ETOBICOKE, Ont -- It is a record that has largely gone unchallenged over the last 15 years, but on Wednesday night, Ceejay Nofuente (Toronto) hit a three-pointer with 4:17 remaining in the game against Niagara that will forever cement her legacy with Humber women's basketball.
The basket was the 785th of Nofuente's career at Humber, moving her past Hall of Famer Beth Latendresse as the all-time leading scorer in the 33-year history of women's basketball at Humber College. Latendresse scored 783 points from 1999 through 2002, and her record stood for almost 15 seasons. Nofuente led the Hawks with a game-high 14 points against Niagara College, giving her 785 with at least six games remaining in her career.
Nofuente took a circuitous route to becoming the all-time scoring leader at Humber. After graduating from Downsview Secondary School, Nofuente was a top recruit and chose Ryerson University to stay close to home. After averaging 12.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists-per-game in her freshman season with the Rams, she was named OUA East Rookie of the Year, a second-team OUA all-star, and a member of the CIS all-rookie team.
After looking for a better academic fit, Nofuente transferred to Humber College to play basketball for Ajay Sharma, who originally tried to recruit her from Downsview. The rest, now, is history.
A five-foot-eight point guard with dynamic scoring ability, Nofuente burst upon the scene at Humber with 74 points in her first five games before a severe knee injury cut her season short.
After countless hours in the gym and rehabbing in Humber's High Performance Centre, Nofuente led the Hawks to the program's first provincial championship in a decade during the 2014-15 season. That year she was named a CCAA championship all-star and an OCAA championship and league all-star.
Nofuente's second official season with the Hawks may have been one of the most incredible performances in league history.
Nofuente became the first OCAA women's basketball player in history to be named player of the year and championship MVP both provincially and nationally. She was also named the tenth CCAA All-Canadian in program history.
During the 2015-16 regular season, she led the OCAA with 116 assists and 81 steals while contributing a team-leading 14.3 points-per-game. Nofuente was also third in conference rebounding, grabbing 157 boards to go along with her 257 points. Humber won the west regional title, going 18-0.
At provincials, Nofuente shifted into another gear, totaling 58 points in three games, an average of 19.3. She also grabbed 18 rebounds, made 17 assists and 15 steals. Nofuente was named championship MVP as Humber won its second consecutive OCAA title.
On the court, Nofuente scored 53 points in three games, grabbing 27 rebounds while contributing 18 assists and 13 steals as Humber became the first OCAA program to win a national women's team title in a league sport. The Hawks also completed an undefeated season at 24-0. For her efforts, Nofuente was named championship MVP, earning her the grand slam of major women's basketball awards.
Entering this season, Nofuente was 11th on the Hawks career scoring list with 511 points. She closed in on the record by scoring a career-high 40 points against St. Clair in November, and then an OCAA single-game record of 55 points against Redeemer in her first game of the second semester.
Already the Humber record holder for career three-point field goals, assists, and steals; Nofuente remains 96 points away from breaking Donna Lidstone's 1981 single-season scoring record of 369 points.
From here on out, with every basket, every point, Nofuente will add to the decorated legacy she's already generated at Humber. The only difference now — she's not chasing a record, she's the one setting it.