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Gee-Gees women’s basketball receives five OUA awards honours

Andy Sparks instructs team.
Photo: Greg Mason.

Following an outstanding 21-2 regular season record, multiple members of the Gee-Gees women's basketball team received OUA recognition as All-Stars and major award winners.

Gee-Gees head coach Andy Sparks has earned OUA Coach of the Year honours for the fifth time since taking over the Ottawa program in 2008-09. In that time, Sparks has amassed a regular season record of 170-63 (0.730). Currently the top-ranked team in the nation, the Gee-Gees now hold their highest ranking and best record in program history. This season, Sparks led the Gee-Gees to wins over ranked opponents Ryerson, McMaster, Lakehead in OUA play and a win over Concordia in the preseason. Not to mention a dramatic win over ranked rivals Carleton, securing their first Capital Hoops Classic in four years. The Gee-Gees topped the OUA in five different statistical categories this season and closed the regular season rattling off 11 consecutive victories. 

Starting point guard Brooklynn McAlear-Fanus was named a First Team All-Star, after another high-impact season for the Gee-Gees in her third year with the team. A Third-Team All-Star last season, McAlear-Fanus averaged 10.3 points, 5 rebounds, and an OUA leading 4.9 assists per game. A former two-sport athlete and OUA All-Star in soccer (2016-17), McAlear-Fanus uses her speed and motor to break down defenses and help set the pace for one of the nation's best offences in the Gee-Gees. On defence, a hardnosed on-ball defender, McAlear-Fanus can cause fits for opposing guards, leading to 38 steals this season.

After missing last season to injury, Sarah Besselink played her way back to becoming a Second Team All-Star in 2018-19. Returning to her All-Star form form 2016-17, the fifth-year had a fantastic final regular season in Garnet and Grey. Besselink came back firing this season, averaging 11.2 points per game, to go along with a balanced 4.4 rebounds and 2 assists per contest. Efficiency was key for the Kingston, Ont. native as she ranked third in the OUA in three-point field goal percentage (38.8), and eighth in field goal percentage (45.0).

Additionally, second-year Gee-Gees and forward Brigitte Lefebvre-Okankwu was given Third Team All-Star honours, as she further established herself as one of the most dominant post players in the conference. Leading the Gee-Gees in points per game with 14, Lefebvre-Okankwu was very effective from the field finishing the season shooting 51.9 per cent, good enough for third in the OUA. The Gatineau, QC native also pulled down 6.1 rebounds per contest.

Finally, the Gee-Gee's future continues to look bright as Alana Renon finished the campaign as as part of the All-Rookie Team. Joining a highly talented and experienced Gee-Gees team, the first-year guard carved out an important role on the OUA's top squad. Averaging 12.3 minutes per game, the former Team Ontario talent posted 4.1 points and 2.4 rebounds per game in her rookie year. Renon also averaged 42.7 per cent shooting from the field, alongside a noteworthy 75 per cent from the charity stripe.