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University of Regina's Jade Belmore named Canada West Player of the Year

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University of Regina athlete, Jade Belmore, was named the 2024 Canada West Women’s Basketball Player of the Year last week.

“It was a cool moment. I actually wasn’t expecting it at all. But being there with my teammates as well and them celebrating was pretty awesome,” Belmore said.

The third year athlete was informed of the recognition at practice by her coach, Dave Taylor.

“We had announced that Jade was an All-Star and then I said she was player of the year too. The team was obviously very excited for her too,” Taylor explained. “I kind of knew there was a good chance. I kind of found out a day before and obviously was excited for Jade and obviously it’s a great honour for her too.”

Belmore, who hails from Regina, has been a key piece of the women’s basketball team since her recruitment.

“I had pretty high expectations for her,” Taylor said. “I said ‘you know you should rookie of the year and then your second year you need to be first-second team all-star’ which she was ... I set really high goals and she’s met them. The future is really bright for her and our team.”

Belmore says the honours and achievements do come up but they don’t distract her from putting in the work in practice and on the court.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about those things and have those goals in mind. It’s always good to have those goals,” she shared. “But it’s never really reoccurring for me in my head and I’m not thinking about that every game I play. I really wanted to get my team to Nationals but (this) is a great honour to have and to accomplish that.”

Belmore led the conference in the regular season – scoring an average 18.3 points per game.

Last year she was the University of Regina’s Female Athlete of the Year and has a long list of accolades in her post secondary career. They include being a two-time Academic All-Canadian, and two-time Canada West All-Star prior to this season.

Last summer she was named to Canada’s U23 national team.

When asked about her success on the court and in the classroom, Belmore points back to the people who got her here and her hometown roots.

“I think Saskatchewan has a lot of good programs and coaches who have obviously helped me develop and get me to where I am today. I think it says a lot about you can come from a small place, and still do really great things if you put in the work. I also have a really good community of support and I’m grateful for that,” she said.

According to Taylor, Belmore has some unique effects on the team.

“What’s special about Jade is not only does she obviously put up great stats, but she’s one of those players who makes everyone around her better. I’ve been telling her to shoot the ball more. Sometimes I think she’s too unselfish,” he laughed.

The U of R’s women’s basketball season came to an end after the squad lost to the University of Fraser Valley in the Canada West quarter-final.

However, Belmore still has two more years of eligibility left and is looking forward to having more opportunities to take to the court in her collegiate career.

“I’m excited for these next couple of years. I think I’ve only grown since I’ve been here and knowing that I have a couple more years left, I have a lot more to do while I’m here,” she said.

“I’m always going to strive for more, hopefully get my team to nationals. That’s the ultimate goal.”

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