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Friday, April 5 was a night of smiles, applause and togetherness, as the George Brown College Department of Athletics and Recreation celebrated what has been a remarkable journey over the 2018-19 season. 

The Huskies family is a diverse one, from student-athletes to student therapists, donors to support staff, the list goes on. For the second year running, the Marriott City Centre Hotel hosted this George Brown mosaic, one final coming together before graduations and the summer months. 

Of course, there was plenty to celebrate beyond the company of friends and teammates, as the 2018-19 season saw an abundance of award-worthy athletes and performances. 

For the second year in a row, George Brown's varsity badminton team took home Huskies Team of the Year. After sweeping the provincial team titles in a repeat of last season, the squad went to the CCAA National Championship in Nova Scotia, returning home with a pair of silver medals and two fourth-place finishes. 

Key cogs to one of the strongest badminton programs in the country, Anh Hoang and Mike Ra were recognized as George Brown's Female and Male Athlete of the Year, respectively. In addition to their provincial accolades, the former earned her second consecutive national silver medal, while the latter improved on last year's national bronze in mixed doubled, and was named badminton MVP in the process.  

"It's special since it's my last year," Ra said, after a good-natured laugh over his upgrade from last year's national bronze. "Last year, because it was my second year, I was like, 'Oh, I've still got one more year, I can still enjoy more.' 

"But time flies really fast, and since it's my last year, I just want to keep (this feeling), which is really happy, for as long as possible." 

A CCAA Academic All Canadian, Hoang was also the recipient of this year's Pinball Clemons Foundation Athletics & Recreation Award and badminton's Commitment to Excellence Award. In winning Female Athlete of the Year, she edged teammate Angeline Alviar, as well as women's basketball MVP and fellow CCAA Academic All Canadian, Tianna Sullivan. 

In honours which bode well for the future of both programs, Huskies soccer swept the Female and Male Rookie of the Year categories, courtesy of Brianna Samuels-McLaughlin and Mathew Da Silva, respectively. 

Also named women's outdoor soccer MVP, Samuels-McLaughlin led the Huskies in goal-scoring during the outdoor season, and her role as bane of opposing defences helped to give the squad a confidence that it could compete against anyone. 

The 2019 OCAA Indoor Soccer Championships served as a coming-out party for Da Silva, whose offensive instincts and steady two-way play earned him tournament all-star honours and were integral to the squad's eventual gold-medal result. 

"These guys are like family to me," Da Silva said, referring to his teammates. "It's the vibes, (they) bring good energy every time we're around, and I don't hesitate to ever hang out with them or go to practice." 

Da Silva's fellow nominees for male rookie of the year were John Lee of badminton, winner of this year's Kim Ng Award, as well as cross country MVP Garrick Loewen.

Each category had worthy contenders, and Coach of the Year was no exception. Will Schram's badminton program was once again a force to be reckoned with on the provincial and national stages, Daphne Choi's women's volleyball team put together an outstanding season and laid the foundation for years to come, and Leslie Fitzpatrick's work with the women's soccer squad earned him OCAA Women's Soccer Central Division Coach of the Year.

John Williams of the men's soccer program took home Coach of the Year honours, in a season which saw the tactician at his finest. The veteran head coach put on a masterclass of coaching and execution at the 2019 OCAA Indoor Soccer Championships, the result being a second gold-medal result in three years. 

Amongst the long record of awardees (see below for a complete list of award winners) was CCAA Academic All Canadian Zae Sellers, who found herself stepping up to the podium a number of times to receive the Franklin Gyamfi Memorial Scholarship, the Alex Barbier Award and "Lead Dog" women's basketball team award. 

On a night celebrating what it means to be a Husky, her story was a poignant example of exactly that. 

"It was really a journey," said Sellers, a Minnesota native. "From Coach Mark (athletics coordinator Mark Couch) being the only person that I knew, and then just being in the office, meeting people by getting out there. I started participating with BSSN (Black Student Success Network), so I met more people through that, and then getting a job at the front desk at the gym. 

"It's been a journey, just to go from knowing nobody to having all these accolades, and seeing people in the hallway that I know now. It's more of a family than ever."


Female Athlete of the Year

- Anh Hoang, Badminton 


Male Athlete of the Year

- Mike Ra, Badminton 


Female Rookie of the Year

- Brianna Samuels-McLaughlin, Women's Soccer/Women's Indoor Soccer 


Male Rookie of the Year

- Mathew Da Silva, Men's Soccer/Men's Indoor Soccer


Team of the Year

- Badminton


Coach of the Year

- John Williams, Men's Soccer/Men's Indoor Soccer


Student Association Athletic Scholarship

- Nicolas Giancola, Baseball

- Terry Humber, Cross Country

- Francesca Bellini, Women's Basketball

- Francesca Girardo, Women's Soccer/Women's Indoor Soccer


Student Therapist Award

- Cesar Cruz


Pinball Clemons Foundation Athletics & Recreation Award

- Anh Hoang, Badminton


Kimchan Fitness Award

- Jasmin Walia, Women's Volleyball


CCAA Academic All Canadians

- Anh Hoang, Badminton

- Eric Kern, Badminton

- Zae Sellers, Women's Basketball

- Tianna Sullivan, Women's Basketball


Athletic Academic Achievement Award (4.0)

- Jessica Barrios, Women's Volleyball

- Eric Kern, Badminton

- Anh Hoang, Badminton

- Francesca Girardo, Women's Soccer/Women's Indoor Soccer


Franklin Gyamfi Memorial Scholarship

- Zae Sellers, Women's Basketball


Alex Barbier Award

- Zae Sellers, Women's Basketball


Women's Indoor Soccer Team Awards

- Commitment to Excellence: Cynthia Pellegrino

- MVP Award: Nicole McKenzie


Men's Indoor Soccer Team Awards

- Commitment to Excellence: Robert Mijackovic

- MVP Award: Shaquille Agard


Women's Volleyball Team Awards

- Commitment to Excellence: Jasmin Walia

- TOPS Volleyball Fair Play Award: Ashley Lau

- MVP Award: Tiana Samuel


Men's Volleyball Team Awards

- Commitment to Excellence: Yuseph Jackman

- TOPS Volleyball Fair Play Award: Matthew Palkowski

- MVP Award: Vivek Mathimakki


Women's Outdoor Soccer Team Awards

- Commitment to Excellence: Melanie Retz

- MVP Award: Brianna Samuels-McLaughlin


Men's Outdoor Soccer Team Awards

- Commitment to Excellence: Shaquille Agard

- MVP Award: Filipe Vilela


Cross Country Team Awards

- Commitment to Excellence: Jacob Dzieciol

- MVP Award: Garrick Loewen


Women's Basketball Team Awards

- Commitment to Excellence: Kiyann Grimaldo

- "Lead Dog" Award: Zae Sellers

- MVP Award: Tianna Sullivan


Baseball Team Awards

- Commitment to Excellence: Brandon Nieva

- MVP Award: Anthony Buonaiuto


Badminton Team Awards

- Commitment to Excellence: Anh Hoang

- Kim Ng Award: John Lee

- MVP Award: Mike Ra


Men's Basketball Team Awards

- Commitment to Excellence: Khadar Gaal

- MVP Award: Adam Costanzo