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Nixon-Smiley star named area player of the year

By By Albert Alvarado - aalvarado@vicad.com
April 10, 2010 at 10:05 p.m.
Updated April 9, 2010 at 11:10 p.m.

Nixon-Smiley's Termeka Canada averaged 10.5 points and 12 rebounds a game for the Lady Mustangs this season.

Nixon - After averaging a double-double during her senior season in 2009-10, Termeka Canada is the Victoria Advocate's Girls High School Area Player of the Year.

Canada led the Nixon-Smiley Lady Mustangs to the Regional Finals, where she scored 22 points against Poth.

Canada averaged 20.5 points and 12 rebounds per game this season and was named to both the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches and Texas Girls Coaches Association Class AA teams.

Even though Canada has been named to countless tournament, district and state teams, she said getting recognized for her play never gets old.

"It just makes me feel like I did my part and everyone sees I did my best," Canada said.

Canada has less than two months to go in her high school career, but don't look for her to go into cruise control until she walks on stage and accepts her diploma.

Not only is Canada a gifted basketball player, she is also a well-rounded student athlete, competing on the Nixon-Smiley track and field, softball and volleyball teams as well as being a member of the National Honor Society and the school's student council, band and Student Advisory Committee.

"It's very hard, but you manage to find time to get your work done," Canada said.

Her time-management skills have helped in a big way. Canada is slated to graduate in the top 10 percent of her class and last week signed a letter of intent to play basketball for Temple College.

Nixon-Smiley girls basketball coach Jeff Van Auken told Temple College women's basketball coach Kim Sebek that he had a player she should come out and watch and Canada made a great first impression.

"I went and took a look and really liked what I saw," Sebek said. "On the court she was a great leaper, she could rebound and score. Her presence on the court was dominating."

Canada did get a second chance to add to that first impression when she spoke with Sebek for the first time.

"She exhibits good work ethic both on the court and off the court," Sebek said. "That's the kind of student athlete I want in my program. You could tell she was a good kid."

Because Temple College has fewer scholarship money to go around than other teams in their conference and Sebek has to teach as well as coach, it is important for the school to use its limited resources to recruit quality student athletes like Canada.

Canada will join a Lady Leopards team that went 21-6, won the Northern Texas Junior College Athletic Conference Championship last season and reached the regional semifinals of the NJCAA Tournament.

Although her plate is full and she signed a letter-of-intent recently, Canada talked fondly about her days in a Nixon-Smiley uniform.

"It was a great experience," Canada said. "I couldn't ask for a better team or a better coach."

Canada will enter Temple as an undeclared freshman this fall and has a backup plan in case she isn't a WNBA star like her childhood idol Candace Parker. Canada plans to either coach, teach math, or be a registered nurse after her days on the court are over.

Although Canada's list of accomplishments is vast, she is extremely proud of one in particular: being the first person in her family to go to college.

"It makes me feel great to know I'm making my parents proud and making history in my family," she said.

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