LANGLEY, British Columbia –
Trinity Western men’s basketball guard Calvin Westbrook was named the Canada West nominee for the CIS Ken Shields Award for the top student-athlete Thursday, ahead of the conference Final Four this weekend.

Westbrook, who just finished his fourth season with the Spartans and fifth year of university eligibility, is the Spartans captain as well as one of the team’s leaders in the classroom and in the community, being involved in a number of youth initiatives.

The Courtenay, B.C. product was a coach and three on three tournament director for Comox Valley Youth Basketball Association, a non-profit organization in which all funds raised through a three-on-three tournament go towards developing youth basketball.

Westbrook has been involved with community basketball coaching and, in December, along with his teammates helped build a home for an under privileged family in Ensenada, Mexico with the organization Homes for Hope. While in Europe last summer he visited and helped serve in orphanages and a home for individuals with physical and mental disabilities.

“Calvin has shown consistency over his four years at TWU of always serving in every capacity,” said Spartans head coach Scott Allen. “The refreshing piece is that Calvin never does anything for the wrong motive, constantly looking out for the best interest of others and assisting them in their development as a person. Whether it is coaching young kids or volunteering with YWAM or Hoops for Hope Calvin sees the value in investing in others.”

Westbrook finished the regular season second in the conference in minutes played with 34.5 per game while collecting 15.7 points per game.

For the second straight year, Saskatchewan Huskies point guard Jamelle Barrett has been named the Canada West MVP.

Barrett was a highlight-reel player, leading the conference in assists with 124 and sitting second in scoring at 21 points per game. He finished second in the country in assists per game (6.9) and sixth in the CIS in scoring.

Hampered by nagging injuries, the fourth-year Arts & Science student from Rancho Cordova, CA scored 20 or more points in eight of the 18 games he played, including a 40-point night. He also recently posted a 41-point night in playoffs. Barrett had four double-doubles this season.

Barrett has led the Huskies to an 18-4 conference record and the top offence (89.2 points per game).

“In spite of having to battle through two injuries, Jamelle has still demonstrated he is the most dynamic player in Canada West,” said Huskies head coach Barry Rawlyk. “He has strung together a series of phenomenal performances, emerging as a dominating factor in every game that he has played. While his scoring has been instrumental to our success, his ability to distribute the ball to his teammates has been equally remarkable.”

Ilairon Bonhomme of the Brandon Bobcats had an outstanding first season, earning Rookie of the Year honours.

The Washington, D.C. product started all 20 conference games, averaging 12.2 points, 6.0 assists per game and 32.3 minutes per game.

“The biggest thing with Ilarion is that he wanted to improve all year long, not to improve his numbers or receive awards, but to help get the team more wins and to help his team mates,” noted Bobcats head coach Gil Cheung. “He is the ultimate team guy and I don't think this award could go to a better person.”

Forward Michael Lieffers made a big impact for the Saskatchewan Huskies in his final season, being named Defensive Player of the Year and a Second Team All-Star.

Helping the CIS #3 Huskies to a 10-game winning streak and an 18-4 record, the Graduate Studies student led Canada West and placed second in CIS with 223 rebounds. The 6-8 Saskatoon native accumulated a CIS-leading 84 offensive rebounds and 139 defensive rebounds, scoring 13 points per game while adding 17 blocks and 37 steals. He also helped the Huskies hold opponents to 73.1 points per game.

“While Michael is probably most recognized for his rebounding and dynamic finishes at the offensive end of the court, it is his defensive presence that has been so critical to the success of our team this season,” said head coach Barry Rawlyk. “His ability to control opposing inside players one-on-one, along with his ability to force opponents to alter shots in the paint have been a critical part of our team’s defensive scheme”

Voted Coach of the Year, Craig Beaucamp is in his ninth season as the head coach with the University of Victoria Vikes. Despite losing four players to graduation following the 2010-11 season, Beaucamp helped his team to a first-place finish in the Pacific Division, moving up two spots. Nationally ranked all season, he recruited five transfers and two freshmen to play with the program.

Entering the 2011-12 Canada West playoffs, Beaucamp had an all-time conference record of 129-60. In 2011-12, the Vikes boasted the third-best team defence (70.6 ppg) and third-best scoring margin (+10.5). The Vikes also led the conference in three-point shooting percentage (.402) and rebounding defence (29.1 per game).

A former Vikes player, Beaucamp previously won Canada West Coach of the Year honours in 2003-04 and 2004-05. He also served as an Assistant Coach with Canada’s Pan-Am Games men’s team that competed in Guadalajara, Mexico, in October.

“Coming off a season in which four graduating seniors had to be replaced. Craig has done an outstanding job blending in a talented recruiting class with returning veterans to deliver strong regular season results. As reflected by his increased international experience with an assistant coaching role at the 2011 Pan-Am Games in Mexico and this recognition, Craig is standing out amongst his peers,” said Clint Hamilton, Director of Athletics and Recreation at the University of Victoria.

The conference’s All-Stars were also announced, where several student-athletes made a return appearance including Barrett (2011 CIS 1st Team), Daniel Ferguson (2011 CIS 2nd) and 2010 Rookie of the Year Jordan Baker (2011 CW 1st) of Alberta, UVic’s Ryan MacKinnon (2011 CW 2nd), 20087 Rookie of the Year Tyler Fidler of Calgary (2011 CW 2nd) and UFV’s Joel Friesen (2011 CW 2nd).

Following are the 2011-12 Canada West men’s basketball Award winners and All-Stars


MVP: Jamelle Barrett, Saskatchewan

Rookie of the Year: Ilarion Bonhomme, Brandon

Defensive Player of the Year: Michael Lieffers, Saskatchewan

Ken Shields Award nominee: Calvin Westbrook, Trinity Western

Coach of the Year: Craig Beaucamp, Victoria

ALL-STARS (alphabetical by surname)

First Team                                         Second Team
Jordan Baker, Alberta                        Dominyc Coward, Lethbridge
Jamelle Barrett, Saskatchewan           Daniel Ferguson, Alberta
Joel Friesen, Fraser Valley                  Tyler Fidler, Calgary
Ryan MacKinnon, Victoria                 Justin King, Thompson Rivers
Nathan Yu, UBC                                Michael Lieffers, Saskatchewan

Each award recipient moves on as a finalist for the annual Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) awards, with winners to be announced in Halifax before the eight-team national tournament, March 9-11.

This Friday and Saturday, the Canada West Final Four goes in Saskatoon, where the host Saskatchewan Huskies battle the Alberta Golden Bears in one semifinal, while the Fraser Valley Cascades and Victoria Vikes hook up in the other. Semifinal winners will qualify for Nationals and tip-off on Saturday night for conference supremacy. All game can be seen live on www.canadawest.tv.

About Canada West Universities Athletic Association
Canada West is consistently the most decorated of the four conferences in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), winning at least 10 CIS national titles every year, 1997 to 2010. Comprised of 16 schools from the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, Canada West produces numerous major award winners and Academic All-Canadian student-athletes each year, with many going on to athletic success around the globe in pro leagues or events such as the Olympics, Paralympics or Universiade Games.

A proud member of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS).

Last Updated: 2012-03-01
Author: Mark Janzen