Kiyara Letlow has put the icing on the cake of her freshman season by being named the top rookie in Canadian women’s university basketball, earning the Kathy Shields Award. The Capers’ dynamic forward received the award at the 2022 U Sports Women’s Basketball Championships hosted by Queen’s University on Wednesday, March 30.
“I didn’t expect any of this,” says Kiyara. “It’s very exciting and I really am proud of myself.” In addition to Rookie of the Year, Kiyara was named a 2nd Team All-Canadian and earned a spot on this season’s all-rookie team.
Humbled by her win, Kiyara says she wouldn’t have been able to reach this goal without the support of her coaches and teammates. “It wouldn’t have happened without them,” she insists. “I’m still kind of awestruck.”
Throughout the season, Kiyara averaged 22.7 points and 15.7 rebounds per game, leading the conference in rebounding and taking second in scoring. She says constantly evolving is what keeps her at the top of her game. When her coaches offer advice on where she needs to improve, Kiyara heads to the gym without hesitation.
“Kiyara is an incredible athlete with a great motor,” says Fabian McKenzie, Head Coach of the Capers Women’s Basketball team. “She studied what it takes to be successful at this level; watching film, being open to learning and applying the advice of our coaching staff. She was in the gym every day working on a different aspect of the game and her return on that investment was very high.”
Kiyara is only the second CBU Women’s Basketball player to win the Kathy Shields Award, joining former standout Alison Keough who was honoured in the 2013-14 season. Looking ahead to the 2022-23 season, Kiyara says the team is focused and ready. The Capers will host the 2023 U Sports Women’s Basketball Championship in March of 2023, and we are confident Kiyara will play a key role in their success.