Written by Devon Platana
When Alyson Bush started playing guard for the women’s basketball team at Carleton University in 2008 and throughout her career, getting inducted into the Ravens Hall of Fame never crossed her mind once.
“I’m very lucky to be included in the group, but it was definitely nothing I really thought of in terms of when I was playing,” says Bush. “I wasn’t even necessarily going to play basketball, so awards were not something that was always top of mind for me.”
Despite earning several accolades, ranging from all-star honours to captaining the team to its first national championship appearance, Bush’s induction surprised her.
“I think it’s amazing to be included among a group of people who’ve done so much for their sport, so much for the university,” says Bush. “But also, to see those people who have done such great things outside of their sport to the community… it’s inspiring to be a part of that group.”
However, despite winning several awards, those are not what Bush appreciates the most from her time at Carleton.
Basketball is such a team sport too, so I never would’ve got any of those accolades without my teammates,” says Bush. “This group of amazing athletes and girls working towards a common goal, all going through the same thing together was such a fun time and being inducted brought me back to all those memories.”
Bush says that one of her favourite memories involves being able to play in Ottawa.
“I had the ability to play a sport that I love so much in front of my family, who is also extremely important to me,” says Bush. “Having the ability to play in front of my family and friends was a really exciting time in my life.”
When Taffe Charles became head coach of the women’s basketball team in 2007, Bush was his first recruit, although it wasn’t easy convincing her to join the team since the program hadn’t had much success at the time.
“Alyson had to believe in something she hadn’t even seen,” says Charles about when he’d go to the Bush family’s home to recruit her. “I always thank her for the trust that she had and what her parents had in terms of believing in what my vision was for the program.”
Charles says he knew Bush would be an all-star from the start but was surprised when he found out how competitive she was because of her quiet nature at times.
He adds, Bush ended up having a surprising amount of competitiveness that eventually helped build a winning culture in the women’s basketball program when she helped lead the team to its first national appearance in 2011.
“She really is the main reason why we got the program going in the right direction,” says Charles about why he nominated her. “If it wasn’t for people like Alyson, we never would’ve got there because we wouldn’t be able to build a culture to win.”
“Although she did not win a national championship, to me, she is the reason why we were successful and able to make history.” The Women’s Basketball program made history in 2018 winning their first National Title defeating the Saskatchewan Huskies 69-48.