ETOBICOKE, Ont. — Experience wins in college basketball, regardless of the level.
Last season, the Olds College Broncos took home the school’s first-ever national championship in women’s basketball with a win over the Dynamiques de Sainte-Foy. The Broncos had six players on their roster who were in either their third or fourth year of eligibility, and that experience was key to their success all season long.
On Friday, head coach Ajay Sharma and the Humber Hawks got a big boost in terms of experience, one that will undoubtedly help the team during the 2019-20 season.
It was announced that Amber Bechard (Tecumseh, Ont.) would be making her return to the Hawks for the 2019-20 season for her fifth and final year of eligibility. The four-year standout at Humber returns to the lineup after a two-year absence from the program.
Bechard helped guide the Hawks to the 2015-16 CCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship, the first for any OCAA women’s team in any sport. The following year, Bechard and the Hawks brought home a CCAA bronze medal.
During the 2015-16 season, Bechard averaged 3.5 points were game while averaging just over 12 minutes of playing time per night out. The next season, Bechard’s production increased to 6.6 points per contest. Known for her tough defense and ability to keep opposing star players in check, Bechard will give the Hawks a standout player on their end of the floor and a veteran presence off the floor.
“Amber brought an intensity to the court that we have been unable to duplicate since she left”, said Sharma in a release shared by the Hawks. “Her leadership both on and off the court will play a big factor in our future success.”
Bechard’s absence from the team yielded it’s own set of victories. First, during the 2017-18 season, Bechard traveled to Europe where she would earn her Bachelor of Studies and Sports Science at the University of the West of England. Then, the following year, she welcomed her son, Mason, into the world.
Humber finished last season in second place in the OCAA West Division with a record of 19-3.
– T. Bennett
Information from the Humber Hawks contributed to this post.