Amid all the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s nothing more satisfying right now than a surprising bit of good news. Celine Quigley received some this morning when she was named Red Deer College’s 2020 Women’s Basketball Rookie of the Year.
The first-year college player — currently home in Fort St. John with college programs moved online for the remainder of the school year — was honoured to hear the news.
“I was really excited and overwhelmed,” Quigley said. “It was a really nice way to have some closure to the season.”
The RDC team went 10-11 this season, losing in playoffs and missing out on provincials. It was a building step both for the team and Quigley, who grew on and off the court throughout the year.
“(Playing college basketball) is something I’ve wanted to do since I was young, I had such a great support system and coaches, and learned so much about myself on and off the court,” said Quigley.
She was primarily used at point guard, where she learned from a third-year player, and spent time at two-guard as well. Quigley said she gained confidence as the year went on, and improved in her ball handling skills and bringing the ball up the court. She also improved her shooting form and percentage.
Quigley’s excellent freshman year comes a year after she was named NPSS Female Athlete of the Year for the 2018-19 school sports season.
“It’s great to see Celine having success in her college career. It’s a real reflection of the hard work, grit and determination that we saw throughout her Grade 12 year,” said NPSS Athletics Director Samantha Stackhouse. “We are extremely proud of her and wish her all the best next season.”
Quigley said she loved the college basketball experience and can’t wait to be back on the court next year.
“Everyone on the team really wanted to be there, loved basketball, and played for each other,” she said.
Quigley is in her first year of kinesiology studies.
Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at firstname.lastname@example.org.