Craig Penniston is in his third year at the University of Winnipeg and his first year with the Wesmen Men’s Basketball Team.
The 22-year-old Silver Heights graduate spent his first year after high school in Quebec, where he played in the Cegep college league for Cegep de Sainte-Foy. While he enjoyed the experience of being away from home and playing college basketball, Penniston said he wanted to find a school where he would get more floor time during games to help him improve as a player.
He talked to his coach and, for the 2006-2007 season, moved to Alberta to attend Lakeland College and play for their basketball team. Unfortunately, Penniston still felt that he had not found the right program.
“I didn’t have great success playing for that program due to the coaching staff,” he said.
At the end of the season, Penniston’s Lakeland coach suggested he focus on school, rather than basketball, and Penniston moved back home.
For the next two school years, Penniston continued playing basketball on the side but spent eight months in the Criti Care paramedic and firefighting training program. He went to Texas to complete the hands-on skills portion of the program and already had his Level 1 and Level 2 International Fire Service Accreditation Congress seals when he came back to the U of W.
This meant that when he joined the athletic therapy program, he was able to skip the first responder courses and begin his practicum.
As for basketball, last summer Penniston scrimmaged with friends from the Wesmen team and found himself thinking about playing basketball at an elite level again. Having never lost his love for the game, he decided to listen when they suggested he try out for the Wesmen in the fall of 2009.
Penniston’s efforts proved successful and now, with the season more than half over, he feels he has finally found a home with the Wesmen team.
“I’m super happy that I’m playing again … on this team and in a competitive league.”
Published in Volume 64, Number 16 of The Uniter (January 21, 2010)