WOLFVILLE - Most people assume high achievement in athletics is only an option on the court, field or ice, but Amy Minnikin has shown athletes can excel in other areas as well.
Minnikin tracks statistics for the men's and women's basketball teams. She sits at the table on the sidelines and records assists, shots, rebounds and many other important components of the game.
Coaches will use the real-time stats produced by Minnikin to determine which players are performing well and who needs to be taken off the court. The live stats are also uploaded to the AUS website as they're typed, where in theory, you can "watch" the game by the statistics.
Minnikin started playing "small ball" basketball around age five, and then continued playing house league until she was old enough to play at the Halifax Grammar School. There she played for the junior high and high school teams, and played with many of the girls who are currently on the Acadia Axewomen roster. A competitive sailor, skier and Ultimate Frisbee player, Minnikin did not want to give up her other sports to focus solely on basketball in university.
Recording stats 'hardest job' at score table
Starting at the age of seven, Minnikin worked as a ball girl for the Dalhousie women's basketball team at home games. This led to working at the table beginning around age 12 with the game sheet, and slowly moving around the table and gaining proficiency at every seat. While she continued to work at the table throughout high school, Minnikin never had the opportunity to try her hand at statistics.
Arguably the hardest and most important seat at the table, recording statistics is typically a more senior and experienced individual who will fill this role. As Minnikin explained, "stats are used to determine major award winners for the leagues."
Once she started at Acadia, Minnikin received an email that went out to all students advertising part-time positions available within the athletic department. One of the positions included working at the table during basketball games. She applied, and was given the role of helping track stats. Having no experience in the specific role, she was trained during her first year but a senior student, and she has been tracking the stats since then.
During her fourth year at Acadia, the athletics department offered Minnikin the opportunity to receive her FIBA certification. Halifax was hosting a FIBA game between Canada and Bahamas, and in order for the game to happen they needed two FIBA certified individuals who are from the area. With no one from Halifax holding the certification, Minnikin received the opportunity to travel to Toronto for a weekend for her training.
Instilling love of the game in next generation
This allowed Minnikin to improve her understanding of the rules of basketball from the experts of basketball and FIBA themselves. She was then able to work at the table tracking statistics during the Canada vs. Bahamas game, and went on to record statistics for every game at the AUS and U Sport Championships in Halifax.
Minnikin has done much more than work at the basketballs games while at Acadia. She is the president of the Ultimate Frisbee Club, an honours student in psychology, a volunteer at the Acadia Personal Support Line, and is also still sailing. She has also found opportunities to instill her love in basketball in the next generation. She coached the Wolfville School Girls' Junior High team in her first year and coached the Horton High School Junior Girls' team in her second year.
Graduating from Acadia this spring with a Bachelor of Science Honours in psychology, Minnikin hopes to extend her education with a graduate degree in industrial/organizational psychology at the University of Waterloo.
Minnikin shows that there are many opportunities to stay involved in athletics in university and being on the court is not your only option. She has received many opportunities to remain involved in a sport she loves but also take her role in that sport to the next level, which not many people have the opportunity to do.