Go Timberwolves Go!
by Adam Vickers
The 2013/2014 Timberwolves basketball season is about to begin and there are a couple of new changes. This year features an opportunity for new talent to step up and work their way into the line-up. Last year, UNBC saw five players (mostly from the men’s team) graduate from the Timberwolves basketball roster.
The men’s team, after losing 80% of their roster last year, is looking to fill some spots. One veteran aiming for a spot is Jeff Chu, a transfer from the Langara Falcons. Chu was part of the Falcons team that recently won 2012-2013 Pac West Provincial Championship, and had a ‘player of the week’ distinction in the 2012-2013 season. Head Coach Todd Jordan hopes that Chu can bring leadership and maturity to a team that will feature a fresh crop of young talent attempting to fill the void of a rebuilding team.
Two international transfer students trying to join the Timberwolves are Franck Oliver Kouagnia and Jibreel Stevens. Kouagnia is a 6’7 power forward who hopes to bring a strong physical presence to the Timberwolves team. Stevens is a 5’7 point guard who hopes to bring his speed and athleticism to the team, giving the Timberwolves someone who can see the court and make quick decisions under pressure.
On the women’s side, the team features the addition of new coach, Sergey Shchepotkin, who is replacing current Athletic Director Loralyn Murdoch, who started the women’s basketball program in 1997. Shchepotkin has coached women’s professional teams in Russia, and club teams in Lebanon, which include four WNBA players, 24 national team players (Russia, Lebanon, Croatia, and Australia), eight European Champions, two Asian Club Champions, and one bronze medalist from the Olympic Games in Beijing. The majority of the team is returning from previous years, but there is a group of rookies looking to impress the new coach.
The men and women’s basketball teams are both poised to make an impact this year, and will need the support of everyone if they hope to do so. Come out and support the home team as the Timberwolves enter their second season as a member of CIS (Canadian Intervarsity Sports). The Timberwolves start the season against Manitoba and Winnipeg on the road from 1-2 November, and then head back home for the season opener on 8 and 9 November against Thompson Rivers University. Admission is only $4 for students senior and alumni, $8 for adults, and free for children under the age of 6.