L’Africain, Agada, Van Slingerland, and Bouchard all recognized in top honours
After cleaning up at the Ontario University Athletics basketball awards, Gee-Gees athletes also got their fair share of representation on the national level in both basketball and hockey.
In men’s basketball for the second year in a row and in school history, a Gee-Gees player has been awarded the Mike Mosner Memorial Trophy for Player of the Year. This year it was fifth-year point guard Mike L’Africain following in Johnny Berhanemeskel’s footsteps.
The win caps off a remarkable career in garnet and grey for L’Africain, as he gained the highest national recognition for his impeccable performance in his departing season.
L’Africain has been the Gee-Gees starting point guard for all of his five years and has matured into one of the best leaders and all-around players in the nation. There is no weakness in scoring, assists, rebounds, and defence with the 6’1” scrapper.
Fourth-year forward Caleb Agada also received major recognition as he was awarded Defensive Player of the Year. A well-deserved award for the Gee-Gee star, as he has become the biggest defensive weapon on any team in the nation.
Agada can guard players of all size and ability, and possesses the skills to shut his matchup down and render them a non-factor in the game.
With L’Africain’s departure, Agada will be handed the reins to the team as he will need to become their vocal fifth-year senior leader.
An award like this on his resumé, Agada is primed to not only take L’Africain’s leadership role on the team, but also possibly have his own Mosner Trophy this time next season.
In women’s basketball, fifth-year guard Krista Van Slingerland was honoured with the the Tracy McLeod Award for spirit and perseverance by an athlete. Van Slingerland dedicated massive amounts of time and energy into creating the Student-Athlete Mental Health Initiative and becoming an ambassador for mental health issues plaguing athletes.
Van Slingerland had her first season for the Gee-Gees last year after struggling with her own mental health issues while attending Carleton. This season she expanded her program further, while working on her masters and playing for the team.
In women’s hockey, Gee-Gees centre Mélodie Bouchard was awarded Rookie of the Year, a first in U of O history.
Bouchard was an absolute force for the Gees this season, scoring an impressive 10 goals and 22 assists.
In the first 19 games of her career, Bouchard has catapulted herself to the attention of all women’s hockey supporters across Canada, and has potential to be a massive asset to the Gees going forward.
Bouchard was also named to the All-Canadian second team, as well as the national all-rookie team.