What’s new with the men’s team
Mya Fraser (She/Her) // Sports Editor
JJ Eng (They/Them) // Illustrator
The Capilano Blues men’s basketball team tipped off their season two weeks ago. On Friday, Oct. 20, 2023 they secured the win against Langara, winning their home opener 109 – 87.
Alex Van Samang returns as head coach to the team for his third season. In his previous two years with the team, he was a part of winning silver in 2022 and winning gold in 2023, for the first time since 2003. He has previous PACWEST experience under his belt, having been an assistant coach at Douglas College in 2021, and was head coach at Quest University from 2016 to 2018. He is accompanied by assistant coach TJ Klim.
Last year, the men’s team won provincials against Vancouver Island University with a three-pointer from senior — since graduated — CJ Campbell. They competed at nationals, making the school proud, but couldn’t secure a spot in the finals. After a big season, they’ll be a target this year for other teams. Their PACWEST league consists of six other teams, including Camosun College, Okanagan College, Columbia Bible College, Langara College, Douglas College and Vancouver Island University.
Third-year Ahmad Athman is a starting point guard for the team. Last year, he averaged over eight points a game and appeared in all 18 games. When asked about the season, he exclaimed, “I’m most excited about the opportunity to win the provincial championship again.” Simply put, he states that the team’s goal this year is to make it to nationals. After defeating VIU in the finals last year by just three points, he believes they will be their biggest competition again, also mentioning Langara as a possible threat.
Before the provincial championship tournament, the team will play in 24 regular season games. The top six teams will head to Okanagan College where the playoffs are hosted. The winner of the final, which is scheduled to be played on March 2, will go to nationals. The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) has scheduled its nationals at Sackville, New Brunswick and Mount Allison University.
Regarding his team, Athman comments: “We have no seniors this year, but in comparison to last year we have a bunch of new players.”
The team welcomes a total of seven new players to the squad. The rookies include Max Brougham, Arshya Ghasemi, Marco Proverbs and Carter McCauley. The transfer players include Jasha’juan Downey from Holland College, Kash Lang from Blue Mountain Junior College and Anthony Tamburrino from King’s University.