Dingle earns hardcourt hardware
By Alex Chiang
Jonathan Dingle finally got to see Halifax, but the circumstances were different than what he had hoped for over his five-year career as a Mustang.
Last Thursday night, Dingle was honoured at the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union men's basketball awards banquet, as the recipient of the The Sports Network's Ken Shields Award for the player who best exhibits outstanding achievement in basketball, academics and community service.
"He certainly satisfied all the criteria," Mustang head coach Craig Boydell said. "It was very easy to write a letter of reference. He's a strong student who reads beyond what is necessary and he's enjoyed a solid five-year playing career, plus he makes himself available to the community."
But being a consummate team player, the Hamilton-native said he would have traded the honour for a shot at the CIAU championship in a heartbeat.
"Individually it's quite an honour, but I'd trade it all to be playing," he said. "Ironically enough it was my first time to Halifax. I planned a trip, but I didn't know I was going to take the backdoor route.
"It was really hard to sit and watch from the stands."
Dingle said that after receiving the award, in his recipient's speech he encouraged athletes to be well-rounded and to put forth an effort in academics and in the community, as well as in their athletics.
"We are role models. You have to take that role seriously and try to project that image," he said.
Dingle's list of community involvement includes an abundance of experience dealing with children. Last summer, he worked at St. Joseph's Hospital in Hamilton, where he was the play leadership program coordinator. In a previous summer, he dealt with special needs children in Victoria, B.C. and Dingle has also coached basketball at various camps and teams at Westdale, his old high school.
Also honoured at the awards banquet was the Mustangs' other guard Micah Bourdeau. Bourdeau earned second-team honours, along with Waterloo's Mano Watsa, Laurentian's Ted Dongelmans, Dalhousie's Brian Parker and Brandon's Shawn Gray.
Earning first-team honours were McMaster's Titus Channer, Regina's Kevin Gilroy, Lethbridge's Danny Balderson, Victoria's Eric Hinrichsen and Acadia's Jan Trojanowski.
Channer was also the recipient of the Mike Moser Award for the CIAU player of the year. The fifth-year senior, also from Hamilton, led the Ontario West Conference in scoring and finished second in the CIAU scoring race this year averaging 23.6 points per game.
Bishop's Eddie Pomykala, who coached the Gaiters to a second-consecutive Quebec Conference title, was named coach of the year.
Rookie of the year honours went to York's Dean Labayen. In only his first year, Lebayen led the Yeomen and the Ontario East Conference in scoring with a 22.4 points-per-game average.