A connection through basketball
Canadian Colleges Athletic Association Women's basketball championship-
Thursday, 13 March 2008, 21:33 PST
JASON PETERS, Citizen staff
TRURO, N.S. -- Carling Muir and Jennifer Seemann have established a sisterly connection. Heck, they even look a little bit alike. But, until Thursday night, the two basketball stars had never actually met each other.
Their first face-to-face opportunity happened on the Nova Scotia Agricultural College campus, site of the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association All-Canadian awards banquet. Muir is a player for the Langara College Falcons of Vancouver, while Seemann, a Prince George product, played this season for the Grande Prairie Regional College Wolves. Muir and Seemann were both presented All-Canadian awards during the banquet, but that was almost secondary to their chance to just say 'hello' to each other.
"It was really great meeting her," Seemann said. "As soon as I saw her, she gave me a hug and I felt like I already knew her."
Here's the background.
In November of 2006, Muir collapsed after a practice with the Falcons and went into a grand mal seizure. She was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour and underwent emergency surgery. Chemotherapy and radiation sessions followed. Despite all the physical and emotional challenges she was facing, the six-foot-one Muir stepped back onto the court for the Falcons this season and led the B.C. Colleges Athletic Association in scoring with 297 points in 16 games.
Off the court, Muir started a fundraising campaign for the B.C. Cancer Foundation. When the 22-year-old Seemann heard about Muir's story, she kickstarted her own campaign in Grande Prairie to raise cash for the cause. All together, the B.C. Cancer Foundation has received more than $10,000 because of the work done by Muir and Seemann and because of the generosity of donors.
Seemann's efforts, which caught the imagination of many Grande Prairie residents and businesses, produced a cheque for $1,151.
"It's overwhelming just to have someone who I've never met before step up and do something that's so important to me," said Muir, who was just 19 years old when she was diagnosed with the tumour. "I just can't even describe it in words. She gave me, and everyone else who's dealing with a brain tumour, hope. I can't even explain how much that means to me.
"It's awesome (to meet her)," Muir continued. "She's bubbly and outgoing. We're going to have fun at the tournament together."
Muir's tumour has responded well to treatment.
"I'll always have it as long as I live, but the chemo - which I finished at the end of December - it shrunk the tumour substantially, which was more than they thought it was going to," she said. "So, I get to withhold from radiation for a while, which is exciting news. That was the best news I could possibly hear. I get to live normal for a little bit and get to take a break on my body and hopefully gain some muscle back and get ready for next season."
Muir and Seemann -- players of the year in their respective leagues -- were both in the running for the CCAA player of the year. But, during the Thursday banquet, that award went to Chanelle St-Amour of the Sainte-Foy Dynamiques. Muir was not the least bit disappointed to not win for player of the year.
"Overall, I can't say I'm disappointed," said Muir, who lives in Maple Ridge. "I'm really happy with the season -- it's more than I expected. I set a goal. I wanted to come back better than I was before and I think I achieved that. The girl who won the award, I'm sure she fully deserves it and I'm very happy for her."