Metro Vancouver…..The KPU Eagles department of athletics and recreation and men’s basketball head coach Vladimir Nikić are pleased to announce the signing of five recruits to join the Eagles for the 2015/16 PACWEST CCAA season. KPU men’s basketball is proud to welcome Moeiz Athaya, Abbotsford, BC, Joshua Kurucz, Port Alberni, BC, Cory Pidhaichuk, Richmond, BC, Greg Saourine, Surrey, BC, and Philip Weston, Chilliwack, BC, pending their acceptance to KPU.
Coach Nikić and the Eagles ran two player identification camps this spring, which attracted over sixty players to the KPU Eagles’ Nest in Surrey, BC. From these camps Athaya, Kurucz, Pidhaichuk, Saourine, and Weston were the successful candidates invited to join the KPU Eagles and are in good company with fellow 2015 recruits Wowie (Wayne) Untalan, North Delta, BC, Vartan Tanielan, White Rock, BC, and Devin Cvitanovich, Duncan, BC.
(L to R) 4th Year Eagle Spencer Maichin, Pidhaichuk, Weston, Athaya, Saourine, Kurucz, Coach Nikić
“I am exceptionally proud of the work our program has been doing and am pleased to add men of talent and character to our 2015 recruiting class,” stated Coach Nikić, “I firmly believe that our Eagles men’s basketball program is growing stronger and stronger as we are recruiting men with not only the talent on the court to take us to the next level, but the academic skills and exceptional character to better cement a culture of success for the KPU Eagles moving forward.”
Athaya is an honour roll and effort role student from Abbotsford Senior Secondary, who will study Criminology at KPU. The 6’5” shooting guard is a Fraser Valley 1st and 2nd Team All-Star (2014, 2015), as well as a BC 3A Provincial 2nd Team All-Star in 2015. He has playing experience with Abbotsford Senior as well as AthElite.
“We are very excited to add another scorer to our roster as Moeiz has incredible basketball talent. Over the last couple of seasons, Mo averaged over 20 points per game for every team that he played for,” noted Coach Nikić, “He has the ability to penetrate as well as shoot the perimeter shots. He also has a great wingspan, which will help us both defensively and on the glass next season.”
Shooting Guard Moeiz Athaya
Kurucz transfers to KPU after attending and playing his first year of eligibility at Green River Community College in Auburn, Washington. The Port Alberni native graduated in 2014 from Alberni District Secondary and comes to KPU to study Education. The 6’3” shooting guard also has experience on the U15 BC Provincial Team and was selected to the 2014 Vancouver Island All-Star team.
“It is truly a gift to have a player like Josh join us next year. He already has a year of experience playing at the NWAC level with Green River. Josh is a great athlete and potentially can be one of the best overall athletes in PACWEST next year,” said Coach Nikić, “The moment I saw him play, I was impressed with his use of voice and ability to help defensively against penetration. Offensively, Josh is going to bring us lots of speed and he is going to be the best fit for our high-tempo transition offense.”
Shooting Guard Joshua Kurucz
Pidhaichuk graduates from Richmond High Secondary and will enter KPU’s Bachelor of Business Administration program with a focus on Marketing Management. With experience on Team Excel/Ignite of the AAU, 6’3” forward also helped the Richmond High Colts win the 2015 RSSA Championship.
“We are very happy to have Cory commit to KPU. His exceptional attitude and great work ethic are the best fit for our program right now. Cory is a leader on and off the floor. This will help us establish the right tone and consistency in our culture that we need to excel,” Coach Nikić stated, “When I saw Cory play for the first time, I was very impressed with his game. A true team player who plays FOR the team, Cory is tough on glass, will be a strong contributor in the paint, and will provide additional toughness on both ends of the court."
Forward Cory Pidhaichuk
Saourine comes to KPU from Semiahmoo Secondary in Surrey which hosts one of the top high school 4A Senior Boys Basketball programs in BC. The 6’4” forward was the number-one rebounder in the 2015 4A Senior Boys Provincial Championship, averaging 14.5 rebounds per game. Saourine will study Criminology in Fall 2015 at KPU.
“I am deeply impressed with Greg’s positive attitude and his character. He is very coachable and he is a great teammate. We expect Greg to provide us with very needed physical presence in the paint and we are very pleased that he has chosen the Eagles as he starts his university basketball career,” Coach Nikić stated, ”Coached by former CIS players, Ed Lefurgy and Steve Janzen, Greg has had the opportunity to learn basketball from exceptional coaches and he played on very competitive teams. To our program he brings experience within a culture of success and his strong work ethic will immediately have a positive impact on the rest of our team.”
Forward Greg Saourine
Weston comes to KPU to obtain a Bachelor of Music in Musical Arts. He graduates from GW Graham Secondary with a strong 2A Senior Boys Basketball resume. The 6’4” forward averaged 15 points and 13 rebounds per game in his senior year for the Grizzlies, was a 2014/15 Fraser Valley 1st Team All-Star, and was the GW Graham MVP. He helped lead the Grizzlies to a second place Fraser Valley Championship finish and an eighth place 2015 2A Senior Boys Provincial Championship finish.
“Phil has a great basketball IQ and he comes from one of the best and most consistent basketball programs in BC. GW Graham, led by Jake Mouritzen, has been in the top of BC High School 2A rankings consistently over the last 8 seasons. As a result of his talent and experience with the Grizzlies, Phil will make a tremendous impact on our program,” said Coach Nikić, “He has an incredible touch around the basket and is one of the best rebounders coming out of the 2015 grad class. Phil is an amazing teammate, always putting his team's interests first. Phil is a true winner and he proved it throughout his career. His desire for success, determination to win, and overall integrity will definitely make us a contender next year. I truly enjoyed watching Phil play this year and I am looking forward to coaching him as a KPU Eagle.”
Forward Philip Weston
Coach Nikić will continue to entertain additions to the 2015/16 roster but notes that the majority of recruiting has been completed. The Eagles will play pre-season exhibition games in the Fall, with their first PACWEST CCAA regular season home-opener scheduled for Friday, October 30th 2015 at 8:00pm. Eager for the new season to begin, Coach Nikić looks forward to the further growth and development of his team on-and-off the court, “In 2015 we have added eight academically and athletically strong men to our KPU Eagles men’s basketball program. I am eager to begin our pre-season training in August and have our new recruits work with our Eagles veterans to begin a new chapter in KPU men’s basketball.”
Photo Credit: KPU Sports Information
For more information on KPU Eagles men’s basketball, please contact Vladimir Nikić, head coach, at email@example.com.
For more information on the Department of Athletics & Recreation, please contact Junelle Mah, sports information and marketing, at 604-786-0804 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The KPU Eagles Department of Athletics & Recreation will enter its 15th season of interuniversity competition in Fall 2015. The Eagles are members of the PACWEST conference and play in the Canadian Collegiate 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. 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 included student-athletes from North America, South America, Asia and Europe.