Calgary’s Thomas Cooper is Canada West Player of the Year
It’s a long way from Chattanooga, TN to Calgary, but through a former teammate at City College of San Francisco, where they both played right out go high school, Thomas Cooper was intrigued with the idea of coming to Canada to play an extra year, and to finish his degree.
Dinos Coach Dan Vanhooren says, “Thomas did all the right things academically to get himself here, after a couple of disappointments in the U.S. He is a very bright guy, with a great work ethic, and he has become a terrific leader on our team “
Cooper, a 4th year wing man, was the Canada West scoring leader (25.8 ppg), but also led UC in rebounding with 7.5 rpg. “He plays with great intelligence and intensity at both ends of the floor”, said his coach. “Thomas is one of those guys who believes in preparation, and practice; he spends time studying the game. An MVP makes his teammates better players, and we know Thomas does that for our guys.”
Canada West’s other major award winners announced on Wednesday –
Rookie of the Year – Brody Clarke, Alberta
Defensive Player of the Year – Kevon Parchment, 5th year, Fraser Valley
Student-Athlete Community Service Award – Jared Baker, 5th year, Lethbridge
Coach of the Year – Scott Clark, 6th year, Thompson Rivers
Canada West Final Four Schedule – Jack Simpson Gym – the University of Calgary
Friday, March 11
UBC vs. Thompson Rivers / 6 PM MST semifinal 1
Manitoba vs. Calgary – 8 PM semifinal 2
Saturday, March 12
Loser semifinal 1 vs. loser semifinal 2 / 6 PM MST – 3rd place game
Winner semifinal 1 vs. winner semifinal 2 / 8 PM – Championship game
- Notes – Calgary last hosted this Final 4 in 2008, where they lost both games. .. UC Coach Dan Vanhooren has won 2 Canada West titles (2004, 2009) … UBC’s Kevin Hanson has coached the T-Birds to 5 Canada West championships (2003, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2013) … this is the 1st time either Manitoba or TRU have been to the Final 4.
- Coach Adam Frieseen of UFV, explains why his 5th year star, Kevon Parchment deserves to have been selected as CW Defensive Player of the Year. “Physically, he’s quick, fast and long. But what separates him are his instincts and his tenacity to want to stop people. He competes on that end of the floor from the first minute of the game all the way to the 40th, and that level of competitiveness is rare.” From Dan Kinvig, UFV Athletics.
- The Lethbridge Pronghorns’ Jared Baker, was a high school quarterback and lead-guard in basketball at Raymond HS (just South of Lethbridge), and he has been a leader ever since. Jared, who was in his 5th year with the ‘Horns, won the Canada West Community Service Award; he was the driving force behind a fund-raising effort U of Lethbridge made in support of Brent Watkins, their former teammate, injured in a serious car accident last summer. He also involves himself in several other community service programs, and Coach Mike Hansen says, “He lives to serve others, which is a big reason why he is pursuing medical school following the completion of his degree and basketball career. He exemplifies what it means to be a great teammate and a student-athlete.” With information from Canada West Athletics.
- In 1976, the Manitoba Bisons won the CIAU Nationals – Featuring All-Canadian Darryl Rumsey, forward Rick Watts, young guard Martin Riley, and veteran Angus Burr, the Bisons won this title on their 3rd straight try at Nationals. Here’s a story about that team and their continuing connections, from Brian Swane.
- Brody Clarke, the CW Rookie of the Year, is 2 years out of high school; a highly sought-after recruit throughout Canada, he had some interest in the U. S. as well. Early in his Fall pre—season with the Bears in 2014, he suffered a knee injury, and had to under-go complicated surgery. He worked extremely hard at his rehab, and has been a bright light on the forward line for U of A this year.
- TRU Athletics and Recreation director Ken Olynyk , commending Coach Scott Clark, the 2016 Canada West Coach of the Year, “Usually this award is given because the team does well and that reflects a coaching job well done. That takes the accumulation of time and years to get to that point. Scott has worked hard to develop a program and his work is reflected in his peers acknowledgement of his efforts. The honour is well deserved.” From Larry Read, TRU Athletics.