By Luke Bellus
Ryerson women’s basketball program has a new all-time leader in points and rebounds, and her name is Sofia Paska.
In her last two games, Paska has added the two major accomplishments to the already impressive basketball resumé she’s built up during her four seasons at Ryerson.
Paska set the rebounding record on Feb. 3 against the University of Toronto, surpassing Tamara Alleyne-Gittens mark of 644, and on Wednesday afternoon against the York Lions, Paska eclipsed Ashley McDonald’s 1,218 points to set the new school record at 1,222 points
With a national silver medal and OUA championship in 2015 already under her belt, Paska’s latest individual accomplishments elevate her to a new level.
After missing two recent games due to a concussion, Paska was happy to be back on the court during her record-breaking games. “I really wanted to come out and play hard and by playing hard and getting extra hours in the gym to prepare I accomplished those records,” she said.
After becoming the sixth woman in program history to reach 1,000 points in late November, Paska has continued to play well for the Rams, and she now sits alone atop the scoring list. In addition to her scoring prowess, Paska’s averaged nearly 10 rebounds a game this year, so it was only a matter of time before she took the lead in that category too.
While Paska consistently dominates in the paint, one of the more underrated aspects of her game is the ability to convert from the free throw line.
After shooting just 67.9 per cent from the charity stripe in her first year, Paska has drastically improved her free throw numbers, shooting 79.8 and 82 per cent in the next two seasons. Paska is currently shooting a career-best 84 per cent from the line this year.
“Every time I’m in the gym I shoot a lot of free throws, and try to get a streak of 10 without missing,” she said. “My trainer also makes me do a consequence every time I miss so I focus a lot to not miss.”
What makes Paska’s most recent milestones even more impressive as that she’s become the all-time leader in just four years with the Rams. MacDonald and Alleyne-Gittens reached their records during five-year stints with Ryerson, showing just how efficient Paska has been and just how significant her accomplishments are.
The six-foot-four forward credits her success to working hard off-court, and to the people who’ve helped her along the way. “I’ve had many trainers help me along the way. But I do work extremely hard on my own time aside from practice.”
Paska has already edged out most players in the record books, but has a chance to be head and shoulders above everyone else if she returns to Ryerson for a fifth season next year.