This is part of an ongoing series of profiles to highlight the achievements of Sheridan's varsity student athletes academically and competitively. To view the rest of the Student Athlete Spotlight profiles, click here.
HAVING SPENT MORE than a few hours in the Davis Campus gym as a member of the Brampton Minor Basketball Association's rep program, women's basketball player Camila Orellana was intimately familiar with the Bruin culture well before she became a student. Her first-hand knowledge of Sheridan ultimately proved to be extremely beneficial and was one of the biggest factors in her deciding to attend.
"Sheridan's passion for their student athletes was very important to me," she says.
A Brampton native, Orellana arrived from Notre Dame High School in 2016 and has been the epitome of a student athlete ever since, possessing equal enthusiasm for her work in the classroom and on the hardwood. She graduated from the Pre-Health Sciences program in 2017 before beginning the Bachelor of Kinesiology and Health Promotion program last year and she will enter her third campaign in Double Blue this fall as an integral member of the team's nucleus.
"Camila is a great leader and any coach would love to have her because she works hard on and off the court," head coach Sean Douglas says. "She's becoming more of a vocal leader on the floor and is working very hard to develop into a more well-rounded player. Camila retains information and instruction well and you can see her trying to apply it in game situations."
During her tenure, Orellana has been an anchor at the back of the Bruin defence, leading the team with 5.7 rebounds per game over the past two years, and although she has always possessed a reliable mid-range jump shot, she's been working this summer to be more aggressive at the offensive end. But as important as those elements are, Douglas says it's her non-basketball attributes that make Orellana even more valuable to the program.
"You don't need to worry about her in the classroom and she keeps her teammates organized off the court with any type of info they need in terms of academics," he says. "She's active within the campus community, giving tours to new students and varsity recruits, has been a big part of our recreation programming, and has been involved in non-Athletics events as a Peer Mentor."
It was because of this involvement on campus that Orellana was the recipient of the Rob Till Award last year, an honour given annually to the Sheridan student athlete who prioritizes both academics and athletics, while displaying exceptional leadership qualities on their team and within the broader community. It is an accolade she holds as her highest achievement, and one that occurred thanks to her conscientious attitude towards school and basketball.
"I've learned to always take each game and practice seriously and to always try my best," she says.
With three years remaining in her program, she hasn't narrowed her focus to a specific goal after graduation, but knows she wants to be in the health field. When she ultimately arrives at her career destination, the skills she is learning in her program, combined with the leadership training she's receiving on the basketball court will take her far. More than anything else though, her effort and attitude will pay dividends and she counts those among her biggest takeaways from being in a Sheridan classroom.
"To always be aware of what you are doing," she says, "and always give it your 100 per cent."