Bearcats haul in bumper crop of hoops recruits

CBC men’s basketball coach Dave Martens is bullish on his team’s prospects for next season, and it’s hard to blame him.

Columbia Bible College men’s basketball coach Dave Martens is bullish on his team’s prospects for next season, and the way recruiting has gone, it’s hard to blame him.

Martens recently signed four new players for the 2012-13 season – forward Jesse Jeffers and a trio of guards, Marcio Juk, Hudson Naylor and John Zak.

Combined with a pair of recruits announced earlier in the spring, Mackenzie Thompson of Abbotsford’s W.J. Mouat Secondary and Taylor Friesen out of Winnipeg’s Vincent Massey Collegiate, and Martens believes the Bearcats have the horses to make major improvements on last season’s 1-15 record.

“We had our first team practice a couple weeks ago … and it went really well,” he said. “It’s clear we’re going to be taking a big step competitively.”

Jeffers, a 6’7” forward, is transferring in from Trinity Western University. He’s best known in B.C. basketball circles for racking up 50 points in a game at AAA high school provincials in 2010 with North Vancouver’s Argyle Pipers. That output represents the fourth-best single-game total in tournament history.

“Jesse Jeffers is a huge pickup for us,” Martens noted. “He’s a really gifted, talented guy, and we’re excited to have him.”

Juk and Naylor both arrive at CBC with CIS experience under their belts, courtesy of stints with the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack. The Brazil-born Juk is a shooting guard who redshirted with the Kamloops program last year.

“He’s a good shooter, but he also knows how to put the ball on the floor and get to the hoop, and he has great court vision as well,” Martens said of Juk.

Naylor, a Kamloops native, can play either guard spot.

“He’ll be another big scorer for us,” Martens said. “He’ll fit really well into our team culture and what we’re trying to do at CBC.”

Zak is finishing off his Grade 12 year at Nelson’s L.V. Rogers Secondary.

“He’s a gym rat,” Martens said. “He wants to get better, and he’s a great character guy.”