Vikes get jump on basketball season

UVic plays host to some tough competition at Guy Vetrie Memorial Tournament

UVic Vikes basketball player Grant Sitton leaps to take a shot during Canada West play in CARSA. The Vikes host the biannual Guy Vetrie Memorial Tournament with some big names visiting Thursday to Saturday

After a long summer for the UVic Vikes men’s basketball team, the start of the CIS season can’t come soon enough.

After missing the Canada West playoffs in the expanded basketball conference last year, the Vikes are ready to go, says six-foot-nine forward Grant Sitton.

So it’s a blessing that the Vikes will hit the floor this week when they host the biannual Guy Vetrie Memorial Tournament at CARSA.

The action starts Thursday with McGill vs. McMaster at 6 p.m. followed by the Vikes against Regina at 8 p.m. The Vikes will face McGill at 8 p.m. on Friday and McMaster at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

“A lot of guys are chomping at the bit to get going, we’ve been practising a lot,” Sitton said. “The training goes back to the spring. It seems early right now but a lot of the guys dedicated a lot of time over the summer.”

The team did play an exhibition game in August, a 92-73 loss to the NCAA DIv. 1 Charlotte 49ers. But it’s already been a month, and the Canada West season doesn’t start until Oct. 28.

Sitton is in his fifth and final year of university eligibility, his third season with the Vikes since transferring from Clackamas Community College in Oregon. The Washington state resident stuck around Victoria all summer to train with the team and will be a key player as his average points per game of 14.4 from 2015-16 is the highest of the returning players.

“For me, no matter how successful we were, I was going to be working hard to get ready for this season because it’s my last year,” Sitton said. “But not making the playoffs last year leaves a bad taste in your mouth, makes you want to strive harder, it humbles you and makes you want to succeed more.

The Vikes add a number of new faces, Jake Newman, Noah Charles, J.J. Hamel Carey, Vladislav Zasmolin, Scott Kellum and Wayne Tucker. They return several including St. Michaels University School grads Jason Scully and Graeme Hyde-Lay, who enter their second year.

For Sitton, it’s already a special season, because it’s his last.

“It feels weird to talk about being in your last year,” Sitton said. “When you’re a kid, you never think about the end of playing competitive basketball, but it just flies by. Which is funny, because every year there’s a senior on the team who says the time just flies by, and the next thing you know you’re the senior telling it to the kids.”

The Guy Vetrie will give the Vikes a chance to test their new approach, as they’re looking to push the ball faster and get on transition with speed to pick up the pace of the game. The new guys will help with that, Sitton said.

The UVic Vikes women’s team are also hosting for the Guy Vetrie Memorial in CARSA this week. The women will face Ottawa at 4 p.m. on Thursday and UNBC at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Next week George Fox University will visit the Vikes women for a special exhibition game, Oct. 7 at CARSA.

Normally the Guy Vetrie Memorial runs every two years but it was held in 2015 to celebrate the opening of CARSA, making 2016 the third straight year it’s run.

Vetrie coached for the Vikes men’s team from 1989 until he died suddenly at the age of 52 in 2003. During his tenure the team had an impressive streak of 543 victories in 14 seasons.

Visit govikesgo.com for more information.

 

 

Just Posted

Celebrate 50 years of David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ and the Apollo 11 moonlanding

‘Ground control to Major Tom’ the countdown is on the 50th anniverary of the moon landing

Over 200 lives saved in first year at Victoria’s supervised consumption site

The Harbour celebrates its first anniversary with a report of zero deaths on site

Views, brews and food on Gulf Islands craft beer cruise

Five day cruise from Sidney to Gulf Islands, includes chef and beer historian

Saanich Mayor says ‘no costs asked of municipality’ for proposed film studio

Mayor Fred Haynes made that comment after questions from watchdog group

RCMP confirm foul play in death of 60-year-old Metchosin man

Police believe crime an isolated incident

VIDEO: Dashcam video captures moment Victoria cyclist struck

Police seeking cyclist captured in video

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Canadian is detained in China on drug allegations: Chinese government

Detention of a Canadian in China comes as part a diplomatic dispute triggered by arrest of Huawei exec Meng Wanzhou

Rare white ravens spotted again in mid-Island

Nature photographer Mike Yip said mysterious birds back in Coombs area

Most Read