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The 2023-2024 OUA Women’s basketball award recipients

As the 2023-2024 OUA women’s basketball season comes to a close, let’s recognize the MVP, top rookies, and coaches who excelled on and off the court.

Brock Badgers Madalyn Weinert Dribbling The Ball During 2023 24 Media Day
Brock Badgers guard Madalyn Weinert dribbling the ball during 2023-24 media day. Weinert has been named the 2023-24 Ontario University Sport (OUA) women's player of the year. - Photo: Stephen Leithwood

The 2023-2024 OUA women’s basketball season is over and the Carleton Ravens have, yet again, been crowned the Critelli Cup champions, it’s time to look at those who excelled throughout it all.

Every year, towards the end of the season, certain players and coaches are celebrated based on their accomplishments.

There are various awards to be won, starting with the Most Valuable Player (MVP), which went to Brock’s Madalyn Weinert who was tremendous all season long. In 23 games, Weinert put up 515 points, 224 rebounds, and 104 assists, leading an incredibly stacked OUA division.

The defensive player of the year was none other than Queen’s very own Julia Chadwick, a defensive powerhouse who led her team to the OUA finals for the second year in a row. With no surprise to anyone, Chadwick was an anchor who notched 298 rebounds from the first whistle.

For Gael’s head coach Claire Meadows, it’s hard to describe what Chadwick has meant to the team. “She gets the job done on both sides of the ball, and she executes everything so well. The way she rebounds, the way she scores on offence, she’s a great player and even better person.”

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This season saw the emergence of many great rookies such as Catrina Garvey, Jacqueline Urban, and many more. However, it was Garvey who was deemed the best and awarded rookie of the year.

In her very first year with the TMU Bold, Garvey scored 313 points, assisted her team 38 times, and contributed on the board with 65 rebounds. Being a rookie didn’t her ability to look incredibly experienced in every game.

Carleton ravens head coach dani sinclair converses with guard kali pocrnic during the 2024 capital hoops classic
Carleton Ravens head coach Dani Sinclair converses with guard Kali Pocrnic (4) during the Capital Hoops Classic at TD Place Arena in Ottawa, Ont. Feb. 2. [Photo by Anya Swettenham/The Charlatan]

However, coaching plays a huge part in the game of basketball, and so Carleton’s head coach Dani Sinclair was recognized as OUA coach of the year. Since joining the illustrious Raven’s program, Sinclair has coached her team to two Critelli Cup championships, as well a U-Sports national championship.

“I’m greatly appreciative of this award, but I see it more as a recognition of our team. It’s easy being a great coach for incredible players and being part of a program that has been Canada’s premier basketball school for such a long time.”

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Many of her players, such as rookie Jacqueline Urban and OUA all-star Tatyanna Burke, described Sinclair as one of the best coaches they’ve ever had. Despite her intense and fiery approach to the game, she can truly bring out the best in her players.

“From the outside, it might seem like she’s too harsh because she’s always yelling, but it’s quite the opposite. She wants us to be the best versions of ourselves, not only as basketball players but people in general. I’ve had many coaches throughout my life and I can say with unwavering certainty that she is one of the best,” Burke stated.

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McMaster’s Jenna Button was also recognized with the Joy Bellinger award, an annual accomplishment given to a player to recognize not only their basketball, but also their advancement of university athletics.

Windsor lancers grace koffi sets up the offence against the toronto varsity blues
Windsor lancers Grace Koffi sets up the offence against the Toronto Varsity Blues – Photo: Aru Das/Windsor Lancers

Similarly, there is the Tracy MacLeod award, which is given to a player that shows determination and unwavering grit throughout the season. This year’s recipient is Windsor’s Grace Koffi who has overcome setback after setback throughout her basketball career.

First, it was Covid-19 that cancelled the entire 2020 season, which was supposed to be her first. A year later, in her actual first year, Koffi suffered from chronic lower body pain, which sidelined her for half the campaign. Upon her return, she faced back-to-back concussions.

Afterwards, this past summer, she suffered life-threatening injuries in acute appendicitis but despite all that, she has continued to overcome and made it a point to play as much basketball as possible.

Lastly, there is an award to celebrate those who champion the push for more diversity and making basketball ever more inclusive for everyone. This year, the award went to Algoma’s Maria Coccimiglo.

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