In August 2023, the Cape Breton University Capers women’s basketball team was thrilled to welcome Jamey Jewells as the newest member of its coaching staff. Jamey is no stranger to the basketball court and knew she would be part of the Capers women’s basketball team one day. What she didn’t know was that she would use her incredible skill to someday lead student-athletes from a coach’s perspective, rather than a player.
Jamey dedicated her life to basketball prior to a car accident in 2003 that left her with a broken back. After spending two years in the hospital recovering, she was determined to get back to the court. In 2007, she embarked on an incredible career as a wheelchair basketball player. Jamey was inducted into the Cape Breton Sport Hall of Fame in June 2023.
Jamey’s impressive basketball career gave her the opportunity to travel across Canada, the United States, Asia and Europe, and includes being a member of Canada Basketball’s wheelchair team. She captured gold medals in 2010 at the BT Paralympic World Cup and in 2014 at the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) World Championships; won three silver medals in 2007, 2011 and 2015 at the Parapan American Games; made national team appearances at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London and 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; played with the NCAA Alabama Crimson Tide for two seasons which included a NCAA championship victory in 2017; and played in the Canadian Wheelchair Basketball League (CWBL) women’s crown with the Calgary Rollers.
Since being home, Jamey has also been integral to the start of a wheelchair basketball program right here in Cape Breton in partnership with CBU Athletics and Recreation and Basketball Cape Breton. Now, she can’t wait to share what she learned with student-athletes on the Capers women’s basketball team. “I always dreamt of playing for CBU as a little girl, and here I am getting the chance to be part of the team in a different role,” says Jamey. “It really is a surreal moment.”
This will be Jamey’s first season with the Capers women’s basketball team and her goal is to instill resilience and perseverance from the very start. “CBU’s basketball program has a history of being gritty and always willing to fight back,” says Jamey. “I hope I can add to that culture.” When asked what advice she has for student-athletes, she says “be adaptable – life constantly throws new wrenches in the gears, so being able to improvise and continue to move forward is extremely important.”
Jamey is a mom of three and already a proud member of the CBU family, as she is currently completing her Bachelor of Arts Community Studies and works at CBU’s Jennifer Keeping Centre for Accessible Learning. “This is the most rewarding job and the first job where I wake up happy to go to work,” shares Jamey. “Everything from the community to the family feeling you have getting to work, I absolutely love it and can’t wait to continue working here while coaching.”
After graduation, Jamey’s goal is to be accepted into CBU’s new Bachelor of Social Work Program. A life-long advocate for people with disabilities, Jamey is passionate about ensuring inclusion is represented in all facets of life. Her dream is to be a social worker within a university system, helping students with disabilities.
Cape Breton University is so lucky to have people like Jamey as part of the CBU family. Already a true role model to so many, we can’t wait to see what she brings to the court in the upcoming basketball season. Congratulations, Jamey!