One of the most dominant athletes to ever don Lethbridge College Kodiaks colours has earned her way to the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Hall of Fame. Laurie Hockridge, a women’s basketball star from 1987 to 1990, will be inducted in the athlete category at a ceremony on June 11 in Calgary.
Hockridge was a commanding force for the Kodiaks for three seasons, being named Most Valuable Player at the CCAA national championships in both 1989 and 1990. She was also named a CCAA All-Canadian in 1989. Guided by legendary coach John Jasiukiewicz, Hockridge and her team won three-straight Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) championships and back-to-back CCAA national championships in 1989 and 1990.
“The opportunities to play against amazing players is what makes the ACAC and CCAA incredible,” says Hockridge. “Having an amazing coach in Johnny J and the talented ladies that I called my teammates made it all worth it. I couldn’t have done what I did without them.”
Hockridge led the ACAC in scoring in both 1988-89 and 1989-90 and her remarkable shooting percentage of 64.5 from her final season with the Kodiaks is an ACAC record that still stands today. At an imposing 6-foot-7, she was also a dominant rebounder from the post position.
“Kodiaks Athletics has had a long tradition of success at the CCAA and ACAC levels in both the classroom and on the court,” says Todd Caughlin, manager of Kodiaks Athletics. “Laurie was a shining example in all aspects of these historical successes.”
In her rookie season in 1987-88, the Kodiaks won the conference title but settled for a national silver medal after a loss to the John Abbott Islanders.
“We had unfinished business going into the next season,” says Hockridge. “Only Boomer (Carrie Kuntz) and I were returning players. The rest of the team consisted of rookies and transfer players.”
The new-look squad gelled quickly, repeating as ACAC champions in 1988-89. The Kodiaks met the Islanders for a rematch in the CCAA championship game, and earned the first national championship in program history with a 62-45 win.
“It was an unreal feeling, seeing my team run at me in celebration,” says Hockridge. “It was a year in the making and we accomplished our goal, winning the national championship.”
In her final CCAA season in 1989-90, Hockridge led her team to a national championship repeat with a 52-48 win over Collège Ahuntsic. She then earned a scholarship to play basketball at Florida Institute of Technology.
“Being recruited to play at Florida Tech was all thanks to the opportunities that the CCAA gave me,” says Hockridge.
Hockridge was inducted into the ACAC Hall of Fame in 2014, was an inaugural inductee into the Kodiaks Hall of Fame in 2017, and her 1989 national championship team was inducted into the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame in 1996.
She is one of 10 new inductees into the CCAA Hall of Fame.