Swoosh Canada Basketball
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Ally Pilgrim - Lakeland College
"Hey there! My name is Ally Pilgrim and I played on the swoosh travel team for a back to back two years and also participated in a variety of camps and practice. After high school, I signed with Lakeland College in Lloydminster, AB. I played there for 4 years and have recently retired from the game. In my third year, we made history by getting the first provincial medal in Lakeland Women’s Basketball history (bronze). In my fourth and final year, we won provincials and were destined to win nationals. COVID-19 did not let that happen but we all knew we would’ve done it!
Apart from basketball, I’m currently finishing my last year of my first degree (Bachelor of Science) and have applied to a veterinary medicine program for next year.
My favourite part of swoosh did not really involve the game. Yes, I learned so much from Ron and he developed my game and got me to the competitive level that I needed to be at in order to play college but what I took from swoosh wasn’t all about basketball. It was about the people I met and the memories we made together. I met so many people and still, to this day, I am friends with so many of them. Swoosh made me a better basketball player, but it also made me a better person and it introduced me to some pretty amazing people. Thanks so much to Swoosh Canada and Ron Hopkins for helping me get to where I am today! "
Jorja Gates - Lethbridge College
"Hi! My name is Jorja Gates and I have played for Swoosh for 6 years. I have participated in 3 Swoosh trips in total, along with flying down to Las Vegas for a spring tournament. I have also participated in many camps that Swoosh has put on and that is where I began to play for the Swoosh club. I now am playing my 1st year of post-secondary basketball as a Lethbridge College Kodiak. Unfortunately, the season has been cut short due to COVID-19. While playing basketball for the College, I am also pursuing a degree in Therapeutic Recreation - Gerontology.
Ron and the coaches alongside him have pushed me to become a better player and person. Through playing for Swoosh Canada, I was able to make lifelong friends and relationships with coaches who have helped me grow into the person I am today. I was also able to make memories with the teams that will last a lifetime. Thank you to Ron, Marvin, and Heather for helping me achieve my goals of playing post-secondary."
Haily Weaver - University of Lethbridge
"Playing for Ron, under Swoosh, has helped shape me into the hooper and person that I am today. During my time with Swoosh, I was pushed to be better and reach my potential every time I stepped onto the court. The coaching I received helped me find confidence in my game and my leadership. I also met other amazing players who became good friends and helped me create some of my favourite memories to this day. I began to learn what I need from a coach and a program through swoosh. I grew and was cared for both as a player and as an individual, the experience began to set a standard of my future in sport. I am thankful for every minute I was welcomed into the Swoosh community."
Hayley Tait - Vancouver Island University
"I played for Swoosh throughout my grade 11 and 12 years in high school. I was living in
Yellowknife, NT and would fly down every 3-4 weeks to practice and compete with the swoosh
team. I’ve played in many swoosh tournaments and participated in the summer U.S trip both of
my years playing with Swoosh. My first two years of post-secondary I played varsity basketball
for the University of New Brunswick, where I became an Academic all-Canadian, and am now
playing on the varsity team at Vancouver Island University.
Coming from a small town where competition is limited, Swoosh gave me the opportunity to
enhance my skills and compete and a high level that helped me get ready for my post-
secondary basketball career."
Kelly Reid - Grande Prairie Regional College
"I played 2 years at GPRC college, and hope to go back and play a few more in the future. I was scouted at a SWOOSH tournament and that's where my post secondary career started. In my time at GPRC I got 300 points in my career, in my second year I made the first half All Star team, and I got the team MVP award. I always look back fondly on my time with Swoosh, especially the summer trips, and continue to be a part of the family with camps and hopefully tournaments once they start again. I will always appreciate how SWOOSH helped me get the opportunity for a post secondary career."
Ella Majeau - The Kings University
"I am currently playing for The King's University Eagles, and have been on the team for two years now. One of my favourite memories of being part of the Swoosh program, was all the tournaments we played in, they were always so competitive and it was exciting getting to play with different players and teams all the time."
Casey Gorieu - Keyano College
My name is Casey Gorieu and I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Swoosh Family! I had been with Swoosh for 5ish years, and was coached by the amazing staff which included Ron, Marvin, and Heather. Currently, I am in my 3rd year at Keyano College playing the sport I love! I can strongly say that the Swoosh Program had built who I am as a basketball player. I got taught fundamentals, while also being taught how to be a player who has a big impact on the court. Not only this, but the program boosted my confidence tremendously. My coaches believed in me, supported me, and ultimately were the ones to push me to be the player they knew I could be. I am so happy and grateful to have been allowed the opportunity to be in the Swoosh Program.
Abiel Tabufor - MacEwan University
"Thanks to Swoosh, I was able to make new friends on and off the court. I really enjoyed the experience of playing against teams out of Canada because it showed me how big the game of basketball really was. And if I wanted to compete at the next level I would need to work harder and make use of the resources available. I still carry the lessons and memories with me while I play basketball for the Macewan University Griffins. Im very grateful for the opportunities Swoosh provided for me."
Shannon Majeau - MacEwan University
"I'm going into my fourth year of playing for Macewan University. I only played for Swoosh for one season, plus a few extra tournaments, but it was a really great experience for me to develop into a better player. I made some really great friends through swoosh, some that I still play with and some that I still compete against. I think my favourite part of swoosh was the competitive atmosphere the coaches created and the way they were able to push me to get better every day. "
Kaylee Marfleet - Keyano College
"I had the pleasure of joining swoosh back in 2015, I got to experience a new level of basketball, lots of travel opportunities and chances to be seen by collegiate coaches and schools! I learned all of the essentials of basketball during my years at swoosh. After I graduated high school I went on to play at Keyano. I believe I was able to have that experience because of my time at swoosh and all of the hard work that Ron has put in and continues to, and I remember it fondly!"
Melissa Wooley - SAIT
"I had the opportunity to play for Swoosh for three summers. The things I've learned from this organization and its coaches is immeasurable. On the court they taught me how to be a leader, how to work with others, what a good work ethic looks like, and how to create opportunities for myself. With the help of Ron Hopkins and the rest of the Swoosh organization, I was able to achieve a dream of mine playing college basketball. Not only has Swoosh allowed me to play basketball at a high level, but it also is the reason I was able to receive a basketball scholarship to put towards my education. Off the court, Swoosh taught me how to be a better person and how to put others first. It taught me that if I did that, my efforts would be rewarded. Because of the countless hours that Swoosh put in to make me a better player and person, it is a new dream of mine to return to the organization as a coach to pay back those hours and to help kids that started basketball for the love of it, just as I did, mature into players and people capable of working towards a goal and creating the future they want. The memories and friendships I've made from Swoosh are ones that will last a lifetime. I owe so much to Swoosh and Ron for helping me become who I am today and helping me get to the great stage I am in in my life."
Triawna St.Germaine - Keyano College
"I came to SWOOSH as a high school student from the 4A #1 ranked Archbishop O’Leary Spartans (2010) to work hard at my skills, improve and get a college offer. While at O’Leary, I played in (3) Division 1 finals (wining 2 gold medals), attended (2) 4A provincial championship tournaments, receiving a bronze medal and a number of other tournament wins. I worked my way to a full ride scholarship with the Keyano College Huskies, a previous nationally ranked team, and earned the Rookie of the Year in my first year. Shortly after, I transitioned to coaching with Ron Hopkins at Bellerose Composite High school in 2015. Since then, I have head coached the Sr. Girls team at Bellerose to 4 Metro Edmonton City Championship games out of the 5 years I've been there. My first championship as a coach was in 2019.
Ron and the rest of the coaching staff, prepared me both physically and mentally for the next level. The things I were taught were easily transferable and contributed to the success at the college level and now my coaching career. It is more than just a sport, and my love for the game grew the more I was able to play and coach under Ron and the rest of the staff. The reason why I choose to coach is a lot to do with Ron. He has given multiple opportunities to young players, including myself. I know that I will be able to give that back to an aspiring player. It truly feels like a full circle moment and I am grateful for all the SWOOSH has attributed to my life in basketball."
Geri Jakubec (Anstice) - Concordia University
"Swoosh basketball was such an integral part of my development as a basketball player. I was getting ready for college basketball within the next couple of years and swoosh really helped me reach that next level. Playing against some of the best players in the province and getting to play against players from the states was an amazing experience. Basketball aside, I made some life long friends and even met my husband through swoosh."
Emma Newhook - The Kings University
"I had a great experience being on the travel team for Swoosh. I played with Swoosh for two years where I was able to go to Vegas, California, and Chicago. The skills and experience from Swoosh helped me achieve my long-time goal of playing basketball in the ACAC.
I played three years at The King’s University and was able to take a leadership role as a captain in my final year. Currently I am graduated and pursuing a career in accounting. Ron and all the other coaches were great role models which was a major part in shaping me in my basketball career. So many great memories and friendships created from the trips! "
Torey Hill - NAIT & Southern Utah University
"Swoosh Basketball club has done a lot for me as a player and as a coach. I first met Ron as a player from a small town at a basketball camp and he asked me to be on his summer travel team. I joined and it was the best decision I have ever made . Joining that team opened many doors for me I got to play in the States until I tore my ACL and came back to Canada and didn't and want to play anymore. Ron convinced me different and I then joined and played for the NAIT Ooks where we won an ACAC championship and bronze National medal as a team and also individual accomplishments for myself like CCAA All Canadian and ACAC first team all star along with others that I am proud to say Ron pushed me and helped me get. Playing for Ron has taught me a lot to never quit on or off the court in life. Even though my career is done as a player I am now a Assistant coach for Kings University Women's Basketball and I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for me joining Ron's summer team and learning to get out of my comfort zone and pushing myself. "
Raylene Badger - Grande Prairie Regional College
"My name is Raylene Badger and I played for swoosh for 3 years on the summer travel team and attended some of the camps and one of the fall training programs. I’m in my first year of college at GPRC and I am currently signed to play on the woman’s basketball team. Covid has prevented us from being able to playing this year but I am looking forward to being able to play at GPRC!
My favourite part of playing for Swoosh would’ve been all people I’ve been able to meet over the past couple years. I’ve been able to stay in touch with quite a few people that I have become close with and have lots of memories from the teams that I’ve played on."
Craig Panek - The Kings University
"Hey everyone my name is Craig Panek and I played for swoosh and the travel team in 2015. After high school I signed with the King’s University. I red shirted my first year and then played four years and was team captain for the last three. Playing university basketball was a dream come true and my time with Swoosh helped have a successful career. My highlight was our home opener in my fourth year when I dropped a career high 21 points en route to a win.
This past April I graduated from King’s with a Bachelor of Commerce and now I am working full-time in commercial banking.
Playing for Swoosh was a great experience on and off the court. The travel team was by far my highlight. I got to experience a different level of basketball in the States which really helped me prepare for university basketball.
But my fondest memories came off the court as I made some great friendships and was able to explore L.A and Las Vegas! I also met Mike Bibby! My single favourite memory was the hours on end of playing the card game ‘slaps’ on the bus with all of the team mates as we spent two full days travelling from Edmonton to L.A.
Thanks so much to Swoosh and Ron for all the amazing opportunities!"
Brittani Brown - MacEwan University
"My name is Brittani Brown and I played for Swoosh in 2012 before going to play post-secondary. I played one year for Olds College and then went CIS playing for Macewan University. I am thankful for Swoosh and Ron for giving me an opportunity to play against very good competition, and for believing in my abilities. Ron helped instil confidence in me and made basketball a lot of fun. Swoosh shaped me as a person and basketball player and helped me prepare for post-secondary. My favourite memory with Swoosh was going to Las Vegas and playing in tournaments! "
Amy Jakubec - The Kings University
"My name is Amy Jakubec. Since 2012, Swoosh Canada Basketball has played a big part in helping me reach my goal of playing post-secondary basketball. In the beginning, I attended many Swoosh clinics and workshops where I worked on skill development. As a player in Swoosh spring leagues, I continued to improve through games and tournament play. I was fortunate to be a part of the Swoosh summer travelling teams in 2012 and 2017. It was through these USA tournaments, that I learned to believe that a small-town girl could play basketball on the next level. I first attended the All-Girls Clinics as a participant and since 2016 I have been an Assistant to the Coaches. My favorite year of Swoosh was 2017. I was graduating from high school and had just been signed to play for The King’s University women’s basketball team. Coach Ron pushed me to my limits during the spring and summer team season to prepare me for college basketball. I enjoyed playing basketball in the ACAC league on the TKU Eagles team for 3 years. It was fun coming up against old Swoosh teammates on the opposing teams; we would play hard against each other on the court and then reminisce about Swoosh memories off the court. I always remembered Coach Ron telling me that if I worked hard enough on defence, I could earn a starting position some day. That starting position came during my third year…and it made all the years of hard work worth it. Today, I am still part of Swoosh. You could say I have come full circle…as I am now the Coach for the Home School Academy and teach the elementary students basketball skills."
Joanna Taets von Amerongen - MacEwan Universtiy
“I first met Ron when I was playing basketball at St. Francis Xavier High School and he noticed my talent and my opportunity for growth! I played with Swoosh in 2010 and 2011 during my grade 11 and 12 years. Largely in part to Swoosh and Ron specifically, I was able to achieve one of my dreams and play college basketball. Being part of the Grant MacEwan Griffins Women Basketball team created some of the best memories and opportunities in my life thus far. In large part I can thank Ron and the Swoosh empire for this! I also had the pleasure of assisting coaching with Ron on and off from 2013 to 2019. I learned so many skills that I have and will continue to take on and off the court. Thank you to Swoosh and Ron Hopkins for all the support, mentorship, life long memories and lessons I have received while playing a sport that I love!”
Hannah Gillingham - University of the Fraser Valley
"I played for Swoosh from grade 10-12, participating in many of the local tournaments we competed in and hosted. I wanted to play post-secondary basketball, but had plans to take a year off after graduating, so I got my parents to film games and was able to put together a highlight mix of my last year with Swoosh. I had talked to Coach Ron about the likelihood of making a team after taking a gap year, and he encouraged me to give it a shot.
After being accepted to the University of the Fraser Valley, I remembered Ron’s confidence in my ability, so I decided to submit my highlights to the Head Coach. I now am in my first year playing for the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades, though games have been cancelled due to COVID-19.
Coaches Ron, Marvin, and Heather played a huge role in growing my confidence on the court. They constantly reminded me to trust my shot, and just play the game I am so passionate about. I am very grateful for all of the hard work these coaches put into help."
Tasia Ouellette - The Kings University
"The first time I played for swoosh was at a tournament when I was 10, since then I have gone on two trips to the states and played my club season with them numerous times. Swoosh has taught me not only basketball skills but life skills. I have always said that without Ron and his coaching staff I would not have made it to where I am today! I currently play for Kings University and I am a transfer student from Ambrose University. Swoosh has shaped me into the player and person I am today. When I got my first university offer the first person I wanted to thank was Ron, I would not be where I am without him. Thanks Ron."
Kendal Russell - Brandon University & SAIT
"I played for swoosh during the summer of 2016 where I was recruited to play for a travel team that was headed to Las Vegas and California to play. It was, and has been, a trip that I remember as being one of the highlights of my high school career. Besides the basketball, the team aspect and the arrangement of other activities planned proved to be an exceptional experience overall. Since then, I went on to play a year for the University of Brandon Bobcats and a year for the SAIT Trojans. I would recommend Swoosh to any young athletes looking to further their game and have a great time doing it! "
Stephanie Kucy - Lees McRae College
"I would like to thank Coach Ron, Coach Marvin and the entire Swoosh program for the great opportunities and experiences that it has given me. The numerous basketball tournaments within Edmonton as well as tournaments in Las Vegas and California are experiences and memories that will last me a lifetime. On our USA trip, we always had something to do. We attended Disneyland, Universal Studios, went to a Las Vegas Aces game (WNBA), had a full practice on the Las Vegas Aces home court and attended a Los Angeles Angels Baseball (MLB) game with my teammates. I made so many new friendships along the way that I continue to keep in contact with today.
The Swoosh program was a great experience that allowed me to play the best of the best for my age group so that I could show my true potential. The coaching was fantastic and the honest/real conversations on my areas of strength and the areas that I needed to improve my game was really appreciated, thank you Coach Ron and Coach Heather! These conversations motivated me to take the next step and to play at the highest levels. I am presently attending Lees McRae College in North Carolina, USA, I am on a basketball scholarship with the women's basketball team. My experiences with the Swoosh allowed me to take the next step mentally and physically to play with the best within the NCAA.
I wish the Swoosh program continued success! Thank you for making a difference!"
Lilee Burke-Stasiuk - Grande Prairie Regional College
"Hi, my name is Lilee Burke-Stasiuk, I started with Swoosh when I was 12 years old, I was always welcomed into any group, provided top quality coaching and opportunities to not only participate in programs run by Ron and Swoosh but also swoosh sponsored camps with a wide range of coaches.
One of my favourite parts of Swoosh was the travel teams, these gave me opportunities to be seen by international coaches, play against girls from all over the world, see amazing places like Chicago, California and Las Vegas and make life long friends with so many girls. Swoosh provided me a safe and nurturing community for my family to show their support and for me to learn and progress in my dream to play post secondary basketball. Thanks to Ron and the Swoosh program I was able to meet and make new friends, think outside the box and challenge myself and move to a different town by myself right after high school to play college basketball. I couldn’t be more grateful for my time with Swoosh and would highly recommend it to everyone and their families."
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