Safar adds size to Heat roster

6-foot-8 forward joins UBC Okanagan men’s basketball from Handsworth Secondary program

Amir Safar, a 6-foot-8 graduate of Handsworth Secondary School in North Vancouver, will suit up for the UBC Okanagan Heat men’s basketball squad for the 2017-18 season.

The forward/centre started every game for five straight high school seasons and was a member of Team B.C. for one year. He was the MVP of the North Shore AAAA playoffs and led the Royals to the North Shore championship. Also a playoff all-star, Safar’s standout performance came in the semifinal where he had 25 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks.

In the classroom, Amir will be studying general sciences and his long-term academic goal is to attend medical school and become a surgeon.

“I chose UBCO because of the great campus, great science program and the great basketball team,” said Safar. “The chemistry the team shares and the high level of play combined with a former professional coach just made it hard to go anywhere else. It is a great opportunity for me to further my academic and athletic carriers. I plan to help the team win as much as possible and help the team reach its potential. “

Amir also coaches youth basketball, helps tutor students and teaches English to newcomers from Iran. He speaks Farsi fluently and is the first person in his family to play a university sport.

Head coach Pete Guarasci likes the prospects of Safar. “Amir is a smart player with a very good feel for the game,” said Guarasci. “He has size, good hands, and a great work ethic. We believe he can develop into a very effective forward at our level and we are excited to work with him.”

The UBC Okanagan men will open their season at home in the ‘Furnace’ with two games against the B.C. rival Thompson Rivers WolfPack, on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 5 at 3 p.m.

Go to goheat.ca for the complete Canada West men’s schedule.