By Kaytlyn Poberznick
Shea-Lynn Noyes, five-year veteran of the NAIT Ooks women’s basketball team, has gone on from the blue and gold to a dynamic pursuit of her dream sports career in Toronto.
Noyes looks back on her experience at NAIT with love.
Appreciative of all the lessons she learned and all the memories she made playing for the Ooks, she said NAIT helped bring her to where she is today.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t spend five years at NAIT,” said Noyes. “I would do it all again if I had to just to be where I am, because it was well worth it.”
Although being the ACAC all-time leader in steals is a very amazing accomplishment, Noyes said that her experience winning the ACAC finals and bronze at Nationals in 2016, led by head coach Todd Warnick in her fourth year, was much more fulfilling.
“That was the highlight of my career. The chemistry was so good with that group of girls that year,” said Noyes. “We were unstoppable. There was this crazy energy from us and because of that, we worked our asses off and won.”
“I’ll never forget it. I’ll never forget us cheering, screaming defense. I’ll never forget Todd’s reaction, our pregame talks,” said Noyes .
“That season, that year was amazing. Being the steals record holder, that’s cool too, [but] it just doesn’t compare.”
Noyes went through one year of upgrading before studying four years of architectural technology and interior design technology. Upon graduation, Noyes got a job with Stantec in Edmonton. After working for a year at Stantec, she finally decided to take a leap of faith out of Edmonton.
“Because I had that on my resume, I was then able to open up doors in other cities. I applied all over Canada and decided whatever place replies back to me is where I’m going to go,” said Noyes, whose first call came from Toronto.
“I jumped on a plane a month later after I got the offer and I moved.”
To consistently get steals in basketball you need to have a vision of when to jump the passing lane. Turns out it isn’t much different in the world of business, where Noyes was excited to jump on the opportunity that was lofted before her.
“I needed some change, something new. Toronto was the first offer on the table,” said Noyes.
Having worked for her own interior design company since 2018, she suddenly hit a roadblock at the beginning of 2020 and wondered if this job path was truly for her.
“[I decided] to reshape and rethink what I love in life. I was [thinking about] when the last time I was crazy happy and that’s when I [realized it was when I was] playing basketball. So I needed to do some changing and somehow get back into sports [to] make a living out of it,” said Noyes.
“I decided to pursue modeling oddly enough. It was just a way for me to make some supplemental income because I ended up quitting my job in architecture at the start of this year because I had enough and [wanted] to take a risk.”
Jobless in Toronto is not an ideal situation, but with hard work and a vision of what she wanted to do, Noyes made her pursuit for happiness and landed a modeling job.
“I got an offer on Instagram to model in India for a month, so I inquired and it was all legitimate. Before you know it, I am on an expense-free trip to India to tour the country and model. It was like a dream trip,” said Noyes.
Returning from her month-long trip, she had the idea to completely dive into modeling and work in it full-time. Getting back in March meant that COVID was just starting to hit Canada hard. Putting another halt on her career path, Noyes had to wait until restrictions opened up to continue on her path to being a model, later on modeling for big companies like Walmart and Knix Wear.
Sports were still on her agenda, so she kept reaching out and landed herself a job.
“I started working with this sports media company called True Sports TV, they interview athletes, they’re like Bleacher Report or The Score,” said Noyes.
“All I do is talk about the NBA which is so much fun.”
“I love being on the podcast or doing a show and just talking ball,” said Noyes.
“I’ve been doing that and modeling for the past five months. I’ve left behind interior design and architecture [from a professional standpoint].”
Being an outgoing woman that isn’t afraid to chase her dreams and take risks, Noyes continues to show that the values of hard work and vision that guided her to an ACAC championship and 350 steals in 110 games with the Ooks can and will take her to heights unseen.
You can keep up with Shea-Lynn Noyes on Instagram at @SheasGotGame and @Shealynn.noyes for her takes on the WNBA and NBA, podcast updates, as well as her modeling career.