Kelowna Owls’ graduating captain Buzz Truss will stay home to pursue an education and play basketball at the post secondary level.
One of the top high school players in B.C. last season, the 6-foot-4 Truss has committed to the UBC Okanagan Heat men’s program for the 2014-15 Canada West season.
With a versatile skill set and a knack for scoring, the talented forward helped the KSS Owls to a valley championship last season a solid 3-1 showing at provincial AAAA boys championship
For Heat head coach Pete Guarasci it was Buzz’s penchant for solid defense and ability to make plays that will have Truss slip right into his system.
“Buzz was one of the top Grade 12’s in BC this past year,” said Guarasci, “as a local player it was great watching his game develop over the past few years. I wanted to make sure Buzz knew that he had a place to play at home and go to school and I’m extremely pleased he decided to stay in Kelowna.”
In his senior year at Kelowna Secondary Buzz averaged 19.6 points a game while hauling in nearly eight rebounds a contest. A very efficient scorer Truss shot 54 per cent from the field for the year and 35 per cent from beyond the arc.
Buzz’s ability to score field goals was best display as he closed out his high school basketball career. At last month’s Quad A B.C. provincial championships Buzz led the tournament with 40 field goals in just four games, scoring 26.5 points per contest in the province’s premier event—good enough for fourth best at the championship.
Excited to keep another local talented kid in the Okanagan Guarasci speaks with great enthusiasm when talking about adding Truss to a strong core group of local young player as he heads into his third season manning the Heat.
“We’re really happy to add him to our program as he brings the work ethic that we are looking for both on and off the court. I think his versatility, basketball IQ, and competitive spirit will make him a solid contributor.”
“He obviously is a great coach,” Truss said of Guarasci. “He’s had a great career in basketball … I believe playing under him will be really good. When he was talking to me I really like how he was putting academics first, and then sports, so it makes me feel really comfortable coming [to UBC Okanagan] than anywhere else.”
Truss will be entering into the Bachelor of Science program in the fall, with aspirations to major in biochemistry. “The schooling, first of all, is fantastic,” he said of the academic programs at UBC’s Okanagan campus. “I want to focus academically, so it was the ideal choice for me.”
He will join a cast of native Okanagan Heat players who, over the recent years, have elected to stay at home to play ball. Fellow KSS grad Mitch Goodwin has become one of the best young players in Canada West, and Kelowna Christian grad Ryan Linttell also had several options before choosing the Heat. South Okanagan Secondary grad Greet Gill also decided to stay in the Okanagan for his education and for the game. Dario Gini (Immaculata) and Joel Burma (Kelowna Secondary) both sat out last season as injury red shirts but are also Kelowna graduates that add to the depth of talent from the area on the CIS team.