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SYDNEY – For Colleen Keane, she knew greater than a 12 months in the past that she could be travelling to Cape Breton this month.
The previous Cape Breton Caper basketball participant acquired an alumni e mail from longtime coach Fabian McKenzie in October 2021 that said the ladies’s program was given the best to host the U Sports activities Girls’s Last 8 Basketball Championship in Sydney.
For a participant who performed her total five-year college profession in a Capers uniform, Keane knew nothing was going to cease her from attending the occasion and being a part of a historic sports activities second for Cape Breton College.
“I positively knew I used to be going to be planning a visit to Sydney,” mentioned the 29-year-old Keane. “It’s thrilling to see the varsity have the ability to host such an occasion and for it to be their first time, it’s further particular and I’m joyful to be a part of it.”
The Toronto product suited up for the Capers from 2012 to 2017 and through that point witnessed this system fail to make the playoffs to ultimately grow to be Atlantic College Sport champions in her remaining season in 2016-17.
“It was a really particular time for all the ladies and for me it’s a reminiscence that I gained’t neglect successful that banner for the varsity,” mentioned Keane, who throughout her time with CBU gained rookie of the 12 months in 2012-13 and was additionally a second-team all-star.
“We had been in a position to get to the nationwide event – it was a grind and we didn’t achieve this nicely – but it surely was a terrific expertise and one thing I look again on in my profession.”
ALUMNI COMING FOR NATIONALS
Keane, a private coach and mom of a one-and-a-half-year-old son, is one among greater than 60 girls’s basketball group alumni who might be in Cape Breton this week for the nationwide event. A number of occasions are deliberate by way of the college’s alumni affiliation.
“I believe it’s a particular expertise for everybody realizing that all of us got here from the identical place and the identical program,” mentioned Keane of the return of alumni to Sydney.
“It’s rewarding for everybody. All of us wished to see this occur sometime for this system and for everybody to be a part of it and right here, I’m joyful.”
Mark Inglis, growth officer of alumni relations at Cape Breton College, mentioned having former gamers again for a reunion was an necessary side to having the nationwide occasion on the island.
“We’ve got individuals coming from Ontario and even one particular person coming from the UK and different elements of our nation, so it’s an effective way to get collectively, have fun with one another and keep in mind the times passed by,” mentioned Inglis.
“These basketball gamers from the Eighties by way of to the early 2020s are the shoulders that the present Capers group stand on and if it wasn’t for the individuals who helped construct this system, gained the titles, the group earlier than us now wouldn’t have had the alternatives to succeed as they do immediately.”
‘I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER TO COME HOME’
Hannah Brown of North Sydney additionally returned residence to absorb the event and be a part of the festivities. Like Keane, she attended the U Sports activities nationwide award banquet Wednesday night time in Membertou.
“It’s so thrilling to have everybody collectively once more, particularly the alumni making it from all throughout the nation to be right here and to help the Capers and the college for the nationals,” mentioned Brown, who immediately lives in Halifax.
“I by no means thought I’d see Cape Breton internet hosting the nationwide event, it’s a surreal feeling to me and I couldn’t be happier to come back residence and be a part of such an occasion with my fellow alumni.”
The 26-year-old Brown performed 5 years from 2014 to 2019 with the Capers program, successful an AUS championship with Keane and in addition taking residence a number of awards together with the league’s Most worthy participant award in 2018-19.
In February 2019, Brown etched her title into the Cape Breton College and Atlantic College Sport report books, breaking the CBU single-season scoring report, which was beforehand held by Kelsey Hodgson. She additionally set new CBU and AUS single-season rebounding information.
“I’ve a terrific reminiscence of being a part of the Capers program, however I believe it was the group and the individuals I had the pleasure of attending to know through the years that made it so memorable,” mentioned Brown, who works in human sources on the Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada workplace.
“Attending to play in Sullivan Area Home, it’s unforgettable. I’m certain there’s going to be a ton of recollections when the alumni stroll into the gymnasium and watch the ladies play this weekend on residence court docket.”
Together with the ladies’s gamers, Inglis confirmed a number of males’s basketball alumni had been additionally planning to make the journey to Cape Breton for the event.
The alumni had been anticipated to satisfy Thursday night previous to the Capers’ opening sport in opposition to the No. 1 seed Carleton Ravens.
The Cape Breton Publish requested the names of all alumni attending to incorporate them within the story, nevertheless, permission was not granted at publication time.
As for Keane, she’s wanting ahead to watching aggressive basketball and catching up with buddies.
“It’s going to be actually enjoyable for everybody,” mentioned Keane. “I’m wanting ahead to assembly a number of the different alumni and making new connections.”