Campus Life

Horns' Veldman captures national award

University of Lethbridge graduating forward Kim Veldman became only the second member of the Pronghorns women's basketball program to win a CIS major award after she was named the 2015 recipient of the Sylvia Sweeney Award at the CIS National Championship awards ceremony on Wednesday night.

Fifth-year forward Kim Veldman has been recognized by the CIS for leadership, academic achievement and community involvement.

The Sylvia Sweeney Award recognizes excellence in basketball, academics and community service. Veldman, a fifth-year forward, has been a leader on and off the floor for the Pronghorns and will go down as one of the best players and student-athletes to ever come through the program.

On the floor, Veldman was the conference's second leading scorer this season, averaging 18.6 points per game. She leaves the Pronghorns as the school's all-time leading rebounder and second leading scorer with 805 boards and 1,391 points over the course of her five campaigns with the team. She was named a Canada West first-team all-star in this, her final season.

While excelling on the court, she also shone in the classroom, earning her Bachelor of Nursing degree in four years, while being named an Academic All-Canadian every year. She will be well on her way to a fifth AAC award while beginning her Master of Nursing program.

"As a humble and even-keel player, Kim has had to work hard to develop her leadership skills," says Pronghorns head coach Erin McAleenan. "Over the last three years of working with her, she has grown immensely not only as a player, but as a person. She has become a confident leader both on and off the floor, and she inspires her teammates on a daily basis. Kim has changed the culture of our program and has had a tremendous impact on the players, coaches and community."

Veldman has been heavily involved in community service as well. She has volunteered as a coach within the Jr Horns basketball program and worked at skills clinics and summer camps; participates in the Reading Buddies program; volunteers one day a week in an elementary classroom and twice a week to lead their co-ed basketball intramural program; volunteered with the Special Olympics where she taught the participants basketball skills and drills; and is active within her church as part of the Trinity Reform Church youth group.

Acadia guard Aprille Deus, Laval wing Raphaëlle Côté and Wilfrid Laurier guard Lee Anna Osei were also nominated for the award.

Veldman joins former Horns head coach Louisa Zerbe, who received the Peter Ennis Award as coach of the year in 1985, as the only other CIS major award winner in program history.