For Academic All-Canadian Jordan Korol, the one win her UBCO Heat team won this past season felt like a championship. Her perseverance on the court, in the classroom and in the community have earned her some special recognition. And it's proof that hardest earned victories are the best kind.
On the court, Jordan Korol is a rebounding specialist. It's a skill born out of hard work more than raw talent, and it's fitting for a person who's had to rebound in life. As a survivor of childhood Leukemia, she has a unique perspective on making the best out of the opportunities life provides.
She likes to give back to the community and recalls returning to Ronald McDonald house, where she stayed as a child battling cancer.
"I saw these children that would have been the same age I was when I went through this," recalled Korol, who was in Vancouver for a basketball game. "I invited some of the families to come out and see what a healthy cancer survivor can do with their life."
Korol was recently awarded the Sylvia Sweeney Award as the outstanding Student-Athlete in the Canada West Conference. She said keeping up with academics and elite-level athletics has really been a team effort.
"You have to learn time management, that's very important," said Korol. "But it's also good to have a supporting group of friends and family members around you."
Out of school, she finds time to volunteer with the BC Cancer Society and Canadian Blood Services.
On the court, victories have been rare for the UBCO Women's Heat Program. Very rare. In fact, when her team finally managed to win a game after almost two years, it was a reminder that the value of a victory has more to do with how hard you worked for it than anything else.
"That win is just the highlight of my career," said Korol. After that many losses. A single win, she recalled, felt like a world championship. "That win shows how important dedication to never giving up is."
There have been a lot of changes in the Heat Program, and Korol said she expects more wins next season.