OUA cage all-stars showcase their talents

An exciting 2008-09 season of Ontario University Athletics women’s basketball will have a star-studded conclusion on Saturday, May 9. The inaugural OUA All-Star Game at RIM Park in Waterloo will be played as part of the 2009 Ontario Basketball Association Ontario Cup.

Twenty players who were named OUA all-stars or members of the all-rookie teams this past season will showcase their skills in a battle of East versus West. The East is led by its player of the year, Alaine Hutton (Hamilton) of the Toronto Varsity Blues, top rookie Abby Edmison (Carleton Place) of the Royal Military College Paladins and defensive player of the year Tanya Perry (Barrie) of the Carleton Ravens.

Hutton will be joined by U of T teammate Nicki Schutz (Toronto) as together they formed the most potent scoring duo in OUA this past regular season with a combined 754 points, or 34.3 per game. The team is led by East Division coach of the year Andy Sparks of the OUA finalist Ottawa Gee-Gees.

The West also boasts a strong squad, including Dranadia Roc (Montreal) and Alisa Wulff (Pickering), both members of the OUA champion Windsor Lancers. They will have a familiar bench boss in Chantal Vallée, who was named West Division coach of the year after leading the Lancers to the best regular season record (21-1) in OUA. Vallee also led Windsor to its first appearance at the CIS national tournament. They will be joined by Western Mustangs guard Amanda Anderson (Dover Centre) who led all West Division players averaging 16.1 points per game during the regular season.

The all-star showcase also marks a final opportunity for a trio of players to wear the uniforms of their respective teams. Sharlene Harding (Brampton) of the Paladins, Laura MacCallum (Paris) of the York Lions and Kathryn Verboom (Thunder Bay) of the Lakehead Thunderwolves have completed their final year of CIS eligibility, and have one final opportunity to play alongside their peers.

All three individuals have made their mark on their respective programs with Harding, a former Queen’s Gael, leading the Paladins in points and rebounds in 2008-09, MacCallum finishing her career as York’s all-time leading scorer and Verboom placing ninth on the all-time Lakehead points list.

Mascots from the competing OUA schools will also be in attendance, and will showcase their basketball skills during halftime.

Other local players include Burlington’s Jenny Hobbs (Ryerson) playing on the East squad. The West team will have two Dundas natives, Renata Adamczyk (Laurier) and Kelly Moulden (Western) along with Hamilton’s Taylor Smith (McMaster).

Tip off is set for 7 p.m. Admission is free.

The OUA All-Star Game is being played in conjunction with the Under 17 and Under 19 girls Ontario Basketball Provincial Championships. In all, 97 teams from across the province will be competing in the two age categories in a quest to have fun, play fair and to bring home a gold medal.

For more information on Ontario Basketball and its programs please visit www.basketball.on.ca.