Canada

UBC-Okanagan men’s basketball hosts NBA coach

University basketball is in a holding pattern due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic but one university team in the Okanagan is using its first semester to perfect their game.

It’s been deemed a developmental year for the UBC-Okanagan men’s basketball team, after their season has been put on hiatus.

“We are keeping our fingers crossed that we might get a season. A condensed season that would start in January,” said Clayton Pottinger, UBC-Okanagan men’s basketball’s head coach.

“That gives us a unique opportunity this first semester, we can really spend time on skills.”

Read more: Coronavirus: Okanagan post-secondary students adapting to ‘new normal’

To help develop those crucial skills, Pottinger brought in a special coach.

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“We are fortunate enough to have coach Dave Love, who is a world-renown NBA shooting coach, in the gym with us today to help the players out with their shooting,” said Pottinger.

Second-year player Gus Goerzen said it’s an experience he won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

“It’s definitely special,” said Goerzen.

“This is a guy who works with the players we see on television, it means a lot for us.”

Love is not only helping UBCO players, but along with the Okanagan Heat team and Pottinger — they hosted a free coaches clinic for youth basketball coaches in Kelowna.

“When I was at that level, people gave to me,” said Love.

“If you’re lucky enough to get into the situation where people value your input, it’s nice to be able to give back. Hopefully we help coaches at the youth level and in turn help the players they work with.”

Read more: Coronavirus: UBCO mental health program moves online

The coaches clinic saw 10 youth coaches partake, they got the chance to shadow Love while he instructed Heat players.

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Pottinger says he hasn’t heard anything from U Sports officials, the national governing body of university sports in Canada, but he said he’s taking it as a good sign that the basketball season hasn’t been outright cancelled yet.

Okanagan College crates pandemic themed cookbook

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