The UBC Okanagan Heat men’s squad has made the highly-touted Kyle Hinchey its first recruit for the 2016-17 Canada West volleyball season.
The 6-foot-6 outside power hitter comes to Kelowna from the Jasper Place High School Rebels in Edmonton, the Alberta 4A boys champions in both his Grade 11 and 12 years. He was also named an all-star at two tournaments during his senior year.
Hinchey’s current coach with the Rebels, Sid Brandsma, describes him as “by far one of the most dominant high school right sides in Alberta. At 6-6, Kyle is a huge block, with great leaping ability and an explosive swing.
“UBC Okanagan is very lucky to be getting this young man who is talented enough to take any program to the next level.”
For the Heat’s part, coach Greg Poitras likes the many assets Hinchey brings to the program.
“Kyle is our first recruit for our next cycle going into the next five years,” said Poitras. “He is one of the top recruits in Alberta, if not Western Canada. We feel his physicality and skill level will help our program immediately.
“We have learned that we have signed a very charismatic person and an athlete that is committed and driven to take our program forward to big things.”
As for Hinchey’s decision to come to the Okanagan, he cites a positive environment, both for his education and for volleyball.
“I chose UBCO because I feel that the academic atmosphere and setup of the classes and campus will be a good fit for me, I like the small campus feel and how welcoming and open it was all setup,” Hinchey said. “Volleyball wise, I felt I meshed with a lot of the players really well.”
Volleyball runs in Hinchey’s family as his older brother, Austin, plays with the UBC Thunderbirds and is a member of Canadian national sitting team.