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Champions of Character
Westmont Athletics is a proud participant in the NAIA Champions of Character program. Champions of Character provides training for student-athletes and professional development for coaches and staff. The values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership are put into play and accounted for at NAIA schools.
With the 2016 Summer Olympics about to get under way in Rio de Janeiro later this week, Westmont fans will be paying special attention to women’s basketball and track and field and cheering on two particular athletes in their quest for an Olympic medal.
Tugce Canitez, who graduated from Westmont in 2013, will compete in the Olympics for the second time as a member of the Turkish women’s basketball team. Canitez competed at the London Games in 2012, the summer between her junior and senior years at Westmont. After her return from London to Westmont, Canitez helped lead the Warriors to the 2013 NAIA Women’s Basketball National Championship.
Since her graduation, Canitez has played professionally in her home country for Fenerbahce in Istanbul. A perineal contender in the Turkish Women’s Basketball League, Fenerbahce won the 2016 championship.
Turkey has been assigned to Group A at 2016 Olympics along with France, Australia, Japan, Belarus and the home country, Brazil. Pool play begins on Saturday, August 6 and continues through Monday, August 15. The single elimination brackets begin on Tuesday, August 16 with the quarterfinals. The semifinals are scheduled for Thursday, August 18 and the medal games will be played on Saturday, August 20.
Competing in the women’s heptathlon will be Barbara Nwaba, the two-time USA champion in the event. Nwaba is a member of the Santa Barbara Track Club that trains at Westmont and is coached by Joshua Priester, a Westmont assistant track and field coach.
By Kaci Mexico
June 23, 2016
Right after the end of their highly successful season, the Westmont Women’s soccer team spent most of the spring not only gearing up for the 2016 season, but in preparation for their triennial team missions trip to Uganda, Africa.
This is the fourth mission’s trip that the Westmont Women’s Soccer Program has taken and each trip has been through a sports ministry organization called the Sports Outreach Institute.
The Warriors departed the United States on May 9th, and left Uganda to return home on May 22nd.
Upon arriving back in Santa Barbara, head coach Chantel Cappuccilli reflected on the team’s experiences in Uganda.
“What we were told before the trip was to expect God to move, but I don’t think any of us were really anticipating the amount that would occur while we were there,” explained Cappuccilli. “I think that seeing Christianity on a global scale is crucial within the development of faith because it just gives one a different perspective and I think a new perspective is what we came away with.
Westmont’s Evan Kramer and Karlie Storkson were honored at a banquet in Costa Mesa on Sunday as recipients of the Golden State Athletic Conference Champions of Character Award. The Award, named for the former GSAC Commissioner, is given to one male and one female student-athlete from each member institution.
Recipients must be at least juniors with a 3.0 minimum grade point average. They must be outstanding in “campus leadership, community service, embracing the five core values of the NAIA Champions of Character Initiative, athletic achievement and future ambition.”
Kramer is a senior economics and business major from Santa Ana with a 3.44 GPA. A Westmont Golden Eagle Award winner, Kramer is president of Westmont’s chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon, the international honor society for economics.
In the summer of 2015, Kramer attended a seminar in Washington D.C. in the Morality of Democratic Capitalism hosted by the American Enterprise Institute.
Kramer earned All-GSAC honors in cross country at the GSAC Championships and led the Warriors to an 18th place finish at the NAIA National Championships. In September, Kramer was named the GSAC Cross Country Runner of the Month.
By Kaci Mexico
February 11, 2016
Senior Karlie Storkson of Lynnwood, Washington was named to the 2016 Allstate WBCA (Women’s Basketball Coaches Association) Good Works Team.
Out of 103 nominations ten student-athletes were chosen for the team; five from NCAA Division I and five from NCAA Divisions II, III and the NAIA. Storkson was the sole NAIA student-athlete to receive this honor.
This distinguished award honors college basketball athletes for their off-the-court accomplishments as they spend their limited free time giving back to their communities and bettering the lives of others all over the world.
“I think honestly that this award is the best award that the WBCA gives,” explained head coach Kirsten Moore, “because it really honors something so much bigger than the game – teaching our student athletes how to be good citizens and how to have a positive impact on their communities. As a Christian college our mission is to serve and shine the love of God to other people so I am really grateful that Karly has led in that way for us for four years.”
“All of her off the court time has been spent giving back to others,” continued Moore, “between two mission trips to Africa in two of her past three summers and her service in the campus community as a leader in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for the past three years.”
By Karlie Storkson
Day eight and nine and the beginning of 10 have been an absolute whirlwind.
Day eight was our last day of service with the Sports Outreach Institute (SOI) Gulu team. It was bittersweet as we were exhausted and ready for a break but extremely sad to say goodbye to our dear Ugandan friends.
Day nine was a travel day to the Murchison Falls Game Park. We had a boat ride down the Nile planned followed by a hike to the top of the falls. We were delayed for a bit when a thunder and lightning storm hit after we had gotten on the boat but before we had set sail. We prayed and sang and waited the storm out. And then got to go on the boat ride and see the falls. Unfortunately it was too wet and dangerous to hike to the top of the falls. At the end of the day we were able to hear Sam’s (our guide’s) testimony and have some more debriefing time.
On Day ten we went on a sunrise safari and saw elephants, giraffes and lions. Wow. We all can’t wait to share our pictures.
Westmont Women’s Basketball is in the midst of a mission trip to Uganda. The team is currently in the city of Gulu in northern Uganda, an area which was ravaged by civil war until 2007. Gulu has a population of just over 150,000.
What follows is a travel log by senior Karlie Storkeson, outlining their activities on August 14 (day six) and August 15 (day seven).
Wow, wow, wow. I’m going to attempt to go over what has taken place the last two days. But as a disclaimer, my words are going to barely even scratch the surface of all that we were able to pack into the last two days.
Editors Note: The following report from Uganda was received several days after it was written.
By Karlie Storkson
Hey everyone! We are alive and in Uganda! It has been a crazy whirlwind of travel and beginning to experience Africa! We spent too many hours to count in airplanes and airports. We flew from LAX to New York. New York to Amsterdam. Amsterdam to Rwanda. And then finally to Uganda. We left at 5:00 a.m. from Santa Barbara on Thursday the 6th and arrived in Kampala, Uganda at our hotel at 11pm on the 7th. Needless to say, we were exhausted. But in Warrior Basketball fashion, we were up at 7:15 am the next morning for conditioning. We wanted to run off the jet lag and ensure we were in shape to play the Ugandan National Team..
After our conditioning on day one, we visited a slum called Bwaise where we were able to put on a basketball clinic. This was our first interaction with a large amount of Ugandans and it was memorable. We taught kids on a large dirt field how to dribble and pass, from the age of five up through high school. After, Morgan Haskin, Aimee Brakken and I shared our testimonies with different age groups of the kids we were with. Sixteen kids came to Christ in Aimee’s group. Praise God! After sharing smiles and photos and hugs we had to leave in order to get to our second slum visit of the day.
Our second stop was the Katwe slum in Kampala. Here we visited the Sport Outreach International’s (SOI) chess academy started by Robert Katende. It was inspiring to hear from the chess students about how chess had made an impact on them to be able to have the confidence in their day to day lives and challenges. We responded by sharing what basketball has done in our lives.