Alexa McCarthy of the UFV women's basketball team won the Sylvia Sweeney Award.

Alexa McCarthy of the UFV women's basketball team won the Sylvia Sweeney Award.

UFV’s McCarthy wins Sweeney Award

Alexa McCarthy was honoured for her off-court contributions at the CIS All-Canadian gala on Thursday evening.

Giving back to the community is a way of life for Alexa McCarthy, and the University of the Fraser Valley women’s basketball player was honoured for her off-court contributions at the CIS All-Canadian gala on Thursday evening.

McCarthy was the recipient of the Sylvia Sweeney Award, which recognizes the Canadian women’s university basketball player who best exemplifies the values of athletics, academics and community involvement.

“I am very proud of Alexa’s contributions to our program and the community,” UFV women’s basketball head coach Al Tuchscherer said. “She is a true student-athlete, playing, practicing, studying and contributing to the needs of others without asking for anything in return. Alexa is a role model for our program.”

McCarthy is the second Cascade to win the Sweeney award – Michelle Buhler won it in 2007-08.

The fourth-year guard from Chilliwack has battled through an unfathomable number of injuries over the years to become a significant contributor to the team in 2012-13. Through all of the adversity she has always led the team in reaching out to the community.

McCarthy has initiated, organized and driven the Walk and Knock food drive, which sees Cascades athletes collect food for the Abbotsford Food Bank on Halloween. In recent years, McCarthy has been participating in the Fraser Valley chapter of the Operation Red Nose program and has led UFV’s “Shoot for the Cure” fundraiser for breast cancer research.

“Alexa has been a major contributor to UFV, the athletics program and the Fraser Valley communities,” Cascades athletic director Rocky Olfert said. “She has had a significant impact on the culture we are trying to create. Her efforts to continually put others before herself and model this as a student-athlete has been an inspiration to all of us.”

The Cascades are at nationals in Regina this week, and they open Friday vs. the Saint Mary’s Huskies.