Evelyn Shakell, Mike Kirby Award 2024

For anyone who may not be aware, Mike Kirby founded the Belleville Spirits Girls Basketball Club and worked tirelessly over many years to encourage development and competition through establishing an excellent girls basketball program in the Belleville area. He continues to be a supporter and advisor, both to the club executive and to basketball in this region.

The Mike Kirby Award is given to an athlete who demonstrates a love for the game, takes on leadership roles and encourages others to get involved. This athlete should demonstrate a desire to coach or lead within the sport now and into the future, therefore making their impact infectious and long lasting.

For the 2023-24 season, I am pleased to present the Mike Kirby Award to Evelyn Shakell. Evelyn is a strong and respected competitor across the basketball teams that she competes with. Everyone knows, without a doubt, when Evelyn is in the gym. She is quick to praise, equally quick to voice dissent. Ev comes full force and her impact on this team has been significant.

A talented natural athlete with amazing foot speed, deft passing, superior ball handling and full court vision Evelyn shows every day how the fire of sport is a good fit for her.

Ev supports her Indigenous heritage by serving on school board council and participating in Indigenous sport, including basketball. She will, no doubt, continue to teach and coach going forward. In her graduating year, Ev is going to Trent University to continue her studies. No doubt her influence will continue to be felt in the gym and beyond.

Charlotte Farrell, Spirit Award 2024

The SPIRIT Award is given to an athlete who exemplifies a positive attitude, plays to win while maintaining exemplary sportsmanship, encourages her teammates and carries herself with confidence, both on and off the court. Courage, resolution, tenacity are all synonyms for SPIRIT. One player on this U19 team checks all those boxes while always being supportive to her teammates.

Charlotte Farrell is competitive with a capital C, always willing to play many different roles to succeed as a team. She is a talented shooter but also a top level rebounder, defender, and playmaker. She encourages all, primarily by her own work ethic, to strive for the top.

Despite significant injury setbacks over the years, Charlotte has always been steadfast in her basketball work ethic. Spirits are blessed to have her back with her home club this season.

Congratulations Charlotte on a very impactful season.

For the 2023-24 season, I am pleased to present the SPIRIT Award to Charlotte Farrell.

U19 OBLX Provincial Champions

Last weekend saw the U19 Belleville Spirits travel to the Pan Am Centre in Scarborough for the OBLX Provincial championships.

Entering as a 5 seed (in a pool of ๐Ÿ˜Ž Belleville faced #1 London BecomeOne on Friday night. London came out quick and strong; full court pressure, attacking offense, smothering defense. Valiant effort by all Spirit girls but in the end lost 44 โ€“ 37.

Saturday morning was rebound time. Facing North Toronto Huskies for the fourth time this season the Spirits wasted no time in establishing pace and control. Tenacious defense, aggressive rebounding at both ends, confident attack. A fast and fun game to watch; 62 โ€“ 42 Spirits.

Our final game in pool play was against Blessed Sacrament. Once again stifling defense shut down this quick guard heavy attack offense team, Spirits winning 58 โ€“ 53.

Medal play was crossover format so we met top seed Barrie from the other pool. Evenly matched on many levels the Spirits got key baskets and clutch free throws down the stretch; 45โ€“40 Spirits.

Sunday, Mothers Day. Pretty sure every motherโ€™s gift wish was the same; gold for our girls. Again, facing London BecomeOne. Spirits started really strong but London picked away at us to tie it up. Unbelievable man to man defense, relentless rebounding, key shot makes, calm free throw shooting. All these combined to allow the Spirits to prevail 43-40.

OBLX Provincial Champions. Full stop!

Thanks to team sponsor RBC Wealth Management Dominion Securities Inc for a great season!