Dawson Blues Women’s Basketball Team end season #1 in Quebec, #3 in Canada, and all graduating students are leaving with scholarships
The Dawson Blues Women’s Basketball Team has once again wrapped up a very successful season. For the second year in a row, the Dawson Blues women are Provincial Champions in the D1 Women’s RSEQ Conference Basketball. The provincial champions then went on to play at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association’s national championships and placed third in Canada.
Point guard Sorelle Ineza says that wearing the Dawson uniform has meant a lot to her over the past two years. “There are a lot of good players who have played here, and being able to be part of it is huge for me. The season highlight was winning the provincial championship. The second highlight was when we lost in the semis at Nationals. We were all shocked, but this game taught us a lot of things.”
Proud coach Trevor Williams defines success as nurturing the sisterhood of the team so that players maintain a high level of motivation to play at a top level and keep their marks up at the same time.
“All five graduating students are getting scholarships,” said Trevor, named coach of the year by the RSEQ. “We have had consistent results for the past five years. Our goal here is to play at the top level and to graduate all the players. It is even better when our students can get scholarships. There is nothing better than seeing them continue to play basketball at a high level and getting the opportunity to attend university with nothing to pay back.”
Trevor has been coaching the women’s team since the 2001-2002 season. The former Olympian’s vision is that “Dawson is the place to play serious basketball with a goal of getting into university.” Two to three times a week, there is a mandatory study hall for the players. Any player who is struggling will get the help they need, he says.
The recipe Trevor uses is to build this feeling of team solidarity or “a sisterhood” among the players, as he calls it. “Once you are on the team at Dawson, you have support,” he says. “Every practice, they all say: ‘We are sisters. We support each other.’”
The basketball experience leaves a mark on the players. Trevor says that young women who played 10 years ago check in on the team and follow their sisters on and off the court.
“When I’m coaching basketball, I’m coaching life skills,” he says. “The game of basketball is like life. The Dawson College gym is our house and we have to treat it with pride and respect. The harder we work, the easier it gets. We have to consistently work hard during practices and the games will be easier.”
Shooting guard Dahomée Forgues says Dawson basketball taught her that: “You might be the best player in the world, but without teammates, you can’t win anything.”
Sorelle listed humility, giving back, not taking anything for granted and backing up words with actions as lessons learned on the basketball team. “Don’t talk about it, but be about it,” Sorelle says. “People don’t care what you have to say, you’ve got to make it happen if you want to get their respect. No excuses, you’ve just got to make it happen by any means necessary.”
This team worked hard and the scholarships offered to all graduating players is proof. Roxane Makolo (point guard graduating in Social Science), who was chosen to play on the All-Canadian team, is considering several scholarship offers. Two graduating players are going to the U.S. on full scholarships to play Division 1 Women’s Basketball: Sorelle Ineza (point guard graduating in Social Science) is going to Hofstra University on Long Island in New York and Dahomée Forgues (shooting guard graduating in Health Science) is going to Robert Morris University near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Two other graduating players are going to Canadian universities on scholarships: Ekaterini Stoupas (power forward graduating in Social Science) is going to Bishop’s University and Sara Esongola Biango (point guard graduating in Pure and Applied Science) is going to Ontario Tech University.
Basketball at Dawson College is a great tradition. According to Trevor: “consistently, we have one of the best teams in the country.”