Head coach of the UBC Okanagan Heat men's basketball team, Pete Guarasci, has brought on four recruits in his first round of recruiting as he looks to fill out his roster for the 2018-19 season.
Looking to increase his team's ability to score, coach Guarasci has brought in three players who all averaged over 20 points per game for their high school's team.
High scoring guards from the North Okanagan: Jarrett Larsen and Leon Schenker from Kamloops and Vernon respectively will be joined by small forward Garret Riley from Whistler and guard Avery Hutcheson from Calgary as new players on the Heat squad this fall.
A six-foot guard out of Calgary, Hutcheson, played his high school at the well-known prep school based out of Wilcox, Sask., Athol Murray College of Notre Dame.
Playing both senior high basketball and a pre season at Notre Dame for the Hounds Hutcheson and the team went undefeated in the regular season (8-0), reaching a number one ranking nationally and finish the year (18-4) in the full competitive season.
Starting every game when healthy, Hutcheson averaged 15 points, six assists, four rebounds, and over three steals a game in his grade 12 year in 2017.
Playing pre this past year, also starting every game, Hutcheson averaged nine points, five assists, over two rebounds, and six steals a game.
Following in his father's footsteps, Scott Hutcheson, Avery's father, skied for the Canadian National Alpine ski team (1978-1982), a first team All-America NCAA athlete and a member of four NCAA Championship Ski Teams, and he represented Canada in the World Cup and the World Championships.
An accomplished skier himself, Avery also has raced on skis at a national level but since starting basketball in Grade 9, the snow has been replaced by hardwood. The past four years Hutcheson has been playing his club basketball with the Genesis Basketball club.
At UBC Okanagan Hutcheson will enroll in the Faculty of Management with his sites on finishing a degree in Management and a future as a business entrepreneur.
Heat coach Pete Guarasci on Avery Hutcheson....
"Avery will add depth to our backcourt immediately. His versatility and athleticism makes him a very capable player on both ends of the court. He's also an intelligent high character kid that brings value to our program in many areas. We hope Avery can bring his winning ways to UBC Okanagan."
Avery Hutcheson on coming to UBC Okanagan…
"I chose UBC Okanagan because it allows me to be coached under a great coach and play basketball in a place I would like to live. The schooling was very important to me as well and it allows me to go straight into Management in my first year which was a strong aspect of the school."
"Coach Pete [Guarasci] inspired me while I toured the school and to be coached under him and compete alongside other really good players will allow me to learn and grow on and off the court."
A high-level scorer, 6'4" guard Jarett Larsen from Kamloops' Sa-Hali Secondary will be one of two North Okanagan high school seniors who have committed to UBC Okanagan for the upcoming season.
A rare two-sport star, not only has Larsen earned numerous tournament All-Stars and MVPs in his three years starring for the Sabres senior basketball team, but he has been a provincial all-star in badminton every year since 2014.
Scoring comes easy to Larsen who averaged over 30 points per contest in his grade 11 year, he saw that average dip to 24 points a game in grade 12 but he looked to distribute the ball more increase his assist total by more than two a game. He also owns his school's single game scoring mark with 48 points.
The 2017 summer Jarrett refined his skills in Richmond with the DRIVE club program, in 2016 he was a member of the Performance Hoops club in Kamloops.
A strong student in high school, listed as a District Honours Student (Top 5% of all district students), Larsen will enter as a future psychology major with a future, he hopes, in Law.
Heat coach Pete Guarasci on Jarrett Larsen....
"Jarrett brings a work ethic to our program that will have an impact both on and off the court. An impressive student, he also has the size and athleticism to compete at the U SPORTS level. His ability to shoot the ball will help our team in terms of offensive spacing as he provides more depth to our wing position."
Jarrett Larsen on coming to UBC Okanagan…
"I chose UBCO because I wanted to be able to pursue my academic and athletic goals. I loved the atmosphere on the campus and the direction the athletic program is heading. I feel that being at UBCO will give me the best opportunity to succeed in both the classroom and on the court."
"I've spent so much time training to earn a spot on a University team and now that I have been given that opportunity I want to give it all I have to help the team and program succeed."
6'5" small forward, Garret Riley, has committed to Heat head coach Pete Guarasci for the upcoming Canada West basketball season at UBC Okanagan.
Riley has been playing high school senior boys basketball since he was in Grade 9 at Whistler Secondary. A North Shore All-Star this past year he was also his team MVP for the Storm in his Grade 11 year. Riley has averaged 23 and 18 points per game in his Grade 12 and Grade 11 years respectively.
A BC hockey bantam tier-4 Provincial Champion in 2015 Riley has left the skates behind while training and competing with the 3D Basketball club out of North Vancouver.
A future in Law is the plan of the 6'5" baller who will begin his journey academically at UBC Okanagan enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts where his intended major is in Political Science.
Heat coach Pete Guarasci on Garret Riley....
"Garrett provides our roster with size and skill for the wing/forward position. His commitment level and work ethic will help him develop into a very capable USPORTS basketball player. His length and skillset will give our roster versatility and we look forward to having him join our program."
Garret Riley on coming to UBC Okanagan…
"I chose the University of British Columbia Okanagan because of the amazing academics offered at a smaller university and I am proud to be wearing the Heat jersey this fall. I'm super excited to play for the Heat with a great group of guys and learn lots from great coaches in Coach Guarasci and his assistants."
A graduate of the Junior Heat club program, Leon Schenker has commited to the Heat and will look to make his mark in building the basketball program at UBC Okanagan.
An athletic guard at 6'3", Schenker has the speed and athleticism to matchup with the bevy of other quick guards on the rosters throughout the conference. At Vernon Secondary Schenker has been on the senior Panthers team for the past four years.
His grades 11-12 years Schenker's game really took off earning multiple tournament MVPs in as well as the VSS senior basketball MVP both years, as well as an Okanagan All-star. He averaged over 25 points per game this past year after averaging 20 per game in grade 11.
Citing Vernon as his hometown, Schenker was born in the capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam, and this fall will enter the Human Kinetics program at UBC Okanagan with an eye towards physiotherapy as a career.
Schenker has played for the Junior Heat for the past four years and in the summer of 2016 he was a member of Team BC on the U16 team.
A bit of a legacy at UBC Okanagan, Schenker's older brother Enzo Paal played soccer at UBC Okanagan for three seasons (2013-16) and scored 16 goals for the Heat – tied for the highest total in school history.
Heat coach Pete Guarasci on Leon Schenker....
"Adding a Junior Heat athlete is always a big success for our Men's Basketball program. We've watched Leon develop over recent years and are excited he chose to continue his development here at UBC Okanagan. Leon provides great size and playmaking ability to our backcourt. He's familiar with our systems so should have a seamless transition to the style of play."
Leon Schenker on coming to UBC Okanagan…
"Known for great academics. [I have] been around the Heat program for years and want to help establish a winning culture and I am excited to try and help create a winning culture and putting this program on the map in Canada."