For love of game comes in many ways.
A year ago when the Maritime Women’s Basketball Association opened its doors for the first time, the story cupboard was full of players returning to the game or continuing to hone their skills.
In fact, Karissa Kajorinne became the first MWBA to sign a professional contract when she inked a deal to play in Portugal.
Karla Yepez returned to the court after an outstanding four-year USPORTS career and opted to play her fifth and final season with Atlantic University Sport’s University of Prince Edward Panthers.
Now, this year, another MWBA story of a player resuming her university journey.
Sydney Guker-Wickie of the Halifax Thunder will join head coach Tanya McKay and the Dalhousie University Tigers of the AUS in 2023-24.
The Waterloo, ON, product is familiar with the AUS.
She played two seasons with the Cape Breton University Capers, an Academic All Canadian both years.
Guker-Wickie transferred to Dalhousie in 2022-23 to complete her degree in anthropology with a minor in health sciences. She was named to the Dean’s List this past year.
‘I decided to play for Dalhousie this coming season because of Coach Tanya,’ Guker-Wickie told Dalhousie athletics. ‘She brings a very experienced lens to the game that I want to learn from. I believe that she sees the fire inside me that wants to win next season. She truly believes in my abilities and is aiding me in being the best player I can be.’
Guker-Wickie said the player environment was difficult to put aside.
‘After taking two years away from the sport, I realized that I truly missed the competitiveness that comes with university sport,’ Guker-Wickie said. ‘I missed the long bus rides with the team, the practices that pushed you to the max, the early mornings and late nights in the gym, and working together as a team towards a common goal. Having time away really made me appreciate the little things I took for granted when I was younger. Coming back as an older player I think I will bring a different perspective to the team that will benefit us in the rebuild of the program. I am excited to bring my re-found love of basketball to the Tigers and hopefully inspire others to truly love everything that basketball has to offer.’
Guker-Wickie has played a key role in the Thunder’s 9-0 season as Halifax pushes for an undefeated season Thursday, hosting Windsor Edge at 7 p.m. at Saint Mary’s University.
The Medavie Game of the Week unfolds in Sussex when the designated home team Port City Fog of Saint John entertains Fredericton Freeze in a battle for second place overall and first place in New Brunswick seeding.
Both teams enter with 5-3 records.
Game time is 7 p.m. at Sussex Regional High School.
– Thunder’s Sydney Guker-Wickie will play for Dalhousie University Tigers this season. (TC Sports Media Photo)