After a successful year at North Vancouver’s Argyle Secondary Claire Elliott will trade in the gold and green of her Piper uniform and don the blue and gold of the UBC Okanagan Heat this fall as she has committed to the women’s basketball program for head coach Heather Semeniuk.
“I’m very excited that Claire has committed to our program,” says Semeniuk, who as head coach of the Heat will be leading her team in its third year in Canada West and will be her twentieth behind the bench at the institution. “She is a great person and an outstanding student. Her personality will allow her to mesh easily with her new teammates – who will love playing with Claire.”
The 5-foot-7 point guard has been described as a “glue” player and does all the things on the court that aren’t always reflected in a gaudy stat line, such as playing defense, on-court leadership, and always making the extra pass. These intangibles are what Heather Semeniuk immediately noticed when watching Claire compete during her senior year.
“The scout on Claire is that she loves to get her teammates involved,” adds Semeniuk “I really like that part of her game and she is a very composed player, but what goes unnoticed, and I think is one of her best talents is her scoring ability. Claire has the ability to get a hoop whenever her team needs, getting to the rim or with a jumpshot but she will get the basket. Claire at 5’7” has good size for a guard and is also athletic; she uses her athleticism and her size to really defend. On the perimeter she has the ability to lock down the opposition’s ball handler and make it very hard for a team to start their offence.”
As a 95% student Claire has big plans for her academic career and cites the strong academic reputation of UBC’s Okanagan campus as a strong factor in her decision to spend the next half-decade in Kelowna.
“I am planning on taking the Nursing Program at UBC Okanagan. I heard that UBC Okanagan has a great nursing program and it really stood out to me through my research. I also really liked that I could go directly into the nursing program without taking a year of university prerequisites,” explains Claire who consistently placed on her school’s honour roll with distinction list.
“I hope to become a registered nurse and to later receive my master’s degree.”
A dedicated volunteer throughout her high school years Elliott is involved in many activities including: coaching basketball elementary school teams and younger kids, and organizing and helping with fundraisers. She is currently the Grade 12 Representative on student council, is the President of the Argyle Student's Helping Humanity Club, and is an active member of the Argyle Cancer Club, and Best Buddies.
Claire has built quite an impressive resume playing for Argyle Secondary and has also developed her game playing as a part of the 3D Basketball Academy, all this time on the court has led to individual and team success. Claire was the lone female basketball player awarded the TELUS University Scholarship when her team placed second in the December tournament. This past season she was named the Lower Mainland’s MVP, after guiding the Pipers past the favoured Handsworth Royals, and then guided her team to a fifth place finish in the province and earned a second team all-star.
“I am very excited for next year,”says the multi-talented athlete from North Vancouver. Throughout her years of school Claire played field hockey and fills out her time playing the piano. “I can't wait to play with such skilled teammates and compete at such a high level of basketball.”
Next year Elliott joins a strong recruiting class for coach Semeniuk a she has found replacements for her three departing players in Claire along with the 5’10” guard from Calgary, Shenelle Tamminen, and 6’2” post from Princeton, Julia Reichart. These three will replace graduating post Roz Huber and guards Melissa Irish and Madison Kaneda.