It’s nothing for Julie Hoo to be up at dawn for practice, spend the afternoon on school work and then watch a lecture on a bus as she travels to a weekend game.
It’s the 22-year-old’s ability to balance her time playing for the Ravens basketball team and her studies in the Sprott School of Business, that made her a natural choice for Carleton’s OUA Women of Influence.
“I’ve never been the star of my team. I was very surprised,” says the fourth-year finance student, of the award.
Each of the OUA’s 19 schools selected a player from one of their varsity programs, as a Woman of Influence. The Huntsville native is Carleton’s sixth recipient of the OUA Women of Influence award. Hoo will be honoured at a ceremony Feb. 10 in Toronto.
“They are female student athletes who excel in both athletics and academics and contribute to their local community,” says Jessica Lounsbury, OUA marketing and events co-ordinator.
Hoo fits the criteria for the award perfectly.
The Ravens guard started playing on a team at the age of nine but has always scored well in the classroom too. She now has the highest grade point average of any Carleton varsity student-athlete participating in the CIS.
“I’m a very competitive person,” says Hoo, with a laugh.
But her success hasn’t come without sacrifices. “I don’t have much of a social life,” she adds.
Ravens basketball head coach Taffe Charles says he often pairs Hoo with rookie players so she can share her experiences and teach them how to better manage their time.
Hoo has shot hoops with disabled children and volunteered at camps run by the Easter Seals. She also helps the Ravens coaching staff in various clinics and community projects.
“Julie is a person who’s very determined in terms of what she wants. She leads by example in terms of in the class and on the court,” he says.
“It’s quite an accomplishment in terms of being able to manage your time as a student, as well as being able to play on a varsity team.”
After she graduates next year, Hoo plans to take a break from basketball to travel, get a Master’s degree and perhaps start her own business.
But she won’t be walking away from the basketball court entirely.
“I definitely want to coach one day.”