UFV’s Tripat Sandhu (left) and Kenan Hadzovic were recognized for excellent work inside the classroom this past year. (UFV Cascades photo)

UFV’s Tripat Sandhu (left) and Kenan Hadzovic were recognized for excellent work inside the classroom this past year. (UFV Cascades photo)

Abbotsford’s Sandhu, Hadzovic win top student-athlete academic awards at UFV

UFV Cascades women’s basketball team also recognized for efforts in the classroom

Abbotsford high school graduates Tripat Sandhu and Kenan Hadzovic, as well as the Cascades women’s basketball team took top honours as the University of the Fraser Valley athletic department announced its major academic award winners for 2020-21.

Sandhu (women’s soccer) and Hadzovic (men’s basketball) were named the winners of the top women’s and men’s academic awards, respectively, recognizing the highest individual grade-point averages among student-athletes.

The Cascades women’s basketball program earned the President’s Shield award for top team GPA.

“It’s been an outstanding year for the Cascades academically,” stated Steve Tuckwood, UFV director of athletics and campus recreation. “Tripat, Kenan and the women’s basketball program are among the leaders in our department in this regard, and we’re pleased to honour them for their hard work and pursuit of excellence.”

Sandhu posted a 4.33 GPA, indicative of straight A-pluses across her 27 credits. That allowed the midfielder to conclude her four years at UFV on a strong note – she graduated in the spring with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, and has since moved on to Osgoode Hall Law School at York University in Toronto.

Sandhu was the first-ever student from Abbotsford’s Dasmesh Punjabi School to suit up for the UFV women’s soccer team. She graduated from DPS in 2017.

RELATED: Dasmesh’s Sandhu signs with Cascades soccer

Sandhu also made headlines by her work off the field with the Sikh Sewa International Society of Youth. She helped establish the organization in 2015 and helped to inspire youth to help vulnerable individuals locally and internationally in various projects.

She went on to serve one year as the UFV Student Union Society president starting in May 2019.

RELATED: Youth group donates 400 samosas to Abbotsford Regional Hospital

“Tripat has many characteristics we want all of our athletes to embody and work to become, with her work ethic, her time management skills, her academic accomplishments, and her overall demeanor,” Cascades women’s soccer head coach Niko Marcina said. “She contributed to our program in many ways, and is deserving of all of the accolades she’s currently receiving.”

Hadzovic like Sandhu, is a hometown Abbotsford product having graduated from W.J. Mouat in 2017. He amassed a 4.12 GPA over 30 credits. He’s in his fourth year of academic eligibility this season, continuing his kinesiology studies while suiting up as a guard with the men’s basketball squad.

RELATED: UFV’s Hadzovic heating up

“Kenan is the definition of a student-athlete,” Cascades men’s basketball head coach Joe Enevoldson said. “His ability to take a very heavy course load and accomplish such an incredible GPA is a testament to who he is, not only as a student but as a person as well. Kenan is going to be successful in whatever venture he chooses.”

Hadzovic was also a third round pick by the Canadian Elite Basketball League’s Fraser Valley Bandits in 2020. His top offensive performance with the Cascades occurred on Nov. 1, 2019 when he lit up the Winnipeg Wesmen for 18 points.

RELATED: Fraser Valley Bandits draft trio of UFV basketball talents

The Cascades women’s basketball team, with a 3.53 cumulative GPA, just edged the women’s volleyball squad (3.50) for the President’s Shield. Five U Sports Academic All-Canadians – Veronica Kobes, Nikki Cabuco, Alexis Worrell, Hannah Gillingham and Google Sidhu – led the way for the women’s hoopsters.

“It’s a tribute to how the group applied themselves during a really trying year,” women’s basketball head coach Al Tuchscherer said. “They remained focused on their personal goals in the classroom. It’s something we’re proud of, and I think UFV can be proud of as well.”

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