Alexa Tan earns rookie of the year

Women end season on a positive note

SAIT Trojan's shooting guard Alexa Tan poses for environmental portraits in the SAIT Campus Centre gym in Calgary on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. Tan is a Calgary native and graduated from St. Mary's High School. (Photo by Quin Hauck/SAIT)

SAIT Trojan’s shooting guard Alexa Tan poses for environmental portraits in the SAIT Campus Centre gym in Calgary on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. Tan is a Calgary native and graduated from St. Mary’s High School. (Photo by Quin Hauck/SAIT)

Alexa Tan has been named women’s basketball Rookie of the Year by the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC).

“I just worked really hard, I guess. I didn’t do anything specific, I just tried my best,” said Tan.

On top of winning Rookie of the Year, the women’s basketball team finished the season with a bronze win against the Medicine Hat College Rattlers with a score of 57-39.

“For a team that had six rookies, we did pretty good,” said Tan.

After missing four regular season games due to an ankle injury early in the second semester, the student athlete found that she needed to work even harder to make up for missed playing time.

With a slew of first-year players getting comfortable with the team and some player injuries to overcome, the bronze medal was a bright light at the end of the tunnel for the Trojans.

Tan said that at the start of the season, the team was consistent in winning games.

Although the first semester went well, the team struggled with losses throughout the rest of the year.

The women’s team fought hard to finally end their five game losing streak just in time to clinch one of the coveted playoff spots.

As a Trojans rookie, Tan is still adjusting to the aspects of life as a college athlete.

Her journey playing basketball started in the first grade, and she’s been playing full-time ever since.

“I’ve learned a lot this year. It’s obviously different than high school, since there is way more time you have to put in, and you have to balance school and everything else,” said Tan.

As a guard, one of Tan’s most important responsibilities is to sink baskets.

“When I’m not making a lot of shots, it can put down my confidence, so I have to just put that [thought] away and keep going.”

“My teammates helped a lot, especially my sister. I wouldn’t make a couple shots, and she would see that I was obviously down, and be there to tell me to keep shooting,” said Tan.

Tan’s sister, Alicia is on the same team, but in her fourth year of eligibility.

Tan said the amount of turnovers were an important factor that held the team back from winning a gold medal.

Bronze wasn’t the first choice of medal for the team, but she was ultimately pleased with ending the season on a positive note.

The toughest game in the playoffs was the second round, according to her.

She said she can pinpoint the moment when the team started to slow down.

Although the second playoff game ultimately ended in a loss, the team started to make a comeback and fought their hardest in the fourth quarter in hopes of salvaging a win.

“As a team we were losing confidence, but by the fourth quarter we were picking it up, and slowly catching up.

“They were shocked we were trying to come back, but we came back a little late, it wasn’t enough to win the game, but it was enough for us to look back and say we tried.”

Going into her second year of business, the rookie has ambitions of improving her individual scoring statistics.

“This summer, I plan on training a lot and working on my shooting to become more consistent.”

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