UNBC Timberwolves Hand Out the Hardware
Prince George, B.C.- Maria Mongomo , the five-foot-nine guard from Las Palmas, Spain made more UNBC history at the annual Timberwolves awards banquet this evening, becoming the first student-athlete to win Female Rookie of the Year and Female Athlete of the Year in the same season.
(at right, Maria Mongomo- photos courtesy UNBC Athletics)
It didn’t take long for Mongomo to establish herself with the Timberwolves on the court this season, as the English Language Studies student took a spot in the starting lineup right away. She was consistently among the Canada West leaders in scoring (17.5 points per game), rebounding (7.0 rebounds per game), and steals (2.5 steals per game), making her a threat on both sides of the ball, though she only played 12 games before returning to Spain for visa reasons.
In March, Mongomo made Timberwolves history as she was the first student-athlete to earn national recognition since UNBC joined the CIS, earning a place on the Canada West and CIS All-Rookie teams.
In the community, Mongomo was active with local basketball outreach programs, as well as with Junior Timberwolves programs.
Sydney Hall, who led the women’s soccer team with four goals and volunteered with Prince George Special Olympics, was the other Female Athlete of the Year nominee, while soccer players Julia Babicz and Maddy Doucette were the other Female Rookie of the Year nominees.
On the men’s side, soccer player Francesco Bartolillo ( in photo at right-courtesy UNBC External Relations ) was named Male Athlete of the Year, while basketball player Saje Gosal earned Male Rookie of the Year honours.
Male Athlete of the Year
The 2015-16 season further established Bartolillo as a key cog in the UNBC midfield, as the Calgary native scored twice while playing every minute of every match for the Timberwolves this season.
The 2014-15 Timberwolves Male Rookie of the Year was also an Academic All-Canadian in finance, and he was active in the soccer community as a volunteer coach and mentor with the Vancouver Whitecaps Northern Academy Centre.
Bartolillo’s competition for the award was basketball player Rhys Elliott, the Australian guard who led the Timberwolves in scoring (18.0 points per game) while volunteering with Prince George Special Olympics and Junior Timberwolves programs.
Male Rookie of the Year
A Golden Secondary School graduate, Gosal demonstrated continued improvement throughout the season, consistently making positive contributions to the team on and off the court.
Injuries allowed the six-foot-four shooting guard to start the final five games of the season for the Timberwolves, posting a season-high 14 points and five rebounds in his first career start against Thompson Rivers on Feb. 6 in Kamloops.
For the season, the political studies major shot just under 40 per cent from three-point range.
Gosal is also active in the community, running basketball and sports camps in Golden in the summer. Teammates Anthony Hokanson and Haydn Molcak were also nominated for the honour.
COMPLETE LIST OF AWARD WINNERS
Rookie of the Year – Saje Gosal
Top Defensive Player – Colin Plumb
Most Outstanding Player – Rhys Elliott
Zane Robison Award – Nolan Hanson
Most Inspirational Player – Billy Cheng
Golden Boot – Matt Jubinville
Top Defensive Player – Gordon Hall
Most Valuable Player – Gordon Hall
Coach’s Award – Darin Kamsteeg
Top Defensive Player – Hannah Pudlas
Rookie of the Year – Maria Mongomo
Most Valuable Player – Maria Mongomo
Most Improved Player – Isabelle Bourque
Most Inspirational Player – Kylie Pozniak
Top Offensive Player – Sydney Hall
Top Defensive Player – Fiona Raymond
Most Valuable Player – Sydney Hall
Green and Gold Award – Jo Ribeiro