Lake City Basketball recognized three of its graduating South Okanagan student-athletes with scholarships.
Megan Freeman from Keremeos, Richter Heintz from Penticton and Jacob Mullin from Summerland have all been awarded $500 scholarships as the program’s top graduating male and female athletes.
Program directors Chris Terris and Dustin Hyde, decided to offer the scholarships for the first time in the program’s five-year history as a way to recognize the dedication and leadership shown by their top graduating student-athletes.
“When we began the process of developing criteria for these awards, our driving mantra was to find student-athletes that represented what our organization valued: hard-work, integrity, selflessness and leadership both on and off the court,” Hyde said.
Evaluation of candidates involved a detailed reading of their online applications, high school report cards, and discussions with coaches and references, as well as a review of applicants’ participation in Lake City programs as both players and volunteers.
Freeman, the inaugural Lake City Basketball female scholarship winner, plans to attend UBCO following her graduating year, and attain a Bachelor of Human Kinetics on her path to become a physiotherapist.
Megan has been recognized as the top female athlete, top academic student and outstanding citizen at Similkameen Secondary School.
On the court, she’s been a valued member of the Lake City U14, U15 and U17 club teams. This fall she’s been making the drive from Keremeos to Summerland every Monday to be a student-coach with the girls’ grade 5-8 development program.
“I have always had a passion for sports, especially basketball,” said Freeman. “The coaches at Lake City have pushed me to become a better player every time I step on the court. I’ve built communication skills and grown into a strong leader. Lake City has taught me, physically and mentally, how to be a smart, focused team player.”
Heintz and Mullin, the 2020 Lake City Basketball male scholarship co-winners, have both been such dedicated student-athletes that they made it impossible for Lake City directors to choose one over the other.
“Our intent wasn’t to share this scholarship; however, there was just so little to separate these two outstanding candidates,” said Hyde. “Both have been outstanding players and leaders in our club system since its inception, both have been tremendous youth coaches and role models for our younger athletes, and each is an outstanding citizen and among the top academic students at their respective schools.”
Both have listed UBC as their top post-secondary choice, and both hope to explore opportunities to play basketball at the post-secondary level.
“Sports overall, and basketball specifically, have shaped me into who I am today. I have crafted a strong work ethic, profound leadership skills and a competitive will to succeed that will lead me in every aspect of my life,” Heintz said.
“Basketball has influenced my life tremendously. It taught me to be the person I am today with so many lessons that will stick with me for all my future endeavours,” Mullin said. “I am so grateful to have had amazing coaches and teammates to help me along the journey.”
All three scholarship winners hope to continue their involvement with Lake City as players and youth coaches during their graduating year provided programs are able to run in the new year.