Thursday, July 05, 2012

HAZLETT HEADING TO QUEENS


BY LAUREN BIRD

BIRD.LAUREN@DAILYGLEANER.COM

04 JULY 2012

Recent Fredericton High School graduate Emily Hazlett will be heading off to Kingston, Ont., at the end of next month. She’ll be claiming a $14,000 scholarship to play for the Queen’s University Gaels women’s basketball team.

“It’s always been my dream, at least hoping that I would get seen by coaches and have people want me to go to a good university and play,” Hazlett said.

The 5-foot-6 point guard has been working toward this dream for at least a few years, said her high school coach, Rick Cotter.

“She’s worked in trying to perfect herself and her game; she’s played on several provincial teams, in national championships. Her work ethic is outstanding and when she came to practice she really brought a very competitive spirit to practice, which as part of her leadership as a point guard,” Cotter said.

Hazlett was courted by several schools over the last year including the University of New Brunswick, Acadia University, Cape Breton University and Dalhousie University. And though both her parents, Mark and Leanne played for UNB, in the end, Queen’s was the perfect fit.

She was born in Kingston and much of her family is there. Even her uncle and cousin played on the school’s football team.

“I always kind of wanted to get away and get out on my own,” she said.

It’s her work ethic, said Cotter, which has come to determine her success.

“Emily has been driven to play (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) basketball for a few years now. She’s really put a lot of effort into learning her position — she plays probably one of the most important positions on the floor. She has grown and taken major strides as a floor leader for our team. She’s really grown and matured as an individual also,” Cotter said.

In the off season, Hazlett played with the New Brunswick under-15 and -17 provincial teams to keep her skills sharp. She travelled around the province nearly every weekend and competed in national tournaments in Montreal and Winnipeg.

Hazlett led the FHS Lady Black Kats to a provincial championship this year, stopping the Riverview High School Royals from winning a fourth straight title. She was the team’s MVP in Grade 11 and 12, and was named the New Brunswick All-Star for 2011-2012.

In a news release announcing her intent to play for the Gaels, the women’s basketball coach, Dave Wilson, said “her winning attitude, competitive drive, and relentless work ethic, will ensure her success at Queen’s.”

But her commitment to the game lies in something much deeper than her hopes for success.

“It’s kind of just like the way I feel out on the court, I would say unstoppable, but obviously I’m not,” she said. “I just love playing and having been a part of the basketball community and it’s kind of just a part of me I guess.”

The Gaels finished fourth last season with a 12-10 record in the East division of the Ontario University Athletics conference. The squad fell in the quarterfinal to Ryerson University .

Queen’s has one conference title to their name, winning the OUA championship in 2001.



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