Julie Page, a two-time All-Big Sky Conference basketball standout at Eastern Washington before graduating in 2006, has not only fulfilled her aspiration of playing professionally in her native England, she has reached the pinnacle of athletic achievement in Great Britain.
Paige, a native of Stockport, Chesire, England, was named the British Basketball Player of the Year after a standout summer in which she led her team, Standard Life GB, into the second round of the EuroBasket Women 2011. Page averaged 10 points and seven rebounds as Standard Life GB advanced further than any Great Britain team in history.
The honor earns Page the Olympic Athlete of the Year Award for basketball. Previous winners of that award have included current NBA star Luol Deng.
Page, captain of Standard Life GB, will compete for Great Britain in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
“When I think about competing in the 2012 London Olympics, I get goose bumps,” Page was quoted as saying in a release announcing her award. “I never imagined I would have an opportunity like this. It is every athlete’s ultimate dream to be an Olympic competitor, and this one is even more special for us because we will be playing in front of a home crowd.”
Since leaving EWU, Page has played for a number of top clubs in Germany, Italy, France and Poland, as well as competing with the British National team. In her second season, Page led TV 1872 Saarlouis to the German Cup Championship and was selected Most Valuable Player.
At Eastern, Page was the Big Sky Newcomer of the Year in 2004, was honorable mention All-Big Sky in 2005 and was named to the first team in 2006. She averaged 10.2 points and 5.1 rebounds during her career. The Eagles advanced to the Big Sky tournament in each of her three years.
After record-breaking performances, seniors Chene Cooper, a point guard on the women’s basketball team, and Kersee Lind, a heptathlete on the men’s indoor track and field team, have been named the first Scholar-Athletes of 2012 by the Eastern Washington athletic department.
Cooper, from Puyallup, Wash., broke the Eagles’ 27-year-old career steals record and tied the single-game steals record with seven in the Big Sky opener against Montana State, and maintains a 3.33 cumulative grade-point average in criminal justice. Cooper, who received the same honor in March of 2011, ended the first weekend of Big Sky play with 220 career steals. Lisa Comstock (1982-85) held the record with 212. Cooper ranks first in the Big Sky and 32nd nationally with 3.1 steals per game.
Lind, from Hermiston, Ore., who has a 3.57 GPA in Spanish, broke his school record in the heptathlon with 5,132 points at the fourth annual Candy Cane Invitational on Dec. 3. His former mark was 5,033. He won five of the seven events and has qualified for the Big Sky Conference Indoor Championships next month. He also won a scholar-athlete award in January 2010.
Two Spokane girls are members of the Montana Big Sky Wildcats U19 Tier II team that captured the championship of the fourth annual Flathead Valley Hockey Association Winter Classic last weekend.
Brooke Bogart and Catie Etier play for the Wildcats, who defeated a team from Lethbridge, Alberta, 5-3 to win the championship of the nine-team division.
The Wildcats’ goal is to return to the USA Hockey U19 Tier II girls championships March 28-April 1 in Dallas.