2021 Basketball Manitoba Awards recipients.  A total of 116 applications were received for the below 12 awards that were reviewed by the Basketball Manitoba Awards selection committee.  We thank all who submitted an application for consideration and congratulate the following Manitobans from the basketball community...

Award: Morris Glimcher Student Manager Award #1 #BMA2021

Award Value: $1000.00

Recipient: Mariel Sinclair

School: Powerview, Manitoba

Hometown: Fort Alexander, Manitoba

About: The award recognizes a Grade 12 student part of a varsity basketball team in Manitoba in the role of a "manager".

Grade 12 Academic Average: 75%

Comment From the Application: My goals beyond high school are to go to Red River College to study the Culinary Arts. I believe cooking gives you the ability to be creative and try new things in food, as well as sustain ourselves.  Attending Culinary Arts has been a dream of mine, because I enjoy learning with others. This scholarship would help me achieve my goal.  When I started high school from grade 9, 10, and 11, I was the Team Manager for the Varsity Girls Basketball team and also for the Varsity Girls Volleyball team and I would have done it again in grade 12 (if there had been a season.) While I was the Team Manager, I took on an important role with the team as I would do the score/stat keeping, refill water bottles, filming games, delivering messages to players, acting as an extra body as required during practice, doing laundry, helping with team meals, and cleaning the benches after every games. During my time as a Team Manager, we traveled around the province to many different venues and we hosted the provincials. We also made the provincial qualifiers when Covid hit. I learned that you can overcome obstacles in your way through team building, and also by making sacrifices and time management. I feel I have really benefited from the team because you gain experience, work ethic and friendships.  Being part of Sagkeeng Anicinabe Varsity Girls Teams, has been a lot of hard work, but has given me many learning experiences for which I am extremely grateful. The travel to new places, meeting new people, and learning new skills will be something I will always remember with thankfulness. These experiences will definitely transfer forward to a career in the Culinary Arts.

Comment from the Recipient's Coach:  I believe Mariel embodies the ideal of a team manager. Someone who may not have had the size or skill needed to perform at a competitive level, but someone who has pride in their school and community and uses whatever skillset and abilities they have, to help in not just any, but in every way they can. - Andrew Klaprat

Award: Morris Glimcher Student Manager Award #2 #BMA2021

Award Value: $1000.00

Recipient: Rylee Rolstone @ryleerolstone

School: Kelvin High School

Hometown: Winnipeg, Manitoba

About: The award recognizes a Grade 12 student part of a varsity basketball team in Manitoba in the role of a "manager".

Grade 12 Academic Average: 92%

Comment From the Application: Covid has been tough on all of us, had I had the opportunity, I would have been the student manager of the varsity girls’ basketball team.   Following my passion for sports, I became the girls’ volleyball captain to support my team and advocate the importance of school involvement. As a captain, leadership and collaboration were key parts of my role, as I sought to promote inclusion by ensuring that everyone always had a partner in drills and participated. My biggest obstacle that I faced during this season was an injury in my hand, resulting in being unable to play for half the season. As a leader, I made sure that I attended every game and practice to ensure the team that although I cannot play, I will still show my support to the team by cheering them on from the sidelines. This motivated and showed my team the importance of team support and participation. During this time, I became the temporary student manager of the girls’ volleyball team, as I assisted the coaches by keeping track of player statistics during games and assisted in drills during practice.  

Comment from the Recipient's Coach:  Rylee exemplifies what it means to be a well-rounded athlete and human being. She demonstrates determination through her hard work, focus, and consistent drive to improve. Rylee is the type of athlete coaches enjoy working with, Rylee is very receptive to feedback and fast learning. Furthermore, she is also a natural, effective leader. Rylee is always willing to take on new challenges, responsibilities, or roles, be they in athletics and extracurricular activities or in academics. In all situations, her motivation and commitment have made her a natural role model for the younger athletes and students at Kelvin. - Richard Buskell & Alyson Gysel

Award: Lena Wenke Courage Award #BMA2021

Award Value: $500.00 donation to a charity the choosing of the recipient - Central Speech 

Recipient: Annika Goodbrandson @annikagoodbrandson

School: Lord Selkirk Regional

Hometown: Selkirk, Manitoba

About: The award recognizes a grade 12 basketball player who has faced and overcome obstacles or challenges in their life while staying involved in the sport of basketball.

Comment From the Application: Many individuals face challenges in their lifetime, which can force one to become more resilient. My every day challenge is being able to hear and communicate with everyone around me. I was born profoundly Deaf, and I was given an implanted cochlear hearing device when I was a baby. Therefore, one of my very first challenges in life was to learn how to learn and to communicate without any hearing. Once implanted, I then had to learn that the world actually had sound, and I needed to learn to listen, hear and speak; eventually I “caught up” developmentally and cognitively to my peers.  I first started playing basketball with the Steve Nash League on an all-boys team at the age of four and I immediately fell in love with basketball. Since then, I have never stopped playing basketball and have been on community, club, and school basketball teams.  My disability did not hold me back from playing sports in any way. During my grade nine year, the internal components of my cochlear implant had failed, rendering me back into my 2 year old self, Deaf and completely without any access to sound as my device needed surgical replacement. Once reimplanted, I was faced with the further challenge of “relearning” how my new device processed sound as it was completely different from my original device. 

Comment from the Recipient's Coach:  She has worked really hard within our school community being an “Inspiring Youth Speaker”, a member of Student Council, part of the Ethics Bowl, and was the President of Assembly at the Mock United Nations event held this year.  Annika is a prominent member of our community. She volunteers with many local organizations including Winnipeg Harvest, Santa for Seniors, Selkirk Christmas Hamper and volunteer coaches with Special Olympics Manitoba and local youth basketball camps.  One of the most admirable things that makes Annika stand out for this award, is that she has overcome being profoundly deaf since she was a baby. She uses cochlear implants to help her hear, but often during games she is unable to use them; she relies on her ability to read lips in these situations. She has never used her disability as an excuse, but instead uses it as motivation to persevere when people think otherwise. - Sue Gilmour

Award: Jim Bulloch Coaching Award #BMA2021

Award Value: $800.00

Recipient: Matt Mcleod @mattmcleod22

School: Neelin High School

Hometown: Brandon, Manitoba

About: The award recognizes a newer Manitoba basketball coach with little experience and strong potential as a long-term leader in our sport.  

Comment From the Application: I feel this award would benefit me tremendously by allowing me to further my education within the game of basketball.  As a newer coach I am constantly trying to learn more and grow so that I can be a better resource for my players.  As a community coach not someone who works within the school system, Covid-19 has severely limited my access to coaching and I would use this money to take courses furthering my knowledge base so that when basketball resumes in full I’m able to help my players development as much as possible.  I also just love learning and thinking about the game so it would be incredibly beneficial to me on a personal level as well.

Application Endorsed by: Don Thomson and Carey Lasuik  

Award: Alex Samaniego Memorial Scholarship - Male #BMA2021

Award Value: $500.00

Recipient: Daren Watts @darenthegreat11

School: Miles Macdonell Collegiate

Hometown: Winnipeg, Manitoba

About: The award recognizes a grade 12 basketball player who exudes a passion, commitment and a positive attitude towards the sport of basketball.  

Comment From the Application: Passion and commitment in basketball is going to the gym even if you’re already exhausted from a long day at school and the practice you just had. Committed is telling your friends “sorry, I can’t  hangout today. I have to go to the gym, we have some big games coming up this week.” Passion is not wanting to prove to others that you can do it, but to prove to yourself that you can be great. These are all things I think about and do on a daily basis which makes me think I am deserving of this scholarship.  There are many things I could use this scholarship for to help me succeed in university because when playing basketball in university, it is possible to maintain a job but can be extremely difficult..

Comment from the Recipient's Coach:  Daren has learned to be very independent and is incredibly self-motivated. Every practice, game, training session, or pick-up game he has attended has been by walking, taking the bus, or arranging a ride on his own. During his time at Miles Mac, Daren’s regular routine has been to workout (weights, etc) and train (basketball skills) at the nearby YMCA. This involved his arriving at the Y around 7 am each morning and working out until school started at Miles Mac (8:25 am). For much of the year, we would also have practice or training sessions in the evenings, and Daren would always be the last one out of the gym, hungry for new skills and understanding about the game of basketball. - Jeff Shaddock

Award: Alex Samaniego Memorial Scholarship - Female #BMA2021

Award Value: $500.00

Recipient: Asha Donnelly @ashadonnelly_

School: Oak Park High School

Hometown: Winnipeg, Manitoba

About: The award recognizes a grade 12 basketball player who exudes a passion, commitment and a positive attitude towards the sport of basketball.

Comment From the Application: I tore my ACL during a club game in my grade 10 year.  I played JV Basketball the whole season in a brace prior to surgery  Even when injured I led my team in scoring and minutes played.  You need a positive attitude to rehab successfully.  You need dedication to want to come back strong.  You need something else to play even when your ACL is torn while waiting for surgery. I thought my presence helped my team in the thought that if I can go out there and give maximum effort then they can too.  The rehab and the confidence in getting back to play and the positive attitude toward success helped as well.  I am very committed to succeed and give a strong effort in all that I do. 

Comment from the Recipient's Coach:  Asha has experienced a great deal of adversity in the last three years but at no time has it affected her love of basketball. Through injury which cost her much of her grade 10 and 11 seasons followed by the Covid-19 cancellation of her Grade 11 provincials as well as her entire Grade 12 season, Asha has not stopped training in the hope of returning to the basketball court. This positive outlook and unrelenting work ethic are true indicators of her passion for the sport. It is my hope that Asha will be able to play beyond high school, an opportunity which I feel she has earned. The time and effort she has put into recovery from her ACL injury and recovery from surgery has been inspirational to witness. It would have been easy for her to get discouraged but her positive attitude and desire to return drove her throughout the last three years. - Murray Brown

Award: Donovan Gayle Scholarship - Male #BMA2021

Award Value: $500.00

Recipient: Aka Ebubechukwu @aka.ebube

School: Glenlawn Collegiate

Hometown: Winnipeg, Manitoba

About: The award recognizes a grade 12 basketball player who best meets the qualities of perseverance, determination and resilience that Donovan set as a leader in our community. 

Comment From the Application: I was born with some serious challenges that affected my circulatory system and still does to a certain degree. It's made my conditioning and being in top level shape harder for me but I always put in the extra work to make sure I'm in top shape and ready to play hard for long stretches and be there for my team. I'm hoping to get this scholarship so it can help me further my education and hopefully continue to play basketball at the next level.  

Comment from the Recipient's Coach:  More impressive than his on-court achievements, are his on and off court character strengths and skills. Aka is driven and hard working. Aka is humble and puts his teammates first. Aka leads by example and can be vocal when needed. Aka is a source of energy for his grade and this has been evident in yearly spirit weeks and in his support for other sport teams and athletes at Glenlawn. Last year, Aka was front and center of the student body cheering and supporting our hockey team during their playoff run. He has a positive reputation with many staff and students at Glenlawn. - Jonathan Wolfe

Award: Donovan Gayle Scholarship - Female #BMA2021

Award Value: $500.00

Recipient: Emma Tomchuk @emma_tomchuk

School: R.D Parker Collegiate

Hometown: Thompson, Manitoba

About: The award recognizes a grade 12 basketball player who best meets the qualities of perseverance, determination and resilience that Donovan set as a leader in our community. 

Comment From the Application: Throughout my whole career of basketball I have been faced with the challenges of being from a small northern community. Due to our isolation from many communities I have always had to travel anywhere from 4-8 hours just to play in some tournaments or try out for provincial teams. However, I never let this deter me from playing the sport I loved, for I showed my determination by working hard  raising enough money to help my parents pay for the costly trips to Winnipeg or Brandon which were easily $300-400 dollars a trip. It was heartbreaking for me to see all the opportunities I would be missing out on because of where I lived. I had to work 10x harder than any average basketball player to even have a shot at following a dream to play at a post secondary program for basketball and because of where I lived I knew that there were times when I would have to leave my family behind to chase my dreams. I continued to persevere and work hard until I finally made the provincial team.  This award would help me financially pursue my goal of attending a post secondary institution for basketball and the career of an X-ray technician.

Comment from the Recipient's Coach: Emma has participated and demonstrated different tactics to display leadership which included leading by example, having strong values, and persistency. Team members feel like they could trust and look for advice from her, qualities and skills she will continue to use regularly and will depend upon as she navigates through the upcoming years. Emma is the type of athlete who is consistently striving to better herself, as her coach and at the level of play Emma was already at she challenged me daily to find ways to increase her best qualities and skills as she was always looking for ways to improve her game. Emma is like a sponge when it comes to basketball and has a never quit attitude, it has been a privilege to coach and teach her.  - Christine Sim

Award: Ron Meyers Leadership Award - Male #BMA2021

Award Value: $500.00

Recipient: Luke Janzen @luke.janzen

School: Linden Christian School

Hometown: Winnipeg, Manitoba

About: The award recognizes a grade 12 basketball player who excels in the community, on the court and classroom.

Grade 12 Academic Average: 92%

Comment From the Application: I have been involved in several leadership roles including that of team captain of the school basketball team and school president at Linden Christian School. I am responsible for leading the student council as we plan school activities, fundraisers and spirit week. I have used social media and videos to advertise these activities within the school community.  I have volunteered at Red Rock Bible camp as a camp counselor with my roles including leading a small group of boys through activities, meals, studies and supervising the dorm.  I volunteer at Siloam Mission preparing breakfast and sorting clothes.  I am also a lifeguard at Longbow Lake Bible Camp. My roles included providing a safe environment for swimming activities and supervising dozens of campers.

Comment from the Recipient's Coach:  I have had the opportunity to coach Luke in JV Basketball when he was in grade 9 and in Varsity Basketball when he was in grade 11 last year. In both of these years he played an integral role as part of the team. He used his role as starting guard to help guide the team to many victories and also help to keep the team focused on the court. Luke was always early and willing to be the first to demonstrate anything we would do in practice. He was also able to use humor to keep things lighter when needed to be. - Manfred Glor

Award: Ron Meyers Leadership Award - Female #BMA2021

Award Value: $500.00

Recipient: Audry Fortunato @audryfayette

School: Murdoch Mackay Collegiate

Hometown: Winnipeg, Manitoba

About: The award recognizes a grade 12 basketball player who excels in the community, on the court and classroom.

Grade 12 Academic Average: 98%

Comment From the Application: Every Saturday I am able to share my talents with Blessed Sacrament Parish and sing for mass. I also volunteer with various other parish fundraising activities such as our Lunch for Cause.  As a result of Typhoon Ulysses, it was a challenging time back home in the Philippines. My brother and I prepared a charity stream where viewers were able to watch us do challenges and play games, while being given the opportunity to donate in support of the typhoon victims. Collectively we were able to raise $620 USD, which amounted to about 33,000 Philippine Pesos. The money was directly sent to a remote community affected, and they were surprised with food, toiletries, sandals, school supplies, and tarps to patch up their homes.

Comment from the Recipient's Coach:  From the day I met Audry until the last day I coached her, she has demonstrated a mass amount of interest and respect for her team and for everyone in the basketball community. Her motivation and passion for basketball has led her to take on a leadership role whether she is aware of it or not, with this she goes out of her way to not just help the girls on her own team but also the younger teams when they needed it the most. Audry takes extra time to work on her strengths and weaknesses for basketball when she can, but she also takes time during her off seasons to help me coach spring basketball in Oakbank to a group of boys ages 11 to 14. - Chelsea Camaclang

Award: Carl Ridd Award - Male #BMA2021

Award Value: $500.00

Recipient: Kenyi Kubari @kenyikubari

School: Vincent Massey High School

Hometown: Brandon, Manitoba

About: The award recognizes a grade 12 basketball player who excels on the court, classroom and in the community.

Grade 12 Academic Average: 88%

Comment From the Application: Over the course of the summer, I along with another student organized several Black Lives Matter protests in Brandon, Manitoba. My role included drawing awareness to the protest, I achieved this by starting a social media campaign to publicize the event through Instagram and Snapchat. I was also a speaker and the spokesperson for the events as I dealt with all the media correspondence and interviews. I was also a student council member and my duties involved organizing school activities and events, stimulating student engagement, and representing the student body at meetings. Some of the events that I helped organize were tape-the-teacher, Valentine's Day bake sale, and Halloween costume contest, and all profits from these events and others throughout the year were donated to Salvation Army and Samaritan House. 

Comment from the Recipient's Coach:  I really enjoyed the opportunity to coach and teach Kenyi.  Kenyi brings the energy and love for the game of basketball to every practice, training session and game.  He was the player that I could depend on for specific situations, especially on the defensive end.  Leader for our pressure defence and always had the tough assignment of guarding the other team's best player.  Great player and student athlete. - Brett Nohr

Award: Carl Ridd Award - Female #BMA2021

Award Value: $500.00

Recipient: Cali Yates @cali_yates

School: Sanford Collegiate

Hometown: Lasalle, Manitoba

About: The award recognizes a grade 12 basketball player who excels on the court, classroom and in the community.

Grade 12 Academic Average: 98%

Comment From the Application: I am a member of Student Council and Student Leadership group and organized fundraisers such as Coats for Kids and Santa to a Senior, volunteered at food banks.  I have spoken at Sanford Collegiate Open House, Remembrance Day services, and have organized various events and fundraisers through my Student Council.  I am also a youth basketball and curling coach.

Comment from the Recipient's Coach:  Cali is a tremendous citizen of our school. She is involved in the student council, very kind to all students and staff, volunteers with many of our school events.  Cali is a skilled basketball player that has brought a lot of skill, athleticism and leadership to our team and basketball program. Cali's passion for the game and desire to get better are undeniable. She brings true athleticism, precision, knowledge and great leadership skills to our team. Cali has been involved in a variety of basketball programs including Jr. Bobcats (when she lived in Dauphin), Jr. Bisons, Winnipeg Wolves, U16 Team Manitoba Team, participated in a variety of camps, worked with Zach Giesbrecht, and currently in the TAP program. - Kelli Sinnock



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