The University of Dinos are off to a tremendous start in Canada West Women’s Basketball.  The Lady Dinos have compiled a record of 9-1 as they enter the Christmas Break.

Leading the way offensively is fifth year starter Jessica Franz.  Franz credits her high school program for paving the way for a successful post-secondary career.

“I played for a really great high school coach, Sue Graham, and our program was really strong,” says Franz.  “We won provincials in my Grade 12 year and there were only seven of us on the team, but all seven were offered scholarships within Canada or America.”

“Now that I'm here, being a Dino's the best!”

The team’s success is being noticed around campus.

“I'll be walking down the hallway and the football guys wave hello and give you a high five and say ‘Great game’,” says Franz.  “Everyone goes to the games and we're all there for each other and we hang out with each other.  There’s nothing like being a Dino.”

Damian Jennings, the team’s head coach, has high praise for Jessica.

“She’s a different character. She's an edgy person and she brings a bit of quirkiness to our team,” says Jennings.  “She's a real gamer, she likes to win and she's very competitive.”

Jessica hopes to graduate with a communications degree and perhaps extend her playing career overseas. European basketball is a possibility for Jessica thanks in part to the connections coach Jennings has cultivated at the club level.

“I’ve got my citizenship to Austria so, this summer, hopefully he's (Jenning’s) going to try to get me a tryout with the Austrian national team,” says Franz.  “If I make that, then all summer I could play Euro Cup with them and then hopefully get a pro contract in September or finish my schooling over there.”

“Basketball has given me an education and that’s the biggest thing,” says Franz.  “It’s also given me all these friends as family and any connections throughout life and confidence to be who I am.”

“Everything you put on a resume I’ve gotten from basketball.”

Jessica Franz is the CTV Athlete of the Week sponsored by Big Chief Beef Jerky.