Thursday, March 13, 2008 | Men's Basketball
By Michel Belanger
CIS Communications Manager
OTTAWA (CIS) – Carleton University fourth-year forward Aaron Doornekamp of Odessa, Ont. is the Canadian Interuniversity Sport men’s basketball player of the year.
Doornekamp keeps the Mike Moser Memorial Trophy at Carleton for the third consecutive year. Former Raven great Osvaldo Jeanty, who graduated in 2006-07 as a five-time national champion, had claimed the award the past two seasons.
Other major award winners announced Thursday night at the Congress Centre in Ottawa were Wilfrid Laurier’s Kale Harrison of Stratford, Ont., who received the Dr. Peter Mullins Trophy as rookie of the year, Brandon’s Yul Michel of Montreal, named the nation’s top defensive player, Toronto’s Mike Katz, who claimed the Stuart W. Aberdeen Memorial Trophy as coach of the year, and Winnipeg’s Matthew Opalko of Winnipeg, who received the Ken Shields Award recognizing his excellence in basketball, academics and community involvement.
Doornekamp averaged 15.6 points and 8.3 rebounds in 27 minutes of court time per game this season as the five-time defending CIS champion Ravens posted a 22-0 conference record for their third unblemished campaign in five years. The six-foot-seven commerce major, who was also successful on 73.6 percent of his free-throw attempts during the regular schedule, stepped it up a notch in the OUA playoffs as he averaged 18.7 points per contest while capturing game-MVP honours following both the OUA East final and the OUA Wilson Cup title match, an 81-65 victory over Western. He was also named tournament MVP at the 18th House-Laughton Classic back in October after the Ravens won their own tourney for the seventh straight year.
A three-time national champion and the gold-medal final and tournament MVP at the 2007 CIS championship, Doornekamp earns a spot on the first all-Canadian team for the first time, after receiving a second-team nod in 2005-06 following his sophomore season. He is a member of the 18-men national team roster and represented Canada at the 2007 Pan-Am Games in Porto Rico.
A nephew of Carleton head coach Dave Smart, Doornekamp followed in the footsteps of his older brother, Ben, who played two seasons for the Ravens in 2001-02 and 2002-03. The newly crowned CIS MVP joined Carleton out of Ernestown Secondary School where he played for current teammate Stuart Turnbull’s father, Tom.
“Aaron is one of the most competitive people I have ever coached and the time he has spent working on his game on his own time during the off season is really starting to show in his play this season,” Smart said. “Aaron is one of the toughest match-ups out there, because of his ability to step out and shoot it and put it on the floor, but also his ability to score in the post.”