York hosts basketball tournament to promote BIPOC inclusion

womens lions basketball

York University will host a three-day tournament, Oct. 20 to 22, to promote greater inclusion of Black, Indigenous and racialized women in collegiate basketball.

The Athlete Women Empowered Classic is a U Sports women’s basketball tournament featuring teams from York, Concordia, Trinity Western and the University of Toronto – the only teams currently led by Black women coaches.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, York’s women’s basketball head coach Christa Eniojukan, along with Concordia’s Tenicha Gittens, Trinity Western’s Cheryl Jean-Paul and U of T’s Tamara Tatham, designed the pre-season tournament with the goal of establishing a pathway for BIPOC women to step into leadership roles in sport.

christa eniojukan and women's lions basketball
York University Lions women’s basketball head coach Christa Eniojukan.

In addition to the five-game schedule, the event held at York’s Keele Campus will offer workshops, panel discussions and networking session that provide opportunities to interact with coaches, athletes and industry leaders. Attendees will have the chance to observe top athletes showcasing their skills and competing in various awe-inspiring sports. From heart-pounding races to jaw-dropping stunts, this event promises non-stop action and unforgettable moments.

On Friday, Oct. 20, York will face Concordia for an 11 a.m. game, followed by a 1 p.m. game featuring Trinity Western and U of T.

On Saturday, Oct. 21 at 11 a.m., York will take on Trinity Western and at 1 p.m., U of T and Concordia will play each other.

The final day, Sunday, Oct. 22, will have an early start with a 9 a.m. game between Concordia and Trinity Western.

Tickets are free and are available online.

More about Christa Eniojukan

The York University Lions women’s basketball head coach has been coaching youth teams and student-athletes for more than a decade, most notably with Ontario’s U17 provincial team from 2014-17. 

In July, the former Lion guard (2003-05), who has won six national medals, including four gold, earned a silver as the head coach of Canada’s women’s team at the second annual GLOBL Jam, a tournament featuring some of the best U-23 talent in the world. The Lions boss is entering her third season at the helm.

Eniojukan and the Lions kick off their 2023-24 season on Nov. 3 when they welcome the Waterloo Warriors to Tait McKenzie Centre for a 6 p.m. tip.

Read more about Eniojukan here.