Nate Speijer parlayed his Canada West All-Star and his team's improbable run to the playoffs in their first sojourn in the CIS into the institution’s highest athletic honour.
In his fourth year of competition for the Heat, this power hitter finished the season 5th in the country in kills per set, 6th in the country in points per set and 5th in total attacks. In his first year of CIS completion, he was recognized as a Canada West All-Star and led his team to an 8-12 record in league play and a trip to the Canada West playoffs. The men’s volleyball nominee, co-captain Nate Speijer won the award for the second time; he was also a recipient in 2009/10.
The other nominees were: Cody Bell (Golf), Yassine Ghomari (Basketball), and Spencer Brown (Soccer). To view all the award winners at the banquet click here: [Link].
A player from the men's volleyball team has won the award 14 of the 21 times it has been presented.
The Men’s Golf nominee is Cody Bell was a strong candidate for athlete of the year. In his first year of competition for the Heat, he received recognition as a 2-time Athlete of the Week, a recipient of the Provincial Academic Excellence award, a Provincial All-star, the 2012 Provincial Player of the Year and a CCAA Academic All-Canadian. He finished in first place in the PACWEST by winning two of this year’s four league tournaments finishing second and sixth in the other two. At Nationals in PEI, he finished 8th in the country.
Two sport athlete Spencer Brown was a great candidate for men’s soccer, and would have been the second two sport athlete to take home the award had he won, Graeme MacGowan won the award in 1995/96 when he starred for both the men’s soccer and basketball squads.
In his fifth year of PACWEST competition, this Goal Keeper led the much-improved men’s soccer team to a record of four wins, two losses and five ties and their first-ever trip to Provincials. His strong performance there led the team to Provincial Bronze Medal. A mature, hard-working student and athlete Spencer was recognized tonight for the third time in his career as his team’s Most Valuable Player. It should also be noted that Spencer played both varsity soccer and volleyball each year throughout his entire career here at UBC Okanagan. His soccer season was highlighted with a Provincial All-Star and a Provincial Championship Tournament All-Star.
The Men’s Basketball nominee is Co-Captain Yassine Ghomari. A third year point guard, he led the team in minutes played, was first in scoring & assists and third in rebounding. His intense competitive desire is a source of constant inspiration to his team mates. His ability to drive to the hoop or pull up and hit three pointers under pressure earned him respect from both his team mates and opponents alike. This year’s team MVP, makes him the men’s basketball nominee.