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LVR Bomber grad earns top marks with UKC Blue Devils

Sian Nielsen was was selected recipient of the Blue Devils team award while scoring top marks in the classroom with school’s honour roll recognition. — Submitted photo

L.V. Rogers grad, Sian Nielsen got it done both on and off the basketball court this past season playing for the University of King’s College Blue Devils in Halifax.

The 21-year-old collegiate basketball player was selected recipient of the Blue Devils team award while scoring top marks in the classroom with school’s honour roll recognition.

“We had a successful year at UKC, reaching the ACAA (Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association) finals for the first time in 13 years,” said Blue Devils coach Parker Reagan.

“Sian was an important part of that success, being selected by her teammates for our Blue Devil award which is given to the player who puts the team’s needs ahead of her own regardless of the situation.”

Nielsen, enrolled in the Science faculty, is majoring in biology with a minor in marine biology.

Nielsen, from Bonnington west of Nelson, just completed year four of studies and second season with the Blue Devils after playing for two seasons a Quest University in Squamish.

UKC finished the ACAAWomen’s Basketball season in fourth place with an 11-7 record.

However, the Blue Devils upset regular season champs St. Thomas University 57-56 to advance to the ACAA Final.

“We made it to the finals against our cross town rivals MSVU for the first time in several years for UKC,” Nielsen explained.

“Even though it was upsetting coming in second after a long season of working toward being ACAA champions there was a feeling by everyone that we had come so far as a team and individuals.”

Nielsen said the Blue Devils returned only six players from 2019 season. Five freshmen and two transfers rounded out the roster.

But by the time the regular season concluded, injuries decimated the roster, leaving only nine health players — four of which were freshmen.

“Our freshman played some of the biggest minutes in the league as far as first years go and even top some more experienced players,” said Nielsen, who averaged 10 minutes a game of court time.

“Although we were a young and new team starting this year and we faced some difficult challenges losing a few key players to injury we quickly saw the potential that we had to be a top competitor in the league.”

Nielsen said a highlight of the season for the veterans on the team was beating city rival Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) at home for first time for anyone on the team.

“Even though it didn’t change our standings the win was a sweet moment that we remembered through the championships,” Nielsen said.

Nielsen, who played on a handful of West Kootenay regional teams growing up, started playing senior basketball in high school in Grade 9 at Mount Sentinel in South Slocan.

When the girl’s program folded, she transferred to LVR for Grade 11 and 12.

The Bombers qualified for the BC High School Championship tournament in 2015.

The following season, the Bombers were a perfect 17-0, capturing the Kootenay High School Girl’s AA Championship, powered by the 42-point performance of Nielsen in the tournament final.

The UKC Honour Roll consists of students who have achieved a GPA of 3.7 or higher in the first semester.

Nielsen is eager to not only return to elite Honor Roll status in the fall, but also help push the Blue Devils back into the finals of the ACAA.