University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball coach Barnaby Craddock has said all along that he believes the Cascades could win a national championship with local talent as the foundation.
They came mighty close this past season, finishing fourth at CIS nationals in Halifax with a roster featuring eight Fraser Valley high school products.
Craddock continued to build on that foundation this week, securing commitments from Rav Dhaliwal and Max Neuman.
Dhaliwal, a 6’8” post player out of Tamanawis Secondary, seems to be cut from the same cloth as current Cascades power forward Kyle Grewal. In addition to hailing from Surrey (Grewal attended Enver Creek Secondary), both players boast the multi-faceted offensive skill set to hit the three-point shot, face up, and operate in the post.
“And he’s substantially bigger and stronger than Kyle was in Grade 12,” Craddock said of Dhaliwal, a member of the B.C. under-17 team who averaged 15.8 points and nine rebounds per game and shot 48.1 per cent from the floor in his senior year at Tamanawis.
“I think his experience with Basketball B.C. and playing at the national championships was big for his development.”
Neuman, a 6’3” shooting guard, is coming off a terrific season with the Maple Ridge Ramblers where he averaged 21 points, seven rebounds and four assists per game.
With veteran guards Sam Freeman and Joel Friesen heading into their fifth and fourth years of eligibility, respectively, Neuman is part of the succession plan.
“He’s a little bit under the radar because he wasn’t on the Basketball B.C. provincial team, but he’s definitely of that calibre,” Craddock said of Neuman (pictured right). “The kid had a fantastic year, and did very well for himself against the top guards.”
Neuman will be enrolling in UFV’s bachelor of arts program, while Dhaliwal will be studying business.