Coming out of high school in 2012, the UBC Okanagan Heat men’s basketball program had sizable expectations of guard Mitch Goodwin.
It’s safe to say, the KSS grad hasn’t disappointed.
In the first game of his fifth and final Canada West season on Friday night in Kelowna, Goodwin established the new all-time points record for the Heat men’s program.
Goodwin scored 18 points to lead the Heat past the Trinity Western Spartans 87-71, and in the process surpassed Matt Gowing’s career-best mark of 1,028.
The 6-foot-2 Goodwin finished the weekend with 1,037 career points.
Coming into the Canada West season, Goodwin admits he wasn’t even aware he was close to setting the record.
Now that it’s official, the 22-year-old Human Kinetics student said he’s humbled by the milestone.
“It didn’t really hit me until the day after,” Goodwin said. “It’s nice to see that the years of hard work have paid off. Coming in to play here after a successful college program, to see my name up there with some of the top players in school history, it’s a pretty big honour.”
In 2012, Goodwin opted to stay home and play basketball at UBC Okanagan rather than accept an offer from Blair Academy in New Jersey, a decision he said he hasn’t regretted for moment.
In addition to being around family and friends, and getting his education right at home, Goodwin said playing his entire university career for Heat head coach Pete Guarasci has been a big bonus.
“I’ve had a chance to learn from one of the most experienced coaches out there,” Goodwin said. “Pete Guarasci has experience as a national team player and he’s played in Europe, so he’s been around and knows a lot about the game. A lot of what I’ve been able to do is becuase of him.”
While Goodwin is both happy and humbled to own the Heat’s all-time scoring record, , he doesn’t expect to hold it for long.
“It’s such a young program, a lot of great players will come through here so it won’t stand for long. It would be pretty cool to see someone on my team break it one day. (Teammate) Aldrich Berrios is one guy I could see doing it…that would be cool.”
Speaking of Berrios, he held the hot hand for the Heat in Friday’s win, connecting for 26 points, including hitting six treys. It was UBCO’s first opening night victory in four years.
On Saturday, the Spartans returned the favour with 79-74 win over UBCO. Berrios set the pace again with 17 points and seven boards. Buzz Truss added 12 points, while David Manshreck added 11.
The Heat (1-1) will be in Winnipeg Friday to take on the Bisons, before travelling to Brandon Saturday to battle the Bobcats.
Kanester eclipses record…
As a team, the UBC Okanagan women didn’t have an overly memorable opening weekend of the Canada West basketball season.
It didn’t prevent Emily Kanester from writing her own piece of history.
On Saturday night in Kelowna, the fifth-year guard from Vernon Secondary became the Heat program’s all-time leading scorer, collecting 16 points in a 71-63 loss to Trinity Western.
Kanester now has 909 points during her UBCO career, surpassing the previous standard of 901 held by former five-year Heat player, Roz Huber.
“It’s pretty special, especially being my last year,” Kanester said of setting the all-time mark. “It’s nice to get it done, too, so now I can really focus on helping us get some wins as a team.”
Heat head coach Claire Meadows said in addition to being a talented player, the record is a testament to Kanester’s character and work ethic.
“It’s an incredible accomplishment,” Meadows said. “Emily is one of the most determined and hardworking people in our program. She works tirelessly, and is just relentless out on the floor. She’s really earned it.”
And as significant as milestones and records may be to Kanester, Meadows said the team always comes first for the fifth-year guard.
“I know this achievement means a lot to Emily and she should be very proud, but at the same time she wants to win and cares about the team,” Meadows said. “Her outstanding quality is that she is a very competitive person, she wants win and is a true team player.”
In Saturday’s loss, Claire Elliot added 12 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for the Heat.
On Friday, the Spartans prevailed 68-61. Kanester led UBCO with 14 points, while Elliot added 11 and Chloe Kennedy, 10.
On both nights, an unproductive fourth quarter was a big part of the Heat’s undoing as they were outscored by a combined 42-27 down the stretch.
“I thought we played hard and had some great quarters,” said Meadows, “but we didn’t play a full 40 minutes on either night. You can’t play three quarters against a good team and expect to win, so that’s something we need to figure out.”
The Heat (0-2) will head to Manitoba this weekend to meet the U of M Bisons on Friday and the Brandon Bobcats on Saturday.