KELOWNA, BC – The next player set to join the 2016 roster for the UBC Okanagan Heat women’s basketball program is Jordyn Cullum. The current Vernon Secondary School stand-out has a basketball resumé to be admired, and a years-long record of competing at a high level.
The 6’1” Forward has collected a number of personal and team awards throughout her basketball career thus far. Since joining the VSS Senior Girls team in her grade ten year, Cullum has earned Player of the Game awards, Pitt Classic Senior Girls Basketball Tournament All-Star honours, been named Vernon Secondary School’s Female Sportsperson of the Year, and was given the North Okanagan Rotary Award for Most Outstanding Girls’ Basketball Player of 2015.
“Jordyn will be a great addition both offensively and defensively for the Heat team next year,” Heat head coach Claire Meadows said of her Okanagan Valley recruit. “At 6’1, she is able to play a physical game around the rim and she has also worked extensively on her perimeter game. Jordyn is an absolute gym rat – always working on different aspects of her game. Her competitive nature will fit in nicely with the culture that now exits in this program. It will be very exciting to see where she can take her game to at the next level and I’m extremely excited to be able to coach her in the coming years.”
Prior to joining the Senior Girls team at VSS Cullum represented the North-West region of BC in the BC Summer Games in her grade eight year, went on to be invited to the U15 Junior Heat Team in her grade nine year, and within just a few months of that was a member of the U15 Red Provincial Team. For the past three years Cullum has been a member of BC Provincial Teams. With the U16 Team she and her teammates placed second at Westerns, held in Edmonton. The next year, again in Edmonton, Jordyn and her U17 BC Team placed fourth at Nationals. Of her time with the Provincial Teams, Jordyn said, “I have grown so much as a player by being on the BC Provincial Team for the past three years. Not only have my skills improved, but my basketball IQ has has well. Being a part of these teams has played a big role in shaping me into the player I am today.”
Cullum hopes to bring the experience to her final season of high school basketball this year, and then to the Heat program in September. “This season I hope to be able to be a versatile player offensively, to help my team be successful in games, and to shut down my opponents on defence. I also hope to help lead my team to a place in the top four at Provincials for AA girls basketball.” The Vanderhoof, BC native added, “[g]oing to UBCO next year I hope to bring my knowledge and skill to be a contributing member of the team as we work towards having more success in CIS.”
Asked if she feels that she will be ready for that next level of competition, Cullum is lacking in neither confidence nor enthusiasm. “Yes, I feel I am ready. Just recently signing in October I couldn’t believe I still had another school season to finish. I was so happy to have finally made a decision. I felt I was ready to move to UBCO and start playing for Claire [Meadows] and Bobby [Mitchell – assistant coach] right there and then. I’m very excited to play at UBCO and see what the future holds for me there.”
That decision which the official Heat recruit is so happy to have made, was made easier due to academic and personal aspects as well. The student-athlete believes that UBC Okanagan will be a good fit academically for her in her goal of becoming a speech pathologist. Having a former Panther teammate, Jordan Korol, on the Heat roster helps as well. “She played on my high school team for two years with me,” said Cullum of Korol. “ You could say she was a bit of my ‘partner in crime’ on the floor in our last year playing together. Knowing Jordan played for UBCO made the decision a bit easier knowing there was someone there I knew and enjoyed being around.”
Cullum is one of two BC high schoolers to have already committed to the women’s program at UBC Okanagan for next season, Cullum’s teammate on Team BC , point guard Emma Jonas, has also committed to coach Meadows’ program.
~ Grayson B. Leahy // Heat communications