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

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.

 

Kelowna Capital News

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine to Ann Hicks, 77, in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-Pool
61 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

Twenty-nine people are in hospital, seven of whom are in intensive care

(Big White Ski Resort)
28 more cases of COVID-19 linked to Big White cluster

More than 200 cases have been identified since the cluster was announced

The sale of the Kirschner Mountain Development for $22M marks the largest in Realtor history, in the Okanagan. (Contributed)
Kirschner Mountain development sold for $22M

The sale of the 640-acre Kirschner Mountain development has made the history books

Fire in shed in alley off Stockwell. (Michael Rodriguez - Kelowna Capital News)
UPDATE: Smoke seen rising from shed on Stockwell Avenue

Kelowna firefighters are on scene of a home after reports of a blaze

Charlotte is one of the resident pigs at Star's Piggly Wiggly's Sanctuary near Kelowna. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Kelowna-area pig sanctuary needs a new home

Star’s Piggly Wiggly’s Sanctuary is looking for properties in Vernon, Coldstream, and Enderby

A memorial for the fatal bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 near Tisdale, Tuesday, October 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards
‘End of the road:’ Truck driver in Humboldt Broncos crash awaits deportation decision

Sidhu was sentenced almost two years ago to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving

(Stock photo)
EDITORIAL: COVID-19 restrictions continue to affect us all

Canada has recorded more than 700,000 confirmed cases of pandemic

A couple living at the Summerland Waterfront Resort is trying to sell their unit because of strata changes which will require them to pay significantly higher strata fees or have their unit included in the resort’s rental pool (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Couple living at Summerland resort facing increases

Permanent residents of Summerland Waterfront Resort told fees will more than double

Cumberland photographer Sara Kemper recently took the top spot in a Canadian Geographic photography contest. Photo by Sara Kemper
B.C. photographer takes top Canadian Geographic photo prize

Sara Kemper shows what home means to her in Comox Valley photo

Police are seeking further witnesses after an elderly woman who was struck by a vehicle in Salmon Arm succumbed to her injuries. (File Photo)
Salmon Arm pedestrian dies after being hit by truck along Highway 1

Collision took place on Jan. 15 in downtown Salmon Arm, police looking for witnesses

A cow moose wanders around the Silver Star Elementary School neighbourhood Tuesday, Jan. 19. (Contributed)
Moose chases two people near North Okanagan school

Conservation and dog control attending to the situation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Most Read