A shocking loss for Lady Hawks

John
John Browne
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Leading scorer, AUS all-star Vicki Thistle transferring from Memorial

Vicki Thistle, the Sea-Hawks women's basketball team's top scorer and a second-team Canadian all-star, is transferring from Memorial University.

Thistle is expected to break the news to her teammates Saturday, but she confirmed the decision to The Telegram Thursday night.

Vicki Thistle, the leading scorer for the Memorial Sea-Hawks and an AUS women's basketball first-team all-star in 2008-09 has decided to transfer from Memorial. "I know it sounds weird but, right now in my life, I feel I need a new start," Thistle told Th

Vicki Thistle, the Sea-Hawks women's basketball team's top scorer and a second-team Canadian all-star, is transferring from Memorial University.

Thistle is expected to break the news to her teammates Saturday, but she confirmed the decision to The Telegram Thursday night.

"It's hard to explain," said Thistle when asked why she was leaving.

"I never saw it coming. I started thinking about it at the end of the season. I thought about it and it was something I wanted to do. I felt it was the right thing to do. I know it sounds weird but, right now in my life, I feel I need a new start," she said.

"It's a personal decision," Thistle added. "I just want to get out and experience life ... that kind of thing."

The third-year student from St. John's, who wants to continue her studies in kinesiology and go on to med school, said her education is the most important factor in the school she picks, although she does want to go somewhere where the basketball is "competitive."

Under Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) rules, a transfer would mean Thistle must sit out a year before resuming her collegiate basketball career.

"No one understands why I want to leave," said Thistle, "because I have everything I could possible need right here. My parents and friends are here. The people who come to the games know you. I'll be on my own, but it's something I feel I need to do and experience now so that I don't have any regrets in life."

"It's a blow to our program," MUN head coach Doug Partridge said. "It's never good to lose a player of that calibre anytime."

"We've worked hard with Vicki to help her become a good player," said Partridge. "She was just starting to really come together."

Just before the Atlantic Universities Sport (AUS) playoffs, Thistle was asked to assess her overall play this year and she said: "It's been good a times, and there were games I didn't think I played very well, but I'm also very hard on myself, so there's always ways to improve."

The first-team AUS all-star led MUN in scoring with 16.3 points-per-game average in helping the Lady Hawks finish second in the conference with a 16-4 record.

Still, Partridge said he was "concerned" with Thistle's play in a two-game series the last weekend of the regular season against Cape Breton, a series the Capers swept.

"She was not focused rebounding wise and it resulted in us giving up too many second shots," Partridge said at the time.

As for Thistle's self-assessment of her play on final weekend of the regular season, she said: "I didn't have a very strong game defensively the past two weekends," she said.

"My rebounding just hasn't been there. I haven't been boxing out basically.

"Some of the players I play against are bigger than me and they are able to push me under, so if I'm not boxing out I have no chance."

After MUN was beaten 86-63 by Dalhousie Tigers in the AUS semifinals in Halifax earlier this month, Partridge said: "The things that caused last weekend were still present this weekend. I'm not going to get into it, but some things that prevented us from being able to do what we can do were still there."

Partridge maintains there was no conflict between Thistle and himself that may have precipitated her decision to leave the university after a stellar third campaign.

"It has nothing to do with me or our program or basketball," the veteran MUN coach said.

"It's more to do with personal stuff," he added without elaborating.

"We talked about it last Friday and she let me know on Tuesday that she was definitely going to leave," he said.

Prior to the AUS playoffs, Thistle said she is always looking improve her game but, "You can't try to do more than you are capable of because if you put too much pressure on yourself, you are not going to do anything."

However, all that being said, Thistle affirms her leaving MUN had nothing to do with any perceived conflict between coach and player.

Despite some speculation of a rift between the two, Thistle said emphatically: "It has nothing to do with Doug, basketball or any of my teammates.

"He's a tough coach, but Doug has always been very good to me and gave me every opportunity to play from Day 1," she said.

jbrowne@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Atlantic Universities Sport, CIS

Geographic location: St. John's, Cape Breton, Halifax

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Richard
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Congrats on making the all Canadian team. Doug doesn't seem to appreciate you as he should of. Seize these opportunities while you can, you have the world in your palm.

  • Cathy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    This should not have been put in the paper until Vicki had a chance to tell her teammates, family and friends. Why would John do this to her? He even states that she would not be telling her teammates until Saturday yet he put it in on Friday.

    She will be a huge loss to the Sea-Hawks but sometimes these decisions have to be made. It is her decision and she has to make it for herself. She can not live for other people. She needs to live for herself. I hope she goes out there and enjoys her experience.

    Good luck Vicki!

  • Paul
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    I think you are making a brave and courageous decision...basketball is just basketball...while your education is your life...and I tell you there is a lot more to experience of the rock than you will ever know...you go girl!!!

  • Paul
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    I think that her decision is hers to make. I have enjoyed watching her play at a high level for two years and I wish her well in whatever she decides to do.
    YOU GO GIRL

  • Capture the Flag
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Now we know what Doug was speaking of when he mentioned there is an issue on te team and it still existed during the AUS playoffs. As we know the team was close knit. This was talked about during little chats among the team no doubt, and some fo the team perhaps did not like the idea af the team breaking up. Doug saw the tension and knew his team was struggling with an issue, this being the issue. Now that this is out, we can see why the team faltered. Beat of Luck in your ventures Vicki. we will surely miss you here

  • Doug
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Vickie....close the door when you leave.

  • Katherine
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Vicki Thistle is a fantastic player, Doug Partridge is a fantastic coach, and they both have a high degree of respect for one another.
    I think it's disappointing this article is trying to paint a different picture.

  • Dave
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Young people decide to try new courses in life. Thistle will be an asset to whatever school she chooses both on the court and off. It's a bit annoying how John Browne is always trying to cause controversy even when there isn't one.

  • Henrietta
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    I think it's great that she made a decision and stuck to it! There seems to be a lot of pressure in that league to stay put and perform because of what other people want. As for Doug and Bob those comments are unnecessary and are just hurtful. You are terrible people.

  • cynic
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    No point in being young unless you get to make a few decisions, experience things, and maybe do things other people don't agree with. Lot of pressure on this gal - and seems to me she needs someone to say - you're doing just fine - and don't worry. so there!

  • bob
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    does anyone care?? Who gives a----

  • Richard
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    Congrats on making the all Canadian team. Doug doesn't seem to appreciate you as he should of. Seize these opportunities while you can, you have the world in your palm.

  • Cathy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    This should not have been put in the paper until Vicki had a chance to tell her teammates, family and friends. Why would John do this to her? He even states that she would not be telling her teammates until Saturday yet he put it in on Friday.

    She will be a huge loss to the Sea-Hawks but sometimes these decisions have to be made. It is her decision and she has to make it for herself. She can not live for other people. She needs to live for herself. I hope she goes out there and enjoys her experience.

    Good luck Vicki!

  • Paul
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    I think you are making a brave and courageous decision...basketball is just basketball...while your education is your life...and I tell you there is a lot more to experience of the rock than you will ever know...you go girl!!!

  • Paul
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    I think that her decision is hers to make. I have enjoyed watching her play at a high level for two years and I wish her well in whatever she decides to do.
    YOU GO GIRL

  • Capture the Flag
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    Now we know what Doug was speaking of when he mentioned there is an issue on te team and it still existed during the AUS playoffs. As we know the team was close knit. This was talked about during little chats among the team no doubt, and some fo the team perhaps did not like the idea af the team breaking up. Doug saw the tension and knew his team was struggling with an issue, this being the issue. Now that this is out, we can see why the team faltered. Beat of Luck in your ventures Vicki. we will surely miss you here

  • Doug
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    Vickie....close the door when you leave.

  • Katherine
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    Vicki Thistle is a fantastic player, Doug Partridge is a fantastic coach, and they both have a high degree of respect for one another.
    I think it's disappointing this article is trying to paint a different picture.

  • Dave
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    Young people decide to try new courses in life. Thistle will be an asset to whatever school she chooses both on the court and off. It's a bit annoying how John Browne is always trying to cause controversy even when there isn't one.

  • Henrietta
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    I think it's great that she made a decision and stuck to it! There seems to be a lot of pressure in that league to stay put and perform because of what other people want. As for Doug and Bob those comments are unnecessary and are just hurtful. You are terrible people.

  • cynic
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    No point in being young unless you get to make a few decisions, experience things, and maybe do things other people don't agree with. Lot of pressure on this gal - and seems to me she needs someone to say - you're doing just fine - and don't worry. so there!

  • bob
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    does anyone care?? Who gives a----