photo: UBCO Athletics

UBCO Heat sign Kelsey Falk

Kelsey Falk will join the UBCO Heat women’s basketball roster next season

It will be a family affair next season for the Falk family as Kelsey will join her older sister Brianna on the Heat women’s basketball roster for next season.

The 5 foot 10 inch guard is extremely familiar with the Heat program as she was a member of the Junior Heat since 2015 and was coached by current Heat head coach Bobby Mitchell while playing club basketball.

Last summer, playing for the Junior Heat PEBL club team, Falk and her team finished third at nationals with Falk averaging 17 points and 12 rebounds a game.

Falk is currently in her final season of an already outstanding career at Vernon Secondary School, with the Panthers she has played both basketball and volleyball at the varsity level. Falk, at VSS, has been named the Female Athlete of the Year in 2016/2017 along with 2017/2018 as well as being the North Okanagan Rotary Athletic Awards Most Outstanding Female Basketball Player for 2018. The Panthers’ forward was also named a Third Team All-Star at the AA Provincial Championship last March.

RELATED: UBCO Heat sign Jenessa Knapp

A strong academic student, the Vernon product has been on the Principle’s List every year since 2014 and will enter the education program in hopes of becoming an elementary or high school teacher.

“I chose UBC Okanagan as its academic programs seem to be a right fit for me as well as the basketball community,” said Falk. “Everything and everyone are very helpful there when it comes to student-athletes.”

“Beyond excited to come to UBCO and compete for the Heat. The ‘Furnace’ is a home away from home for me,” said Falk. “I have already been competing for Junior Heat for the past few years with Bobby as my coach, and the new lead assistant coach, Lonny Mazurak, was my high school basketball coach. Being able to play basketball at a university level is one thing, but when you get to play with people who you consider as a family makes the game so much more enjoyable.”

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Probably knowing Falk like no other recruit, Mitchell has no problem talking about his newly committed player.

“We are very excited to have Kelsey join us,” said Mitchell. “Her compete level is second to none she hates to lose and will push herself and her teammates daily. Her versatility on both ends of the floor will be an important element moving forward as it fits the direction we want to go as a team and program.”

“Kelsey only knows hard work both on the court and in the classroom, we are looking forward to having her grow in our program on all levels,” said Mitchell.

Falk will be joining a strong recruiting group that has already been assembled by Mitchell for next year. Also committed to the Heat women’s basketball program for next year is a pair of guards, Mira Witt and Jenessa Knapp, Witt is from Saskatoon and Knapp hails from Langley, while Emily Instant is a 6-foot three post from Coquitlam. Falk will also be joined by Junior Heat teammate and Kelowna Owls standout, Jaeli Ibbetson, on the squad next fall.

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