GW Graham's Matthias Klim (No. 21 blue) and Clay Kurtz (No. 10) reach out for a ball against a Duchess Park player during last spring's AAA senior boys championship game at the Langley Events Centre. (Paul Yates/Vancouver Sports Pictures)

G.W. Graham guard Clay Kurtz commits to UFV basketball Cascades

Kurtz is the third UFV player to commit to the UFV men’s team, following the Klim twins

In a very dark time for high school basketball, Clay Kurtz has found some light.

The G.W. Graham senior isn’t able to play hoops at school thanks to COVID-19, and probably won’t for the duration of his Grade 12 year.

But he knows where he’ll play b-ball next after committing to the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades men’s team.

“It feels great and committing takes a lot of stress off,” the teenager said. “I can just play basketball now and not have worry about where I’m trying to go and what college coaches I’m trying to prove myself to. I can settle down, focus on my team and grow with them.”

Kurtz was also considering Trinity Western University in Langley and UBC-Okanagan in Kelowna, but chose to stick close to home.

“I was pretty set on staying home and living with my family, so UFV was the only real option for me,” Kurtz said. “Saving money is super important, and for someone at a young age like me, being able to count on support from friends and family when school and life gets hard is huge.”

READ MORE: G.W. Graham finally gets to the top of the basketball mountain

READ MORE: G.W. Graham beats Duchess Park for AAA senior boys basketball title

Coach Joe Enevoldson announced the addition of the talented guard Friday, and is excited to add a third member of the reigning AAA high school champion Grizzlies.

Kurtz joins the twin towers, Zach and Matthias Klim, on the Cascades.

“You want athletes in your program who encompass everything that you stand for – working hard in the classroom, in the community, in the weight room, and obviously on the basketball floor,” Enevoldson said. “Clay checks all those boxes. He’s played in the biggest game at the AAA level, he’s won a championship, and he’s won titles in other sports as well. He’s a local guy, so we definitely won the community there, and he’s a player who still has some room for growth on the basketball floor. I think he’s going to be a really big part of our program moving forward.”

Kurtz will be happy to have a pair of familiar faces on the court with him as he makes the next-level leap to U-Sports.

“It’s going to be sweet,” he said. “I can see the potential that they have. In three of four years when they get stronger, we’ll be a powerhouse.”

It has been tough for Kurtz and other hoopsters at G.W. Graham. The sport is a huge part of the athletic scene, even moreso since last spring’s senior boys won the first provincial b-ball banner in the school’s history.

At this time of year they’d normally be well into preseason play, travelling to tournaments across B.C.

This year teams haven’t even been formed, and might not be at all, and this week players weren’t even able to get into the gym for early-morning workouts.

Kurtz has stayed sharp playing with the B.C. Bounce program on weekends and he trains at his brother-in-law’s gym.

“We (B.C. Bounce) have four tournaments coming up at the Richmond Oval, so there will be a little five-on-five play, but it’s definitely not the same as having the fans there,” Kurtz said. “It’s crazy.”

When he does eventually hit the court with the Cascades, he hopes to bring size and athleticism to the UFV back-court.

“I hope I’m a good combo 1-2 guard that can push the ball,” he noted. “Whatever the coach wants me to do, I’ll play my role. For sure it’s a whole different level of play than high school, and I think the size and strength of the players and facing guys who are three or four years older than me will be an adjustment. But I’ll have to learn to do it, and I think my size (six-foot-two), quickness and jumping ability will let me hold my own.”


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

basketballchilliwackHigh School SportsUFV Cascades

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
Abbotsford mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

Mission Fire Rescue Service holding a training session in 2016. Bob Friesen photo.
Firefighter’s human-rights complaint against District of Mission dismissed

District had just reason for firing man for insubordination, B.C. Human Rights Tribunal found

The annual Toys for Tots event in Abbotsford normally includes a free breakfast for anyone who drops off a toy or cash donation. This year’s event was to be held as a drive-thru, but that has also been cancelled. (File photo)
Toys for Tots drive-thru event cancelled in Abbotsford

Public encouraged to donate cash or bring toys to drop-off locations

Abbotsford Panthers star Haidyn Vermeulen (right) celebrates his signing with the Alberta Golden Bears football program along with his mother Niki Vermeulen and father Dan Vermeulen back in September.
Abbotsford’s Haidyn Vermeulen named to CFC Prospect Game

Abbotsford Senior Secondary School student one of 14 from B.C. to earn recognition

Shane Goodvin had just bought a house with wife Laura Major when he started experiencing severe back pain. That led to a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, and the father of five children is now in rough shape. (Submitted photos)
GoFundMe set up for Chilliwack man fighting pancreatic cancer

Shane Goodvin has five children and a loving wife, and he’s worried about their future

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

File photo
Surrey RCMP investigating death threat against Surrey councillor

‘On Monday morning I received a threat on messenger that basically said to put a bullet in me,’ Councillor Jack Hundial told the Now-Leader

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read