University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball player Nicole Wierks is the Canada West nomination for the prestigious CIS Tracy MacLeod Award that rewards determination, perseverance and unwavering spirit.
The Chilliwack native’s final years of high school and first two years at UFV have been riddled with numerous injuries that have severally challenged her resolve.
Starting in her final year at Chilliwack secondary school, Wierks tore her ACL and had reconstructive surgery. The injury kept her out of much of her senior season.
In her first semester at UFV, she ruptured her ACL a second time and tore her meniscus. Wierks made the decision to continue her career without repairing her ACL and to have her meniscus removed. To this day, she continues to wear a brace to stabilize her knee and diligently strengthens her leg to compensate for her missing ligament.
In addition Wierks has been plagued with chronic shoulder.
Her most recent set-back came at the end of the 2010-11 season where she suffered a stress fracture in her foot just before the playoffs. She ignored the pain until the end of the season, severally prolonging the recovery and rehab by months.
Now in her third season, Wierks has been enjoying her first injury free year since grade 10. She has started every game, playing close to 29 minutes a night.
She is among the team leaders in most statistical categories, averaging 10.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.
“Her attitude in overcoming challenges is an inspiration to all of us,” said UFV head coach Al Tuchscherer.
— Sticking with the Cascades, Winnipeg native Tessa Klassen was named to the Canada West all-star team.
UFV’s floor general is finishing her excellent five-year career (three with the University of Manitoba Bisons and two with UFV). The Arts major played in all 18 Canada West regular season games as the Cascades broke several school records, including most wins in a season at 12. Klassen averaged 34.4 minutes per night and led the Cascades with 12.6 points per game. Her 261 points, 75 assists and 47 steals were also team leaders in each category.