Video Spotlight - Basketball Seniors

TIFFANY OLSEN

Coach Jean-Paul’s comments:
Tiffany spent last season establishing herself as a top player among our Canwest opponents, finishing 7th among all scorers. Her competitive spirit and her desire to redefine herself as a key part of our program allowed her to lead our team on and off the floor. She has been the top scorer 4 times this season and the top rebounder 6 times, while leading the team in defensive boards. Off-court she has been a part of guiding our continued effort to define our culture and has been establishing a legacy
among her teammates and the people that encounter our team; which stems from her great love for people and her ability to gather people together when something important needs to get done. Her willingness to serve her teammates and others have really set her apart and brought life to what it means to be a servant leader. She has had an incredible academic journey at TWU as well, setting an impressive standard in the IMBA program and bringing the tenacity she has shown on the basketball court to the classroom which has allowed her to maintain the high academic standards she has held for the past few years. To be able to finish her career at TWU while tackling such a demanding academic program has really demonstrated what she is capable of doing when she is determined and that is evidenced in training, on court and in the classroom. Tiffany will be a great addition to our supportive and growing alumni group and I know she will surely establish herself wherever her career might take her.

Tiffany’s Thoughts:
Your experience building TWU into one of the top team in the CIS:
I’m not sure that has happened yet but the wheels have definitely been set into motion, this year has been one of the programs best and I’m proud to have been a part of it. I feel like we are one of the last Spartan teams left to prove ourselves at Trinity. That’s exciting not only for us because I feel like we’re on that path, but also for all the other Spartan teams because they are so awesome!!

What are your thoughts on your future: work, education, sport:
I’m excited for what the future holds. I’m looking forward to finishing my MBA and marrying my best friend, who I happened to meet on my first day at Trinity. I hope that my career can keep me close to the world of sport and that the future holds some opportunities to travel. Watch out for me in the rec league circuit ladies. Also, I look forward to never running the beep test again. Ever.

Advice to your younger teammates:
Enjoy all the little moments and don’t take yourself too seriously! All the seasons of basketball games will eventually mold into a blur but it’s the fun and memorable moments with teammates and friends that will stick with you long after all the games are over.

What it is like heading into your final post season of your career:
It’s surreal, after 6 years of practices and games in the CIS it’s strange that there is such a limited number of them left, no matter how far we make it into the post season. It makes me reflect on all the experiences and friendships that have come from all the seasons of basketball I have been a part of.
It truly just translates into an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness, and excitement for however much time there is left in my career as a Spartan.

Biggest Moment as a Spartan:
There is noooooo way I can pick one moment. I will say that meeting and developing a friendship with
Tessa this year was truly a blessing. It really helped me keep things in perspective and made me that much more aware of everything I have to be thankful for. Also, being able to play on the same team as my little sis for two years was something I never thought I would have the opportunity to do, I’m so proud of her!

Funniest moment:
The Bernie - Spartan Style, definitely takes the cake as one of my funniest, fondest, and most embarrassing moments at a Spartan.

Favourite Quote:
“I always knew looking back on all the tears would make me laugh, but I never knew looking back on all the laughs would make me cry.”

What you will miss the most as a member of the Spartans:
Having 13 sisters who I see every day. Love you ladies...and being able to carry a pillow pet on the airplane without feeling awkward because there’s 13 others girls carrying theirs too, guess it’s just me and Schmoops from here on out.

LAURELLE WEIGL

Coach Jean-Paul’s comments:
Being an impact player has meant so much more than just scoring or rebounding for Laurelle this year. It has meant becoming a voice of leadership and experience in helping guide this program to one of its best seasons ever. Despite injury and setbacks with recovery, she has been a force and has helped our team to understand what it takes to win a big game or to walk into a gym with confidence.

It has had its challenges for sure, but Laurelle has stood up to those challenges in faith and strength of character and has truly embodied the Complete Champion ideal. The season began with some of her teammates being in awe of her from past encounters during her time at SFU but now she’s just “Weigs.”

She has brought a maturity to our team in living a life of faith, finding a way to compete hard and utilizing her gifts to bring glory to God. It has been a great experience to challenge Laurelle this year, both in basketball and in faith, and I look forward to her continuing to grow closer to our program as an alumnus and continuing to influence the next generation of Complete Champions.

Laurelle’s Thoughts:
Your experience building TWU into one of the top team in the CIS:
My year at TWU was filled with so many different experiences it feels as though I’ve been here longer than just one year. I would say that this has been one of the most challenging years of my basketball career, but it was definitely all around the most rewarding. It is a blessing to be a part of the change and the progress that is happening within the women’s program. I am so excited for the team next year! Everyone within the program is dedicated to and striving for this change. We wanted to leave a legacy this year, a legacy that teams in the future will be able to build on, and I believe we did just that.

What are your thoughts on your future: work, education, sport:
Next year I will be continuing my masters at ACTS in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program. I’ll also be assistant coaching with the team!

Advice to your younger teammates:
Don’t worry that you’re single right now...You have LOTS of time to find the right guy!

What it is like heading into your final post season of your career:
I’ve had the mentality before (while at SFU) of it being my last regular season game, so it’s not a new feeling for me. But this is actually it! I’m definitely sad that the season is close to its end, but I am so excited for this last game because it is our chance to make the playoffs! I am so thrilled and proud of the team for what we have accomplished already this year. In this last regular season game I just want to play free and have fun...though getting the win and making it to playoffs would be the cherry on top.

Biggest Moment as a Spartan:
Getting the win over UofA at their home gym in front of all my family and friends.

Funniest moment:
When the team secretly decorated Katelyn Star’s hotel room in Kelowna for her birthday but she ran away and hid down the hallway because she didn’t know what was going on. A couple of the girls had the chase her down and carry her back to her room. When we all yelled happy birthday she almost started crying.

Favourite Quote:
“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice a gift” - Unknown

What you will miss the most as a member of the Spartans:
Free Therapy!!!! The therapy was my home away from home this year! I spent countless hours in there with Nat and Phil and that’s where I met a lot of other athletes. I don’t think I could have made it through this year without Nat and Phil, and our team trainers Jen and Heather. Thanks you guys!!

Any other things you might want to enlighten me or other with (pearls of wisdom)?
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they
will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.” - Isaiah 40:31

LUCIAN SAUCIUC

Coach Allen’s comments:
Known as Mr. Rack city and for his prolific three point shooting, sitting at 50 percent from beyond the arc as of today, Lucian brought tremendous knowledge of the game to his teammates and will make an amazing coach one day if that is what he decides to do. He has an uncanny ability to see plays develop before they are executed and gave great advice to the coaching staff throughout the year. Lucian has been a major developer of the younger players and his willingness to play his role to perfection is a great example.

Lucian’s Thoughts:
Your experience building TWU into one of the top team in the CIS:
I think the biggest thing has been the coaches keeping the players accountable by making workouts mandatory. Weight Lifting and extra shooting eventually pays huge dividends so that hard work translates into results on the court. Scott has helped transform this basketball program

What are your thoughts on your future: work, education, sport:
My future will involve working with youth, as a teacher and as a basketball coach. I have a natural ability to connect and relate to children of all ages so it only feels fitting to make that my career. I plan on completing my PDP to get my teacher certification and become a high school teacher and an avid basketball coach in the community.

Advice to your younger teammates:
Set goals and do everything in your power to achieve them! Work as hard as you can and understand that the time goes by fast so make the most of this opportunity.

What it is like heading into your final post-season of your career:
It’s definitely exciting. This second half of the season has been a complete 180 from the first half and our chemistry on and off the court has been the difference. If we can continue to improve on the things we can control, we have the talent to beat anyone in the country so it really is up to us!

Biggest Moment as a Spartan:
The victory over UBC in the national semi-finals last year. Our team was on such a high as we finally got that burden off our back on the biggest stage we could have asked for.

Funniest moment:
I would have to write long paragraphs to capture some of the funniest moments so instead I included some minor ones. Scott Allen playing point guard at practice. Lucas Nugteren in lay-up lines. Niko Monachini’s transformation from a bodybuilder into a basketball player

Favorite Quote:
“’Eerbody wanna look like one!” Tonner Jackson via Ronnie Coleman

What you will miss the most as a member of the Spartans:
I am going to miss the locker room, the road trips and the team atmosphere that make being a varsity athlete so rewarding.

SEAN PETER

Coach Allen’s comments:
Known as the Lay Up King and Mr. Integrity, Sean may be the smoothest player that graced a Spartans uniform this year. Many people considered him their favorite player on the team because of his game that inspires everyone to play to their best ability. Sean as a captain brought maturity to the team that
was much needed and his style of play complimented the other scorers on the team perfectly.
Anyone who is looking for a potential business employee after this season, Sean is your guy. He is clutch under pressure and always meets deadlines. Sean will be missed but his character has affected many for life.

Sean’s Thoughts:
Your experience building TWU into one of the top team in the CIS:
My experience building TWU into one of the top teams in the CIS, even though it has been only one year, has been an exciting one. Coming into a new and different basketball program was great and a great challenge to me to provide my knowledge and experience of the game to TWU basketball.

What are your thoughts on your future: work, education, sport:
My thoughts for the future at the current moment is to probably get back into the working world, and eventually start my own business, that is where I see myself as far as my career. I will continue playing basketball but in a less competitive environment.

Advice to your younger teammates:
My advice towards my younger teammates is to never give up and never stop trying. Your first few years playing basketball is probably the hardest and most stressful time of your career, you must take every punch in the chin and keep learning from your mistakes because they will only make you stronger in the long run and allow you to grow as a person on and off the court.

What it is like heading into your final post-season of your career:
The feeling of going into my final post season is one of excitement, because two years ago
I thought I was finished with basketball, but I came back to finish up my last year of eligibility and have one more chance to go for a National Championship Title.

Biggest Moment as a Spartan:
My biggest moment as a Spartan has been the two huge trips we went on this year. First to China in October and Mexico in December to build homes for two families. That was a great experience.

Funniest moment:
It is really hard to pin point the one funniest moment of the year. I will have to say there is never a dull moment with this team. We have funny moments every time where together but if I had to pick one it will have to be the time Lucas ripped his Levis Jeans trying to climb up a ladder, granted that was probably when Lucas was close to 300lbs, he has slimmed down significantly since then.

Favourite Quote:
I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying. – Michael Jordan

What you will miss the most as a member of the Spartans:

The one thing I will miss the most as a Spartan is the bond we have all gained being teammates. We are a family that has gone through ups and downs this year but we stay together no matter what. I will miss the fans. The fans have been great coming to all our home games, a big shout out should go to them. And lastly a big shout out to the coaching staff that has helped to see all the players develop and get better.

CALVIN WESTBROOK

Coach Allen’s comments:
Known for his fruit bops and reverse lay-ups Calvin did whatever it took for his teammates whether it was scoring 32 points in a win against Santa Clara or wearing a Barbados singlet. Calvin did it for the team which is why he was the captain. He is a special human being and his laughter sends sun rays to deepest depths of your soul. He has always put others before him and one day will make a great principal. The best word to describe Calvin is genuine. Calvin was exemplary during the past four years of the Complete Champion Approach and was an excellent leader on and off the court. We will miss Calvin’s positive behavior and his willingness to always help in a servant leader approach.

Calvin’s Thoughts:

Your experience building TWU into one of the top team in the CIS:
Playing at TWU has been a rewarding experience. One part of that has been our success on the court in the past two seasons. Between winning a national silver medal and turning a 2-6 season in to a 10-7 playoff run, I have had some on court experiences that will last a lifetime. However, the most important experience I’ve shared in is the relationships that have been built on and off the floor. Trinity Western University and its athletics program is a special place to grow as an individual and develop relationships that will last a lifetime. I am sure one day I will tell my kids what it was like to make the national championship game (or maybe win one?...) but more importantly I know that some of my teammates will be there, as lifelong friends, to tell them as well.

What are your thoughts on your future: work, education, sport:
I am going to take a little time off basketball and off school when I graduate in May and focus on working in the outdoor recreation field. Afterwards, I plan on attending university to work on a post-grad degree in education. I will always love basketball and I know that men’s league will always have a place for me. However, I am looking forward immensely to my career as an educator and impacting students in a positive fashion, just as my teacher’s and role models did for me.

Advice to your younger teammates:
After six years at the university basketball level, I can’t write that it went by quickly. In fact I can barely remember the day I walked in to my first university practice as a skinny 18 year old kid. Now 24, and still skinny, all I can say is take advantage of the opportunities that are given to you. Take pride in your morning individual shoots and take pride in your effort in the weight room. Vision is always 20/20
in hindsight and looking back I know I could have done more to become the player I wanted to be. Grasp your opportunity to do so. However, that being said, be happy with who you are and where you are when you get there. Your choices create your life and always believe in yourself and be happy with who you are. You are ALL great people, so make friends, have fun, and win a national championship.

What it is like heading into your final post season of your career:
It hasn’t really struck me yet. Playoffs are a mixed bag of emotions for a senior. Sure your career could end at any time, yet you are focused on winning the next game, the next round. The moment we lose, or win a national championship, I will think back on my career and what has transpired. However, for now all I can believe is that my career won’t end until Halifax.

Biggest Moment as a Spartan:
Without a doubt my biggest moment as a Spartan came when we defeated UBC in the national semi-finals. It was an emotional high that I will never forget and something that only the group of men in the change room that day will understand. It wasn’t simply because we made the national final, it was the fact that we came together as a unit at exactly the right time and performed to our peak. Sharing your biggest moments with others is a key ingredient to happiness, and I had the privilege of sharing it with a group of guys I care deeply about.

Funniest moment:
I’ve had funny moments with every team along the way, so I’ll focus on this year’s team more so. Let’s just say the development of the 211 HERD was one of the highlights of the year and has brought a lot of funny moments.

Favourite Quote:
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less travelled by, And that has made all the difference”

What you will miss the most as a member of the Spartans:
I will miss the drive to be a part of something more than just me. That is one of the beauties of team sports: it’s not about you. I will miss wanting to play well for the success of not just myself, but of the team and the teammates that stand beside me. Furthermore, I will miss not only my teammates but the members of multiple other teams throughout the school. TWU is a community and I will deeply miss being a part of the camaraderie that exists not only within teams but within the program as a whole.

Any other things you might want to enlighten me or other with (pearls of wisdom)?
Thanks to my family, friends, coaches and other encouragers throughout my career. I wouldn’t trade the last 6 years for anything.

KYLE COSTON

Coach Allen’s comments:
Known for his swagged out goochy down uptown, Kyle brought tons of scoring to the Spartans team. His talent level exceeded many in the Canada West this year and he will make a great professional player in whatever country he chooses. Anyone that has hung out with Kyle outside of basketball court knows he’s
tons of fun and has the ability to connect with strangers and make them smile. And on the court, well let’s just say his 29 point and 14 rebound performance against a Division 1 school speaks for itself. Kyle was part of the leadership team and was always encouraging and his excitement is contagious.

Kyle’s Thoughts:
Your experience building TWU into one of the top team in the CIS:
In the last two years, being a major part of bringing TWU to the forefront of the CIS has been a blessing to me aswell as my teammates. It has given me a sense of respect to others around the league as well as a continued passion to strive for other goals and reach higher in pursuit of other basketball goals.

What are your thoughts on your future: work, education, sport:
I will be continuing to work on building Hoopstar Basketball Academy which I am partners with my brother. As well as in September I will be going overseas to play professional basketball for as long as it is reasonable and I still have the love.

Advice to your younger teammates: To find something in the game you love and hold onto that piece, because the people around you will not make the game satisfying for you. It’s up to you to find the fun and love in what you do.

What it is like heading into your final post season of your career:
I am excited to push forward in a last hoorah in a sense. I know my basketball career is far from over so that isn’t a sad thing for me, but I am ready for college to go out with a bang and I am excited for the
opportunity to show the CIS what we have to offer in the next few weeks.

Biggest Moment as a Spartan: It would have to be hitting the game-winner over UBC last year in the semi-final game at nationals to go to the Championship.

Funniest moment:
It is something that was done behind closed doors in the realm of the locker room. It’s like Vegas. What happens there stays there.

Favourite Quote: “Your word is the easiest chain to break.”

What you will miss the most as a member of the Spartans:
The fellowship of a select few true friends that I will call friends for life.

Last Updated: 2012-02-09
Author: Mark Janzen