W.J. Mouat Secondary’s Kenan Hadzovic will be continuing his basketball journey close to home.
Hadzovic officially committed to the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades men’s basketball team earlier this week, and heads to the school in the fall.
Hadzovic, a 6’ 2” combo guard, is coming off an outstanding senior season at W.J. Mouat which saw him average 21 points per game, win three tournament MVP awards (at the Mouat Hawkball, G.P. Vanier and Port Moody tourneys), and earn Fraser Valley first team and B.C. 4A second team all-star honours.
The 17-year-old also managed to maintain a 93 per cent academic average at Mouat, and was one of five finalists for valedictorian. He plans to study engineering at UFV.
Cascades head coach Adam Friesen noted that cultivating local talent like Hadzovic is pivotal to the program’s continued success.
“He represents what you want in a student-athlete,” Friesen said. “He’s talented, he’s team-first, and he gets the job done in the classroom.
“He’s obviously skilled on the court, but his mental toughness and athletic instincts are the elements that are going to help him continue to get better and have a really good career.”
Hadzovic joins 6’ 6” guard Harsimran Bhullar (Surrey-Panorama Ridge) in the Cascades’ Class of 2017, and his familiarity with the UFV program was a major factor in his decision to sign.
Former Mouat head coach Trevor Pridie is an assistant coach with the Cascades, and Hadzovic’s former Hawks teammate Jordyn Sekhon is poised to make his debut this fall after a red-shirt season.
Hadzovic also played club basketball with UFV sophomore and former Yale Lion Riley Braich. The team also has Rick Hansen’s Jobhan Pandher and Yale grad Mike VanderWerff on the roster.
Hadzovic enjoyed a lot of team success at Mouat, joining forces with Sekhon to spark a fourth-place finish at the B.C. 4A high school championships in 2016 before stepping to the forefront as a senior to lead the Hawks to sixth place at 2017 provincials.
“This year, we only had two Grade 12s and everyone else was in Grade 11,” Hadzovic noted. “So I had to be more of a leader, and that was different from last year. I kind of took it upon myself to try and lead my team and be the guy people could look to.
“It’ll definitely be tougher (at the university level), I’m sure of that. But my goal is to play a solid five years of U SPORTS basketball, and help UFV keep climbing up the ranks. I know this team plays at a fast pace, and I find that fun. It’s a good fit.”
The Cascades are hoping to build off last season in which they finished with a regular-season record of 11 wins and nine losses.
The club then pushed the Winnipeg Wesmen to the brink, eventually falling in game three of the best-of-three series in the Canada West play-in round. For more on the team, visit ufvcascades.ca.