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Athletic award helps basketball star Bess Lennox shoot for her dreams

September 4, 2009

Today Bess Lennox is living her dream of playing professional basketball.

The recent grad credits donors like Heather and Whit Tucker (BA’62) for allowing her to simultaneously pursue her athletic and academic goals without having to sacrifice either for want of money.

“The Heather and Whit Tucker Award ensured I could fully focus on what I love to do,” says Bess. “I have been given opportunities that I had only previously dreamed about. I could really focus on my basketball which has allowed me to improve and subsequently sign a contract to continue to play professionally. Their contribution has meant more to me than they will know.”

In the spring, Bess moved to Western Australia where she played for the Southwest Slammers and she recently moved to Switzerland to play for the Helios-Basket team.

Whit Tucker is no stranger to professional sport. He was a wide receiver with the 1960-61 Mustangs and went on to play for the CFL’s Ottawa Roughriders (1962-70), winning three Grey Cups. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1993.

Bess, an Ottawa native, says student award donations are immensely important and a major reason why Western has been, and continues to be, such a successful school on and off the playing field. She notes the Tuckers obviously recognize the importance of such awards.

The Heather and Whit Tucker Award, worth $1,000 is given to a student in any year of any undergraduate program who is a member of any varsity sports team. Candidates in first year must have a minimum 80 per cent admission average and candidates in second year or higher must have a minimum 70 per cent average. Preference is given to varsity athletes in football, basketball, and track and field.

While Bess is thrilled to be playing professional basketball right now, she recognizes how important her education was at Western. With her honors degree in History and a minor in French, she hopes to study law and to one day work with the United Nations or Canadian International Development Agency.

This article appeared in the 2009 edition of Student Awards Recipient Report
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