By: Kajan Thiruthanikasalam
SCARBOROUGH, ONT.- After two months in which the Centennial Colts Athletes of the Month presented to you by: St Louis Bar and Grill honours went to athletes of the same sport (soccer in September, cross-country in October), November marked the first month in which the male and female honours didn’t come from one sport itself.
Isaiah Cromwell-Wright (men’s basketball) and Jia Yi Feng (badminton) received this month’s honours, for Male and Female Athletes of the Month, respectively.
Read below for an in-depth look at the two athletes.
It’s not so often that you can have an incoming rookie that can make an immediate impact on a team, let alone lead the team in scoring. But that’s exactly what Cromwell-Wright has been doing thus far.
The first year six-foot-four guard, out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, is averaging a team high 16.9 ppg while shooting 42.5 per cent from the field and 69.8 per cent from the foul line; Cromwell-Wright has also averaged 4.7 rpg as well as a team high 2.6 apg.
Cromwell-Wright’s ability to get to the rim as well as absorb body contact and finish with proficiency inside on a consistent basis has been evident, particularly his ability to get to the free throw line.
"I was approached by Coach Challenger; he told me about his coaching style and what he wanted from me," Cromwell-Wright said about his decision to come to Centennial. "He told me about some of the guys coming in and I thought we had the opportunity to be a really good team. It was something that I really wanted to be a part of."
He opened up the 2018-19 campaign against the Fleming Knights on Oct. 19 with a resounding note, dropping a game high 23 rebounds along with six rebounds and four assists.
Cromwell-Wright’s career best performance, thus far, came in the first road game of the season on Oct. 30 against the Durham Lords, in which he went 11/11 from the line and scored 27 points, with 25 coming in the second half.
“We’ve been pleased with his play thus far but there’s still a lot of work that he can improve on,” Trevor Challenger, Colts Head Coach said.
If there was a couple of areas in which Challenger feels like Cromwell-Wright can improve upon, it is the following: “Rebounding, strength and consistent jump shooting.”
When asked about where he would see himself in five years, Cromwell-Wright says that he would like to be finishing his last year of college eligibility.
"Hopefully, I've grown into a productive member of society and get a professional contract because that's everyone's end goal as a basketball player," Cromwell-Wright said.
JIA YI FENG
This wasn’t the first time that Jia Yi Feng has had success in terms of being a badminton member of the Centennial Colts.
During the 2012-13 season, in her first year as a Colt, she and women’s doubles partner Sarah Nualan came oh-so-close to medalling at the OCAA Championships hosted by Centennial College, finishing in fourth place.
Feng also finished in second place at the OCAA East Regionals the next season in the mixed doubles category, pairing up with Navdeep Walia.
Now, four years later, Feng is finding success for Centennial, winning the mixed doubles C bracket in the Humber Invitational (paired with Kevin Ronkiewicz) and Fanshawe Invitational (paired with Brandon Cheung).
But the highlight of the Fanshawe Invitational came when she partnered up with Andrea Chin and advanced to the semifinals in the main bracket of the women’s doubles event before falling to the eventual winners, Elizabeth and Victoria Duong, from the Humber Hawks.
The unique part of this was that the experience factor was the opposite. In the 2012-13 season, Nualan was in her third year and Feng was a rookie. But this time, Feng took the role of veteran while Chin is in her first year at Centennial.
The Colts coaching staff had this to say of their reasoning for choosing Feng as their representative for Athlete of the Month.
“Jia Yi recently competed at the Fanshawe College Badminton tournament last weekend and went to the semifinals of the main round of women's doubles. She and partner Andrea Chin lost to the eventual winners of this event. This is the Colts’ best showing in at least three years in women's doubles competition. At the same tournament, Jia Yi also teamed up with Brandon Cheung to win the Mixed Doubles C flight competition. These significant wins, together with Jia Yi's upbeat personality, respect for her opponents, and sense of humour all recommend her for being recognized for exceptional efforts during the month of November 2018.”
Feng looks to build upon this momentum from the invitational and hopefully go over the hump in getting a medal at provincials.
Congratulations to both Cromwell-Wright and Feng for earning the Centennial Colts Athletes of the Month presented to you by: St Louis Bar and Grill once again as their continued perseverance highlighted the cross-country season from the Colts.
Special thanks to our partners, St. Louis Bar and Grill, Scarborough. Both athletes will receive a gift certificate to its location at 55 Town Centre Court, Suite #101.