North Vancouver’s Triston Matthews has committed to the UBC Okanagan Heat men’s basketball team for the upcoming 2016-17 Canada West season.
A 6-foot-4 shooting guard, Matthews comes to the Heat from the Sentinel Secondary program in West Vancouver.
“It’s been my dream to play at the university level,” said Matthews. “I’m really looking forward to being a part of the Heat program and competing at the next level in the CIS.
“As a freshman I want to contribute any way I can to help the Heat continue to make their mark in the CIS,” Matthews said of what he hopes to add to the UBCO program.
“I know it will take some time for me to catch up to players like Mitch Goodwin and Aldrich Berrios, but I am confident in my ability to be an impact player and work with coach Guarasci to grow, get better, and become stronger.”
Pete Guarasci, entering his fifth season as head coach of the Heat
“Triston has the size and athletic ability to become an impact player at the CIS level. His shooting is already at a high level and will provide a good foundation for the rest of his development. He’s also very focused academically and has the character to fit right into our locker room. We’re excited to have him join the Heat.”
Matthews, a multi-talented guard, brings with him a basketball resume that includes stints with two different premier basketball academies and multiple provincial teams on top of a successful five-year career with the Sentinel Spartans.
Triston was also a passionate and talented baseball player growing up, competing in the 2012 Little League Canadian championships. He went on to play with the North Shore Twins in the B.C. Premier Baseball League, before ultimately choosing basketball.
A starter at Sentinel for three years—the last two as captain—Matthews averaged roughly 25 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists per game.
In each of his three seasons as a senior Spartan, Matthews was named a Howe Sound Team All-Star, and was the Howe Sound Player of the Year in both his grade eleven and twelve seasons.
On top of those season-long awards, Matthews was named a First Team All-Star at a number of tournaments in which the Spartans competed, including the Cactus Cup in Arizona.
Matthews also spent six years as a member of the 3D Basketball Academy’s Elite Program.
Through his last two seasons of high school basketball, Matthews also trained as a member of the West Vancouver Basketball Academy. He trained in the program with another ex-Canadian national team member, Greg Meldrum.
Joining the Heat in September, Matthews will be enrolled as a student in the Sciences.
“Academically I chose UBCO because I put a lot of value into a Canadian degree, and a UBC degree is one of the most recognizable in Canada,” Matthews said. “Athletically I really appreciate coach Guarasci and I think the program is a really good fit for me.
“Growing up playing with and knowing players that are on the team now, such as Austin Penrose and David Manshrek, as well as being good friends, competitors, teammates with fellow freshman Matt Lafontaine really made it an easy decision.”
Matthews and his new Heat teammates will open their Canada West season Nov. 4 at home to the Trinity Western Spartans.