Former Thompson resident and R.D. Parker Collegiate basketball player Jon-Ross Merasty-Moose was awarded one of two coach scholarships by the Manitoba Aboriginal Sport & Recreation Council when the organization handed out its 2012 MASRC/2002 NAIG Legacy scholarships on June 26.
Merasty-Moose, from the O-Pipon-Na-Piwan Cree Nation received one coaching scholarship, with a value of $500, while the other went to Matt Zeiler, a football and rugby coach from Dauphin.
The scholarships are awarded to two aboriginal coaches in Manitoba who show outstanding coaching leadership in Manitoba's amateur sport community as well as good academic standing and involvement in other school- and community-related activities.
Merasty-Moose has coached club basketball in Brandon as well as high school basketball in Elton and elementary basketball at Wapanohk Community School in Thompson. In the coming year, he will coach the men's basketball team at Assiniboine Community College in Brandon, the team he played for previously.
In January of this year, Merasty-Moose was one of three players from Northern Manitoba who competed on teams at the 2012 Northern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NIAC)/Manitoba College Athletic Conference (MCAC) men's basketball tournament in Bemidji, Minn., along with Lexy Blacksmith from Cross Lake and Brad Ettawacappo of Norway House, who were teammates on the University of Winnipeg College Wesmen.
The College Wesmen gor the better of the Assinboine Community College Cougars in their only meeting of that tournament, edging Merasty-Moose's squad 69-66. Merasty-Moose's best performance of the tournament came in an 80-66 loss to the Canadian Mennonite University Blazers, when he had six points, two rebounds and two assists.
Merasty-Moose isn't the only Northern Manitoban to receive one of this year's 2002 NAIG Legacy scholarships. Recipients of athlete scholarships, which are also worth $500, included volleyball player Braedan Boschman of Cross Lake, multi-sport athlete Bruce Muswagon of Norway House Cree Nation, Chanelle Arthurson of Fox Lake Cree Nation, who played hockey for the female midget AAA Norman Wild and other sports, as well as Morgan Cordell of the Tataskweyak Cree Nation, who won a bronze medal in boys' doubles at the high school badminton championships in Carman with partner Tevin Wong as a member of the R.D. Parker Collegiate badminton team.
The 2002 NAIG Legacy scholarships were created through the 2002 North American Indigenous Games legacies. They are awarded annually to aboriginal Manitoba athletes who display athletic leadership, good academic standing and involvement in other school and community activities.