Metro Vancouver…..The KPU Eagles department of athletics and recreation and men’s basketball Head Coach Vladimir Nikić are pleased to announce seven new recruits to the program for the 2014/15 PACWEST/CCAA season.
Coach Nikić came to KPU in the spring of 2014 and is eager to start his first season as a head coach at the university level. “I’m excited to have this opportunity,” he says, “I see lots of potential in the players and the program. Our new recruits are very coachable, have excellent character, and are keen to further develop their game”.
A key element of Coach Nikić’s coaching plan is to develop players who succeed in the classroom, as well as in the gym. “I’m a strong believer in integrity,” he explains, “There is a larger perspective here to build leaders in the academic and athletic realms. These recruits are a major part of building a strong foundation for our program and I want them to see the big picture in order to build success for the future”.
Coach Nikić’s inaugural recruiting class is diverse in skill and experience, both on and off the court. He is keen for the season to begin and is pleased to have found key recruits whose personalities, athleticism, and academic skills mesh well with the program’s goals.
Back L to R: Jaiten Rana, Nick Smith, Navdeep Brar, Trevor Schulz, Marcus Moldowan, Brendan Bailey. Front: Coach Vladimir Nikić. (Photo courtesy of KPU Eagles Sports Information)
Brendan Bailey, 5’11”, Point Guard, Gleneagle Secondary
Brendan comes to KPU as a first team all-star in the 2014 Senior 4A Fraser Valley Championships. He assisted his team with a 6th place finish in the BC 4A championships and is one of the top prospects coming out of DRIVE Basketball AAU club team. An effective and athletic point guard, he will bring a lot of strength to KPU’s high-tempo offense. Coach Nikić is pleased to add Brendan to the program as a defensively oriented combo guard with great versatility.
Navdeep Brar, 6’5”, Center, Rick Hansen Secondary
Navdeep brings an excellent work ethic, defensive presence in the paint, and a strong ability to rebound. He was the 2014 defensive player and MVP of the year for Rick Hansen Secondary. He is an honour-roll student athlete and enjoys being challenged. Coach Nikić adds that Navdeep’s style reminds him of 2014 KPU men’s basketball alumnus Ali Bosir, with potential for him to fill Ali’s role in the future.
Madison (Matt) Cooley, 6’8”, Center, Terry Fox Secondary
Matt comes to KPU as the 2013 MVP Jasper Place High School REB Invitational. Matt is one of the top recruits in his grad class, has excellent shooting ability from the perimeter, and great ability to play in both high and low post. Matt brings huge inside presence, ability to block shots, and create scoring opportunities for his teammates by playing an inside and out game. His basketball IQ will immediately impact KPU’s productivity. Coach Nikić looks forward to helping Matt develop to his full potential at the university level.
Marcus Moldowan, 6’2”, Shooting Guard/Forward, Hugh Boyd Secondary
Marcus brings tremendous athleticism to KPU. He averaged 14 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in his senior year, and is a former elite baseball player. Coach Nikić believes that Marcus will be an excellent teammate. He has excellent vertical, strong ability to finish in transition, and great speed that will be lethal in fast-break opportunities.
Jaiten Rana, 5’11”, Shooting Guard, Delview Secondary
Jaiten comes to KPU as a two-time BC provincial championship contender and led the 2014 Provincial tournament in scoring with a game high of 52 points. He was selected to the Fraser Valley All-Star teams in 2013 and 2014, and the 2014 provincial championship all-star team. Coach Nikić is pleased to continue to coach Jaiten at the university level after three years together at Delview.
Trevor Schulz, 6’5”, Forward, Hugh Boyd Secondary
Trevor comes to KPU as one of the leading shot blockers and top rebounders in Richmond. Trevor is an excellent defender and rebounder with a very high basketball IQ. Coach Nikić says Trevor is a consistent 3-point shooter who brings a strong work ethic, excellent character, tremendous integrity, and sense of determination, both on and off the court. Returning KPU players describe Trevor as an ideal teammate with ability to create positive atmosphere in the locker room, as well as someone who can focus on team goals over individual stats.
Nicholas Smith, 6’3”, Guard/Forward, Lord Tweedsmuir
Nick comes to KPU with championship experience as he led his team to the school’s first ever 4A top ten ranking in The Province, was named Surrey All-star, and won two Surrey championships. He is a great player in transition, a relentless rebounder, and has an excellent basketball IQ. Nick exhibits immense toughness on the court and possesses extraordinary grit as a person. Coach Nikić is pleased with how Nick moves the ball and involves his teammates on offense, he also notes that Nick has tremendous leadership skills with an enormous potential to make other players around him better.
The main goal is to create a strong culture within the program that focuses on success in the classroom, winning on the court, and coming together as solid unit. Recruits will have the opportunity to learn from strong KPU veterans like 5th year guard, James Bradshaw, North Delta, BC. “James not only has excellent knowledge of the game, but is exceptionally personable, displays good citizenship, and is ready to take that next step into the professional world once he leaves KPU”, says Coach Nikić, “It is so important to have such strong role models to lead the way for everyone.”
The new recruits and returners are well matched in terms of character, and already everyone seems to be on the same page. “I know for a fact that these players are going to play FOR the team instead of playing on the team”, Coach Nikić says, “This is the beginning of something great.”
The Eagles basketball programs begin their regular season on the road on Friday, October 31st in Abbotsford versus the CBC Bearcats. Their home opener will be on Friday, November 7th in the Eagles Nest versus the Capilano Blues; the women will tip off at 6:00pm and the men will tip off at 8:00pm.
For more information on the Department of Athletics & Recreation, please contact Junelle Mah, sports information and marketing, at 604-786-0804 or at email@example.com.
The KPU Eagles Department of Athletics & Recreation enters its 14th season of interuniversity competition. The Eagles are members of PACWEST conference and play in the Canadian College Athletic Association (CCAA) with 100 student-athletes participating on eight varsity teams in men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, badminton and golf. KPU athletics plays its home games at the Eagles’ Nest (Surrey Campus), Northview Golf & Country Club, Newton Athletic Park, all located in Surrey, BC and the Ace Badminton Centre in Richmond, BC. The Eagles are active in the conference with staff members on various advisory committees and competing to host both provincial and national championships. The student-athletes are mainly from the lower mainland but KPU’s rosters have student-athletes from three continents, North America, Asia and Europe.
Follow the Eagles on Twitter @KPUEagles or visit our website at www.kpu.ca/eagles.