Faith Hezekiah's career year has earned her a spot among the elite of the Canada West conference.
The fourth-year forward for the Winnipeg Wesmen women's basketball team earned her second straight all-conference award Thursday, being named first team all-Canada West in voting done by the conference's 17 coaches.
It is the first time on the first team for Hezekiah, who earned her first all-star last season when she was named second team all-conference.
Hezekiah stepped up and took on much of the scoring and rebounding workload for the Wesmen, recording a career-high 23.8 points per game to lead all of Canada West.
Hezekiah also averaged 10.3 rebounds per game, second in the conference, and became the first Wesmen player in Canada West history to average a double-double in back-to-back seasons.
Hezekiah averaged a career-high 3.1 steals per game, which also led the conference.
The East St. Paul native finished second in Canada West in double-doubles with 14 and led the conference in games with at least 30 points (7). Her 35 points in a win over Brandon in December were the second-highest in Canada West this season.
The Wesmen were knocked out in a loss to the No. 1-seeded Saskatchewan Huskies in a quarter-final series but not before they pulled off a first-round upset at UBC, knocking off the 5-seed Thunderbirds.
"Faith stepped into a leading role as a fourth-year and guided our team through the season," Wesmen head coach Tanya McKay said. "Not only did she lead our conference in scoring, but she was No. 2 in rebounding and No. 1 in steals. Faith is a gifted and talented player who elevated her play to push our program to make playoffs and upset UBC in the first round."
Hezekiah was joined by two other Manitobans on the first team with UBC's Keylyn Filewich and Regina's Kyanna Giles earning spots.
Joining the trio on the first team were two international talents – Latvia's Sabine Dukate (Saskatchewan), and Greece's Vasiliki Louka (UNBC). The pair headline a combined five international players honoured by the conference.
In terms of team representation, the Saskatchewan Huskies and UBC Thunderbirds tied for the most honourees, with two players earning all-star status, along with one all-rookie apiece.
The conference's top individual honours will be announced on Thursday, February 28, when Canada West's six major award winners will be released.
FIRST ALL-STAR TEAM
POSITION / NAME / UNIVERSITY / YEAR / HOMETOWN
- G / Sabine Dukate / Saskatchewan / 4 / Ventspiils, Latvia
- F / Keylyn Filewich / UBC / 3 / Winnipeg, Man.
- G / Kyanna Giles / Regina / 3 / Winnipeg, Man.
- F / Faith Hezekiah / Winnipeg / 4 / East St. Paul, Man.
- F / Vasiliki Louka / UNBC / 5 / Athens, Greece
SECOND ALL-STAR TEAM
- G / Kacie Bosch / Lethbridge / 4 / Lethbridge, Alta.
- G / Amira Giannattasio / Victoria / 5 / Hamilton, Ont.
- G / Emma Kary / Alberta / 3 / Calgary, Alta.
- F / Summer Masikewich / Saskatchewan / Calgary, Alta.
- G & F / Erin McIntosh / Calgary / 4 / Calgary, Alta.
THIRD ALL-STAR TEAM
- G / Jessie Brown / Trinity Western / 5 / Langley, B.C.
- F / Taylor Claggett / Fraser Valley / 4 / Mission, B.C.
- F / Maria Mongomo / UNBC / 4 / Las Palmas, Spain
- G / Maddison Penn / UBC / Avoca Beach, Australia
- G / Taylor Randall / Manitoba / 3 / Dundas, Ont.
- G / Hailey Counsell / UBC / Port Moody, B.C.
- F / Ashley De Sousa Martins / Saskatchewan / Saskatoon, Sask.
- F / Nicole Fransson / Trinity Western / Edmonton, Alta.
- G / Maddison Hooper / Mount Royal / Perth, Australia
- G / Abby Zawada / Fraser Valley / Richmond, B.C.
- With files from Canada West