Sports

UBCO Heat continue to roll out the signings with CIS drawing top recruits to Kelowna

An impending move to the top level of university sports in Canada continues to bring high level recruits to UBC Okanagan sports teams.

A lower mainland product is the latest athlete to commit to UBCO.

Earl Marriott’s Brianna Beamish has commited to join the Heat women's volleyball program in 2011the Heat's inaugural season in the Canada West conference.

Beamish, a 5-foot-11 outside hitter joins the Heat with some impressive credentials. Her club team, Seaside Surf, has captured provincial titles in 2009 and 2010 and a national title in 2009 with Beamish being selected the 2009 provincial and national championship MVP. She was also a AAAA Provincial Championship All-Star in grades 11 and 12 leading her team to a provincial medal both years and has been a member of Team BC the past two years.

“I chose UBC O because it is a great school that is not too big and also close to home," she said. "One of the main reasons I wanted to join this team is because of the coaches. They are fantastic and I can’t wait to learn from them.”

Beamish also pointed out how much she looks forward to joining the current Heat players.

“I am so excited to be coming into the Heat program. The team is so good and it has been really fun to watch them play. All the girls on the team have been so welcoming and I am really excited to get to know them all better,” she said, adding she is looking forward to the challenge of playing at the Canada West level. “It has always been my dream to play volleyball at the CIS level and that’s why I was so pleased when I heard that UBC O was entering this top level of competition. I’m eager to start playing and contributing to the team in any way I can”.

Head women's volleyball coach Steve Manuel added: “We couldn’t be happier that Brianna is joining our program. We have been watching her play for several years and we believe that she has all the attributes to help us succeed at the Canada West level. Her competitiveness and proven ability to win will serve her well at the next level. She has a bright career ahead of her”.

Beamish will be pursuing a degree in Human Kinetics at UBC and is currently competing for her long time club team, Seaside Surf alongside future Heat teammate Katy Klomps. The two of them will soon be trading their Seaside gear for matching Heat uniforms.

BASKETBALL

The off season signings continue for the UBC Okanagan Heat.

Whitney Hamilton, a graduate from Lambrick Park Secondary in Victoria, has committed to play with the UBC Heat’s Women’s Basketball team beginning next fall.

Hamilton, a versatile 6-foot wing/post player will bring size and strength to a Heat team getting ready to compete with the stiffer competition they will find in Canada West next year.

Hamilton attended the Heat’s ID Camp earlier in the spring, but Heat coach Heather Semeniuk had “first seen Whitney play at the AA Championships this past March in Kamloops” and commented that “Her skill-set, her basketball IQ and her athleticism really impressed me.”

Hamilton is a classic example of a player born and raised in an athletic family. She is  the daughter of Clint Hamilton, the current athletic director of the University of Victoria and president of the CIS. He played on the Vikes' 1983-84 national champion men's basketball team and later captained the basketball team at McGill before making the transition to coaching at the University of New Brunswick. Hamilton says she is very excited about joining the team as the Heat embark on their maiden voyage in Canada West, barring any unforeseen issues with the CIS vote in June.

“Because my Dad has been working for the CIS since I’ve been little, one of my goals growing up was to play CIS, so I’m really excited to play,” she said.

Hamilton has a strong basketball resume, playing senior basketball since her grade nine year, she also played for the Team BC U15 Red Team and the past few summers hit the hardwood with the UVIC Vikes’ open women’s team. Coach Semeniuk likes what she sees in Hamilton’s initiative and discipline adding, “She knows what she wants…She knows what it takes, I don’t have to worry about her not knowing what to do or what it takes to compete at that level.”

Coach Semeniuk also envisions the potential mismatches Hamilton should bring to the team as, “she is a left-handed player with a blend of size and strength that make her a challenging offensive weapon.”

Hamilton will be enrolling in the Bachelor of Science program at UBC’s Okanagan campus, with an aspiration to go into Sports Medicine, although “nothing is for sure yet.”  She has expressed a lot of excitement at the opportunity to come to the Okanagan.

“My family is from the Okanagan…Even if I’m moving away, it won’t be far from home…and I really like how the campus is growing.”

Whitney will be a welcome addition to the Heat family as well adds Coach Semeniuk, “I am so pleased that Whitney chose to attend UBC’s Okanagan campus and play for the Heat. She is a strong student, an outstanding player and a great person and she will be a perfect fit on our team.”

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