Nova Scotia

Antigonish basketball player dies in B.C. boating accident

Andrew Milner, who played two seasons with the University of Calgary Dinos, died in a boating accident in B.C. on Tuesday.

Andrew Milner played two seasons for the University of Calgary Dinos and won U Sports national championship

University of Calgary basketball player Andrew Milner died in a boating accident near Cranbrook, B.C., on Tuesday. (University of Calgary Dinos)

A university basketball player from Antigonish, N.S., has died in a boating accident in British Columbia.

Andrew Milner, 19,  played two seasons for the University of Calgary Dinos. The team won the U Sports national championship in Halifax in 2018, Milner's first season.

RCMP in Cranbrook, B.C., say two men were canoeing on Moyie Lake in the southeastern part of the province when the boat tipped. One of the two men made it to shore.

RCMP continue to investigate the death.

In a statement Wednesday, University of Calgary said it was "shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Andrew Milner, a kinesiology student and guard on our men's basketball team."

"Andrew was an outstanding student and a national champion on the basketball floor, but most importantly he was a tremendous young man, and his loss will be felt deeply by all members of the Dinos community."

The release went on to say the university would be offering grief counselling and other resources to student athletes.

Calgary Dinos' Andrew Milner, second from right, leaps to put up a shot in front of Saint Mary's Huskies' Nevell Provo during the second half of quarter-final action in the U Sports men's basketball national championship in Halifax on March 8, 2019. (Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press)

Matt Skinn, the current head coach of the Cape Breton Capers men's team, was an assistant coach with the Dinos when they won the national championship. He also coached Milner in Nova Scotia's provincial basketball program.

"Andrew was just a special guy," Skinn said Thursday. "Funny, caring, outgoing and a leader. He exemplified the term student athlete, and was always cool under pressure. He had the point guard gene — just an innate ability to handle and control a team.

"He comes from an amazing family — small-town Nova Scotia kid with big dreams who worked towards those and never waited to let them happen."

Milner won the Canadian university championship in his first season. The team returned to the national final in March, but lost to the Carleton Ravens for the gold medal.

He played his high school basketball at Rothesay Netherwood School in New Brunswick.

Won 3 national titles

Milner also won two gold medals with Team Nova Scotia at consecutive Canadian under-17 boys championships. Skinn was on the coaching staff of the first team in 2015.

Skinn said he is filled with memories of Milner

"Seeing him at St. FX shooting when he was young; guarding RJ Barrett in the second half of the U-17 national championship game in Halifax; watching him win the U Sports national title in front of his family. He was just the ultimate competitor.

"Everyone loved him, infectious personality. I just can't even imagine what his family is going through right now. Loved every minute I was fortunate to coach him."