Emily Kanester and the rest of the UBCO men's and women's basketball teams begin their regular seasons this weekend.

Heat b’ball starts regular season

Both the men's and women's teams play UFV on Friday and Saturday

The UBCO Heat men’s and women’s basketball teams will be looking to start their season with a pair of wins this weekend when they both travel to Abbotsford to take on the University of the Fraser Valley.

Each team will play UFV on Friday and Saturday in what should prove to be a challenging matchup, especially for the men.  The UFV men’s team is coming off a 17 win season that saw them finish first in the Explorer Division, while UBCO finished last in the same division a year ago with just four wins.

Although the men’s program is coming off a difficult season, there is plenty of optimism as they head into their season opening double header.  The Heat is a very young team with seven of its 14 players starting only their second year and they went 4-2 in the preseason, matching last year’s season win total.

“So far in practice, they’ve all made jumps and I’m really proud of them,” head coach Pete Guarasci said of his second year players.  “I think last year was more about getting exposure to this level and understanding the work it takes to succeed at this level.  They’ve all made some great jumps in practice, and now it’s time to transfer that into games.  That’s where our focus is, and I’ve told the whole team, especially that group, that I want to see a big growth year.”

Small forward Cameron Friesen noted the team can’t wait to get the season started.

“It’s going to feel great, we’ve been putting in a lot of work in practices over the last two months now,” he said.  “We’ve had a good preseason, so we’re going to try to carry our momentum into these season games.”

With a tough matchup to start the season for the men, Guarasci wants to see his players compete on every possession and execute their gameplan.

For the women, their season opener is more than just opening weekend – it’s also their first regular season game under new head coach Claire Meadows.  The women went 3-5 in the preseason after finishing with a 7-18 record a season ago, and Meadows is very happy with how the team performed in the exhibition games.  She noted her players are feeling confident and they’ve adapted well to the new coach and system.

“I think that the main difference from what I’ve gathered is that there’s a little more structure this year,” Meadows described.  “We’re running a system that has a lot of different screening actions, a lot of different read and react decision making built into it.  I’ve thrown a lot a them in a little bit of time, but they’ve adapted well.”

Meadows is excited to coach her first regular season game with the Heat, and she believes the team has a good vibe and is ready to go after developing a good foundation last year.  Fourth year guard Emily Kanester is also excited to start the season, but with more motivation than most as she missed last season with an ankle injury.

“I’m super ready to go and get back out there,” she explained.  “We’ve got some new players and a new coach, I think it’s really exciting for everyone.”

Kanester added they learned a lot from the preseason from playing a variety of teams, and they’re ready to go.

The women play UFV at 6:00pm on Friday and 5:00pm on Saturday at Envision Athletic Centre in Abbotsford, while the men play at 8:00pm on Friday and 7:00pm on Saturday.


Just Posted

Okanagan Wildfires: An afternoon update on wildfires and evacuations

A Sunday afternoon look at the major wildfires impacting the Okanagan and Similkameen.

VIDEO: Sailing under the sun at the BC Games

Maple Bay in the Cowichan Valley was host to dozens of athletes sailing on small prams to planing dinghys

BC Wildfire holding steady on Okanagan Complex

Evening update on Okanagan fire situation

Wild fires blaze in the Okanagan, in your words

We have compiled a community photo album of your wildfire photos

Power couple speed into top spot at L’Alpe de Grand Blanc at Big White

The professional riders have been training all year

All-Indigenous teams break new ground, making BC Games history

This is the first time there have been dedicated Indigenous teams at the BC Summer Games

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Reel Reviews: Floundering inferno

We quote Charlie Brown: “Good grief!”

UPDATE: Five taken to hospital following one of two Coquihalla accidents

One airlifted in critical condition, four taken via ambulance in stable condition

Ottawa fails to find alternative buyer for Trans Mountain pipeline by deadline

The feds had announced it was purchasing the $4.5 billion pipeline earlier this spring

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Most Read