The University of Northern British Columbia Women’s Basketball team has looked to the Thompson Okanagan for its first recruit of the year, proudly announcing the commitment of forward Halle Tiessen for the 2023-2024 Canada West season.
“It’s a pretty big deal to me. I played soccer my whole life and just recently got into basketball. My passion grew right away, so to be at this level is like a dream. My coach introduced the next level to me, and he was really encouraging, so it made me want to get here. My goal is to constantly keep improving every part of my game. I want to expand where I can play so I can be a more versatile player.”
Standing five-foot-11, Tiessen is a fluid athlete, thanks in part to her training as a competitive soccer player. Not shy about being the hardest working player on the court, the Kamloops product strives to add a new element to her game every time she steps on the floor.
“I am a very hard-working player. I will get on the floor if I need to, and be a strong defensive player. I think defense is a really important part of the game, so I have been working on that a lot, as well as going for the rebounds.”
Playing for the Basketball 4All Academy in Kamloops, Tiessen trained with Goran Nogic, a coach with experience at the U SPORTS and professional level. Nogic believes the Timberwolves have added a player with a tremendous growth profile and willingness to do what it takes to play at the Canada West level.
“Halle deserves this opportunity. She really is a great person, an outstanding student, and a hard worker. Her basketball IQ and strong character maker her a very coachable player and I am sure that Coach Sergey (Shchepotkin) and the UNBC program will help her grow her talent to be a quality U SPORTS player.”
Tiessen visited UNBC’s Prince George campus in September, where she was able to tour the facilities and train with the current Timberwolves roster.
“It has been a really cool experience. Much different than high school. The level and intensity are way higher. Everyone in the team is super nice and it was a lot of fun. Different than what I am used to, that’s for sure.”
The 17-year-old plays her high school basketball with Sa-Hali Secondary, where coach Jody Vosper has seen the young forward’s growth firsthand.
“We are really excited that Halle has signed with UNBC and is pursuing her dream of playing post-secondary basketball. UNBC is getting not only a strong athlete, but an excellent academic student, and a great person. Halle has worked very hard to improve her skills to get to the next level. Her hard work and determination will help her at with the TWolves, and they will benefit from her positive attitude and commitment to being a team player. We couldn't be happier for her.”
Tiessen will graduate from Sa-Hali in June, and plans to pursue her degree in health sciences at UNBC. She will join her new teammates for training camp in August at the Northern Sport Centre.
“Five years ago, I didn’t think I would be here right now, doing it. Having this opportunity and chance, it doesn’t feel real. It’s super exciting and I am super happy to be here.”