Sports

Mustangs' point guard Gini commits to Heat for 2012-13

Immaculata Mustangs
Immaculata Mustangs' point guard Dino Gini will play next season for the UBC Okanagan men's basketball team.
— image credit: Doug Farrow/Contributor

Dario Gini will have a little piece of UBC Okanagan basketball history to call his own.

The 6-foot-2 point guard from Immaculata has signed on with the Heat men's team for the 2012-13 season, becoming the first Kelowna-bred player to join the program since UBCO joined the Canada West conference last year.

Gini looks forward to lacing them up for the Heat next season and embraces the opportunity to play at home.

“It’s awesome that my friends and family will be able to see me play,” said Gini. “I don’t think there will be any extra pressure (from being a hometown recruit).”

The pressure will likely come from the extreme jump in quality of play Gini will face as he moves from the A level in in high school to Canada West, the strongest conference of university basketball in Canada.

“I’m excited and it should be fun," said Gini. "I’m looking forward to it and to improving my game by taking on this challenge.”

Gini has been a dominant player in high school, leading the Immaculata Mustangs for the last three seasons.

In his Grade 10  year he was named co-MVP on the senior team and then won the team MVP this past year as a senior.

Gini also led his team to a pair of provincial medals in 2012 when the Mustangs captured bronze in both the B.C. A championship and the B.C. Catholics, a championship tournament comprised mostly of AA schools.

Dario considers himself a “pass first point guard” that will contribute to the team with his ball handling, passing and his perimeter shooting.

At this year's provincials, Gini knocked in 19 threes, just two short of the tournament record. This was highlighted in his 41-point double overtime performance in the team’s semi-final loss to St. Ann’s of Kamloops. His performance that weekend earned him a first team tournament all-star.

For the season Gini averaged 20 points per game, with five rebounds and six assists per contest, while dropping an average of three threes per game, topped by a season-high of eight in the provincial semi-final.

Gini tore his ACL last January and has worked hard to get back into shape. In the process of training with Randy Goodman and the staff at Pinnacle Elite, Dario has found a love for the process of strengthening and building the human body and will enter the Human Kinetics program at UBC’s Okanagan campus this September, with the long range goal of one day becoming a trainer himself.

This summer, Gini will play with the Junior Heat U17 team and continue to spend time at Pinnacle Elite, as he wants to “train hard and hopefully get a bit bigger and quicker.”

Dario is the son of longtime Kelowna basketball coach and the Heat's player development and recruitment coach, Dino Gini.

 

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