March 5, 2020

Dinos’ Brett Layton named Canada's most outstanding university men's basketball player

'Spectacular' athlete balances sports, law school and family commitments

On the eve of the national championship in Canadian university basketball, UCalgary Dinos forward Brett Layton has earned the nation’s top individual prize.

Layton was named the 2019-20 winner of the Mike Moser Memorial Trophy as the U SPORTS men’s basketball most outstanding player Wednesday night at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que., capping off a record-setting season. It’s the fourth such honour for a Dinos player and the first since Richard Bohne in 1996. Karl Tilleman won back-to-back Moser trophies in 1982 and 1983.

Impressive statistics

Layton’s season was nothing short of spectacular.

With plenty to juggle from his second year in law school to his family with two young children, Layton still found a way to dominate most nights he took the floor. Among his myriad of accomplishments in 2019-20, he became the first player in conference history to record a 40-point, 20-rebound night Nov. 23 against Trinity Western. On the final night of the regular season he set a single-game conference record with 27 rebounds at his old stomping grounds, Mount Royal’s Kenyon Court. He led the nation with 299 rebounds — also a CW record for a 20-game season — while leading Canada West in field goal percentage (62.8) and blocks (43) — third and second in the nation, respectively, in those two categories.

“We wouldn’t have won many games without Brett Layton. He has the ability to impact a game on offence, both scoring and rebounding the ball, and then defensively he can alter shots, then sprint the floor. The guy is a very, very special player,” says Calgary head coach Dan Vanhooren.

Keeping things in perspective

“In 20 years I’ve never had a player that has to manage as many things as he does, from law school and the demands that entails along with articling and interviews to having a wife and children and home responsibilities. For him to be able to manage all of that and keep things in the right priority and in the right perspective says a lot about his character. For him to receive a player of the year award is not only based on just what he’s done on the floor, it’s about who he is as a human being altogether.”

The other nominees for the award included two-time honouree Kadre Gray of Laurentian, UQAM’s Alix Lochard, and Keevan Veinot of Dalhousie.

Layton also becomes the fourth Dino in five years to earn first team All-Canadian recognition following Thomas Cooper (2016, 2017) and Mambi Diawara (2019).

The Dinos basketball teams are both at the U SPORTS Final 8 at Ottawa’s TD Place. Quarter-final action opens Thursday when the women take on Brock at 1 p.m. MT, with the men facing Carleton Friday at 1 p.m. MT in a rematch of last year’s national championship game. CBCSports.ca, CBC Gem, and the CBC Sports app will have exclusive live coverage of the entire event.