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Vol 39  No 14
May 17, 2007


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Athletic ambassador

Justin Halleran has become a mentor for a new generation of student athletes

by Jeff Green


Justin Halleran is on top of his game. (Photo by Chris Hammond)

He may be quiet and modest, but Sea-Hawks basketball stand-out Justin Halleran is leaving a big impression on varsity sport at Memorial.

The 22-year-old, who was captain of his basketball team in 2006-07, ends his Sea-Hawks career with a long list of exceptional accomplishments, national and international honours, and a reputation as an elite athlete and dedicated community volunteer.

“I would just like to think that I am leaving the impression that I was a hard worker and put a great deal of myself into helping the program on and off the court,” said Halleran who hails from the small Southern Shore community of Trepassey.

Since lacing up for Memorial, Mr. Halleran has become one of the university’s most notable players. He was a leading scorer in two of the past three years, named team MVP in each of the past three seasons, and his 174 career 3-pointers made are second only to former Sea-Hawks player Jeff Saxby, who graduated several years ago.

“I love the feeling of competing at such a high level,” Mr. Halleran noted. “It is such a thrill to be able to play the sport that you love in front of so many fans.”

That commitment to his sport netted him major recognition over the past few years – everything from the Atlantic University Sport and the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Ken Sheilds awards (firsts for Memorial), as well as the Premier’s Award for Athletics and the Dave Kirkland Student Leadership Award (the first for an athlete at Memorial).

And, in the past five years the business student has taken his passion for his sport – and Memorial – to the wider community.
Between rigorous practice and training schedules and on top of studying, he became one of the university’s most dedicated student volunteers, spending time as a Big Brother, volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club of St. John’s, serving as lead instructor at the MUN Advantage Camps, and visiting hospitals and senior’s homes.

He may have been tough on the court, but Mr. Halleran was also a compassionate star athlete. In February, while on a roadtrip to Nova Scotia, he gave a pair of his shoes to a fellow athlete who had lost one of his own.

“Justin is so personable, likeable and helpful yet he maintains great humility,” said Kim Kelly, Memorial’s experiential learning co-ordinator and Sea-Hawks fan. “During the past five years, I cannot think of any other person who has sparked such spirit in the outside community for Memorial.”

Buses loads of people even travelled from his hometown to take in his last game in the Field House.

As for his future, Mr. Halleran said he’s not sure where he’ll end up but he insists he’ll take what he has learned from Memorial as an elite athlete and community builder with him.

“I am planning on playing basketball in a semi-pro league overseas next year,” he admitted. “I have a few places in mind. Australia is also an option that I am looking into. We’ll see.”

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