Burlington, Ont. – Rebecca Smith and Banky Alade have been named IG Wealth Management Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Athletes of the Week, powered by Planters, for the period ending November 18, 2018.
Female Athlete of the Week – Rebecca Smith (Red Deer, Alta.) – 1st Year – Toronto Varsity Blues
The season may be young, and the swimmer may be new to the university scene, but that hasn’t stopped Toronto Varsity Blues Rebecca Smith from putting on a show in the early going this year.
Smith, a first-year swimmer from Red Deer, Alta., won two races and broke three records in leading the Varsity Blues women’s swimming team to two victories over the Laurier Golden Hawks and Queen’s Gales on Saturday evening at Varsity Pool. The life science major won the women’s 100 freestyle in what was both a meet and Blues rookie record time of just 54.92 seconds. The 2017 FINA world bronze medalist and 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medalist also won the 200 freestyle in a time of 2:00.13, topping the previous meet record by a convincing six seconds.
If there was any doubt that the talented swimmer was in mid-season form already, her time in the latter race would have been enough to capture the OUA title last season, while the former would have earned her silver; both of which are impressive results for this time of year.
Male Athlete of the Week – Banky Alade (Sherwood Park, Alta.) – 3rd Year – Guelph Gryphons
Banky Alade's infectious personality has been influential in the Gryphon locker room and now that he's in his third year, the Sherwood Park, AB native's play is also impacting the outcome of games, with the case in point coming in the team’s two games this past weekend.
Alade filled the stat sheet in back-to-back Gryphon wins this weekend, starting with an incredible performance in Friday night's 81-80 victory over the Nipissing Lakers. The Marketing Management student had a team-high 22 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. With the score tied 50-50, Alade scored eight straight points to help the Gryphons build a cushion. With his team trailing 80-79 late, he executed a sweet spin move on the baseline, and true to his name, showed amazing touch banking in the game-winning bucket.
But Alade apparently wasn't content with that performance, so he backed it up with a monster game on Sunday in Guelph's 83-76 win over Laurentian. The forward poured in 29 points and grabbed a game-high 20 boards, both of which were career highs. Alade made 12-of-17 attempts from the floor, hit 5-of-6 from the free-throw line, and also had 15 defensive rebounds in one of the best stat lines for any OUA player so far this season.