Honour caps off sizzling year for Kantz

Jenna Kantz was just excited to be invited to the party.

Penticton’s Jenna Kantz was named the Most Outstanding Player by Basketball BC after finishing a stellar five-year career with the UBCO Heat.

Jenna Kantz was just excited to be invited to the party.

The hosts, Basketball BC named her among the three finalists for the Most Outstanding Player award for 2010-11.

Excitement turned into shock when Kantz heard her name as the winner.

“I guess I felt she (Jessica Franz, Capilano College) would have gotten it,” said Kantz, of Franz, who was named the BC Collegiate Athletic Association Women’s Basketball Player of the Year. “It was nice that I was awarded Basketball B.C. Player of the Year.

“It just puts a really nice end to my five years of playing for UBCO,” she continued. “Something that I will be proud of.”

Her coach Heather Semeniuk might be prouder. Kantz is known to take recognition in stride. When contacted by the Western News, Semeniuk was pleasantly surprised.

“Wow, so she beat out those other two girls (Franz and Chelsea McMullen of Camosun College)?” she responded. “That is so awesome.”

That was just the start of praising the Princess Margaret grad.

“Jen, she is the whole package. She is the student athlete. That is so fitting and she is deserving. She graduated from nursing with a 95 per cent (mark). She did it all.”

During her five years, Kantz scored 862 points in 79 games and helped the Heat win two provincial championships. In her final season, Kantz was first in assists per game, averaging 5.35 and third in points 20.24 average. She was named to the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association All-Canadian team, CCAA Athlete of the Month,  a BCCAA  provincial all-star, BCCAA Athlete of the Week and Provincial tournament all-star. Semeniuk said Kantz is the most accomplished fifth-year player she has coached in 17 years.

Ross Tomlinson, an elite development manager for Basketball BC, said Kantz was chosen because she had an extremely good season.

“She was invaluable to her team and made others better,” said Tomlinson.

“She is a phenomenal player,” added Semeniuk. “She is exemplary in her player personality. She never questions a call. She just plays. She loves the game.

“You never get attitude, I just think that she’s the whole deal,” continued Semeniuk.

Kantz, who completed her practicum at Kelowna General Hospital on Wednesday, intends to play Kelowna’s women’s league and has been asked to coach with regional teams. Next week she begins her new career as a nurse. “Pretty exciting to actually be done and start working,” she said.