National Championship Basketball Tournament a Fond Farewell for VIU Student | News | Vancouver Island University3 min read
Fifth-year student Amber Lease will suit up as a Mariner for the final time during the CCAA national tournament at VIU.
There will be no shortage of top talent to watch during the 2022 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Women’s National Basketball Championship taking place at Vancouver Island University (VIU) this month.
And for VIU Mariners women’s basketball team member Amber Lease, who was recently named Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST) player of the year, this tournament experience has been a long time coming. Just a week before VIU was scheduled to host the 2020 national championships, the CCAA cancelled them due to the pandemic. At that time, the team was heading into the tournament as the PACWEST BC champions, looking for their first national gold medal since 1998.
“After the incredible heartbreak we felt by the cancellation of the national tournament in 2020, words can’t describe how excited the team is for the national tournament this year,” says Lease. “Our team has felt that we have unfinished business since 2020.”
Lease came to VIU in 2018 as a Mariners basketball recruit and immediately fell in love with the Island and the school. During her time at VIU, she has worked with the Business Students’ Association, the Office of Co-Curricular Engagement and Learning, and the Office of Future Students.
Last year, she received her Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Economics. However, Lease wasn’t finished with VIU yet and returned this year to obtain her Management Certificate. She stepped into a new role with the Office of Future Students as one of the Lead Student Ambassadors as well.
Now, she will also get another chance to suit up for the nationals, which take place at VIU from March 25-27. This year, the Mariners finished the regular season as the top PACWEST team and in the country after finishing the regular season undefeated.
“The opportunity to host the national tournament this year is something I will be forever grateful for,” says Lease. “Most fifth-years don’t get the opportunity to play their final games in the gym they’ve spent the most time in throughout their university careers.”
Beyond just the opportunity to play for the national title, Lease is grateful for all the time she’s spent at VIU.
“I have been able to create one of the most memorable university experiences I could ask for,” she says. “I’ve received an excellent education, met amazing people and been able to do what I love here.”
Looking ahead to this month’s tournament, Lease is excited for more than just herself and her teammates.
“We encourage and would love to have as many students and faculty in the gym as possible during the tournament,” she says. “VIU has been my home and there wouldn’t be anything greater than getting to celebrate this opportunity in our gym as a Mariners Family.”
The action gets underway with the first match of the tournament at 1 pm on Friday, March 25. VIU will play its first game at 6 pm that same day. Tickets and passes to the tournament are now on sale through Eventbrite. A full weekend schedule is available on the CCAA website.
VIU has hosted CCAA national championships five times since 2007: men’s volleyball in 2007, women’s volleyball in 2012, women’s basketball in 2015, badminton in 2016, and men’s soccer in 2017.
Eric Zimmer, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University
P: 250.618.7296 | E: [email protected] I T: @VIUNews