KSS Owls forward Owen Keyes will put his 6-foot-9 frame to use next season for the UBC Okanagan Heat.
Keyes, who helped the Owls to the B.C. high school boys 4A basketball championship last March, has been a member of the Junior Heat program since 2012.
UBCO head coach Pete Guarasci, who has watched Keyes development over the last several years, is impressed with the potential of his newest recruit.
“He has a chance to become a real impact player at his position in the Canada West,” Guarasci said of Keyes. “We look forward to working with him and helping him achieve his potential and we are very excited to add Owen to our men’s basketball program.”
Keyes started his basketball career in earnest when he was a part of the Dr. Knox Middle School team from 2012 to 2014. In 2013, he was a part of Team BC where he played on the provincial boys team for two seasons.
He spent the 2014-15 season on the KSS junior team, before moving up to the senior team in 2015-16, as the the Owls went on to win their historic B.C. high school 4A title.
Three members of Kelowna Secondary championship team are part of the current Heat roster—Matt LaFontaine, Nav Sandhu and Davide Cianco.
As a student, Keyes plans to join the engineering program, with a focus on physics and chemistry.
The scope of programs offered at UBC’s Okanagan campus was a big factor, among a few others, in his choosing to his post secondary institution.
“UBCO is the full package for me,” said Keyes. “It allows me to pursue my academic interests in the sciences at an internationally recognized university while learning to play basketball from one the coaches best suited to my position as a forward in coach Pete.
“I am proud to be able to attend UBCO as both a student and athlete. Plus, Kelowna is a great place to live.”
Keyes looks forward to the moment when he officially gets to step on the floor with the UBCO program.
“I am excited to become a part of the Heat community,” Keyes added. “As a ‘big guy’ I am thrilled to be able to work with coach Pete. He is probably the best coach for my development as a basketball player. The team is a great group of guys and I am looking forward to learning lots and playing hard.”