Since birth, Kyia and Kyanna Giles have done everything together.
So it was no surprise last year when the standout basketball players determined they would be attending the same university to continue playing basketball together.
The Giles sisters came to the University of Regina with a history of success behind them. High school provincial championships, the under-18 provincial team and all-star teams. Now, at the university level, they continue that march to greatness to the USports National Basketball Championships.
“It’s very exciting. Not a lot of people go to nationals in their whole five years, so it’s nice to get the opportunity to go in our first year and experience it with some great teammates,” Kyia said.
Of course, for the Giles sisters, experiencing it with each other as teammates is also pretty exciting.
“It’s unbelievable because we’ve been through a provincial championship in high school, the provincial team and now it’s with the university and it’s amazing to have her with me all the time,” Kyanna said.
“It means everything to be playing basketball together our whole lives,” Kyia added. “To be able to accomplish things together every year, it’s very meaningful.”
Kyanna was the standout player on a solid U of R team. Last week she was named the CanWest rookie of the year. On Wednesday she was announced as the Kathy Shields Award recipient for Canada’s top rookie.
She finished the regular season with an average of 12.9 points per game and led the team with an average of 7.3 rebounds per game. She also passed the 20-point barrier three times this year including a season-high 25 points in a win at Brandon.
“We rely on (Kyanna) a lot more so than any rookie I’ve had in my 11 years of coaching,” said Cougars head coach Dave Taylor.
The team will rely heavily on Kyanna to make it deep in the national championship tournament and she knows the pressure she’s facing.
“They key in on me, obviously, and my driving so I just got to get my shot down and I should be good,” she said.
The fifth place Cougars will play fourth place McGill in the quarterfinals Thursday night at 8 p.m.