At just 18, Kian Ishani needed a good reason to leave home and move across an entire country.
The Okanagan Sun provided ample motivation.
After attending the BCFC club’s spring camp last weekend in Kelowna, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound receiver from Halifax had no regrets with his decision.
“I love it here,” Ishani said while taking in the view of Kelowna from the Apple Bowl. “It was a big decision, a big move for me. (Assistant coach) Nathan Mollard reached out to me, they wanted me out here, and I was happy to come.
“I’m hoping to make a big impact right away,” he added. “I’m young, I’m a rookie and it’ll be tough…but I feel like I’m ready.”
Prior to heading west, Ishani attended the Mount Allison University Mounties’ spring camp in Sackville, NB, but quickly decided Kelowna and the junior game would be better a fit.
“Mt. Allison was good, but it wasn’t for me,” he said. “A lot of the guys there were older, I’m just 18, so I thought I might as well play junior, have a good experience and learn from the coaches here. Hopefully when I do move to CIS, I can have a bigger impact.”
Ishani, who played high school football with the very successful Citadel program in Halifax, should help to compensate for the graduations of key Sun receivers Kyle Kawamoto and Kyle Patchell.
After watching him perform over two days at spring camp, new Sun head coach Ben Macauley said Ishani came as advertised.
“He’s one of those playmaker guys, he’s a little bit undersized but physically he’s more mature than a lot of the players,” said Macauley. “We’re really excited about what he’s bringing to the team.”
And for Ishani, the feeling towards Macauley and the Sun is mutual.
“Ben’s a great guy and a great coach,” he said. “Just being in the locker room, the guys are great, it feels like a family. When they do the cheer ‘family on three’, they’re not kidding.”
Ishani will join the Sun for main training camp in early July.