Lambton Lions basketball star Cassidy Crowe has won a national athletics award.
The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association named the 23-year-old Sarnian an Academic All-Canadian after her first season at Lambton.
“It was kind of surreal to be honest,” said Crowe. “It feels good, especially because it’s reflective of the academic side of things as well.
“I worked pretty hard to make sure I was being successful on both sides of things.”
To qualify as an Academic All-Canadian, student-athletes must maintain a GPA of at least 3.50 while exhibiting hard work, dedication and sacrifice at their varsity sport.
The five-foot-ten point guard scored 227 points during an 11-7 season that took the Lions to the OCAA quarterfinals. After the playoff loss in Windsor she was named a West Division second-team all-star.
Crowe is a familiar name to local basketball fans. She played four years at Northern Collegiate under coach John Thrasher, and turned down a U.S. Division One scholarship to play at Western University.
But basketball took a back seat when son Hudson was born in 2017.
Last fall, Crowe enrolled at Lambton to pursue business accounting. She liked the idea of suiting up with the Lions and reconnected with head coach Kendel Ross, whom she’d worked with at high school.
Her first season in the OCAA “was so much fun,” she said.
“I’m really lucky. I had a really great team this year and it was more like a little family. I got to transfer my role as a mom at home … (to) the team and on the court,” she said, laughing. “They’re definitely all my little sisters.”
Crowe recorded 54 steals and 130 rebounds, averaging 14.1 points over the 16 games.
“For me it’s, ‘How do I feel when I play? How do I feel at the end of the game?’” she said.
“This season there were games when I scored five points and I felt I did a way better job than in games when I scored 25 points.
“There are so many different roles you can play. That’s the beauty of team sports, that you can contribute massively without showing up on the stats sheet.”