KELOWNA, B.C. – The seventh annual Athletics Awards Banquet took place at the Coast Capri Hotel Tuesday night and four distinguished male athletes were the recipients of this year’s headline awards in the new, streamlined format for this year’s ceremony.
For a complete list of this year’s nominees and detailed descriptions for each award, see the banquet preview. For a list of all award winners and those otherwise recognized at the banquet, see the recap of the big night.
Most Outstanding Athlete of the Year – Jim Bell (Volleyball)
Bell was one of the most consistent and prominent pieces on a men’s volleyball squad that continues to develop and find its feet in a tough and extremely competitive conference. He led his team in solo blocks (12), kills (262), and points per set (3.9). The third year was one of four Heat athletes this year to be named a Canada West Athlete of the Week (January 12), joining Katy Klomps and Brianna Beamish of women’s volleyball and Enzo Paal of men’s soccer. The naming was fueled by his season-best performance back on January ninth when he managed 20 kills and 23.5 points.
Student Athlete of the Year – Buzz Truss (Basketball)
This Kelowna native had an outstanding performance in both the classroom and on the hardwood as a first-year student and athlete. Moreover, he was a Canada West All-Rookie nominee behind 7.0 ppg and 3.2 rpg numbers. Possessing a first-class GPA, Truss will no doubt go on to be an excellent student-athlete role model for future members of the Heat family.
Graduating Player of the Year – Dylan Abbott (Soccer)
Dylan Abbott logged a lot of minutes on the Nonis Sport's Field for the UBC Okanagan Heat men's soccer team, in his four years he played almost every minute of the team's 54 league or post season matches. In all four of his years he was in consideration for team MVP and in just his second year Dylan assumed a leadership role that he carried for the rest of his UBC Okanagan career. Serving largely as a defender for his team Dylan did net seven career goals for his university squad. His leadership and presence was a key factor in the team's historically successful first season in the Canada West conference of the CIS.
Rookie of the Year – Aldrich Berrios (Basketball)
Aldrich Berrios was the first basketball player at UBC Okanagan to ever earn a Canada West award when he was selected to the All-Rookie team in February. As a rookie Berrios played the role and logged the minutes of a veteran player. He started all 20 conference games for his squad and averaged 34.7 minutes per contest, the fourth highest mark in Canada West. Learning the point guard position on the fly the 6-foot one rookie from Notre Dame Secondary continually improved throughout the season and finished as the third leading scorer for UBC Okanagan, averaging 12.4 points per game. His scoring average of 12.4 led all Canada West rookies and was one of the top rates for first year players across Canada.