Basketball stand-out Quincy Sickles-Jarvis owes her athletic scholarship at the University of Guelph in large part to two people—Her high school basketball coach and her grandmother.
Born and raised in London Ontario, the 21-year-old was scouted while competing at the 2014 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) in Regina. She says that if it wasn’t for the prompting of her high school basketball coach, Charlene Camillo, she wouldn’t even have been there.
“My teacher and I had a great relationship,” said Sickles-Jarvis, who is a member of the Oneida Nation of the Thames through her mother. “She was Indigenous as well and she had played in the NAIG and really pushed me to do it.”
The psychology major says she was hesitant about competing because growing up off the reserve she wasn’t sure if she would be embraced by the Indigenous community.
“I was concerned that I wouldn’t be ‘native enough,’ because I wasn’t as involved in the culture,” said Sickles-Jarvis. “I needed that push to get involved and when I did it was the best experience of my life.”
Sickles-Jarvis was thrilled to make the team but wasn’t sure how she would cover the costs until her Grandmother stepped in with a solution.
“My grandma had a barbecue fundraiser on the reserve where she lives and so many people came out to support me,” recalled Sickles-Jarvis. “We ended up making over 1000 dollars which was more than enough to pay my trip there and back.”
“I think that’s a really good example of the community coming together to help a young athlete to achieve her dreams. I really thank my grandmother because If it wasn’t for what she did, I wouldn’t have been able to pay for myself to go.”
The 5’9” forward along with her NAIG Ontario teammates topped the medal podium at those Games in what she calls one of the greatest moments of her sporting career, so far.
“It’s such a surreal feeling to win a championship,” said Sickles-Jarvis. “You put so many hours, you put your blood sweat and tears into the sport. It was an added bonus that I got to represent my province on a bigger stage and that it had a special connection to my culture. Being able to say to my team that we did this together is such a great feeling.”
Sickles-Jarvis will be entering her senior year in the fall and says she is grateful for the encouragement of her teammates and family including her mom who she sites as her greatest supporter. Still undecided as to what career path she would like to take after she graduates, she says she is happy to have reached her goal of playing post-secondary basketball and is focused on maximizing her final year as a collegiate athlete.
“I am so grateful I had a sport in my life to keep me on track and to teach me life lessons that can’t really be understood unless you experience them yourself,” said the soon-to-be senior. “I will forever have those tools in my back pocket, waiting to be used.
“As for a short-term goal, I would love to end my career on a championship and will be working to do just that this next coming season.”