The University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball program is launching an annual CIS-sanctioned preseason tourney.
The Honda Way/UFV Cascades Men’s Basketball Tournament debuts this fall, Oct. 28-29. The inaugural event features the host Cascades, the University of Guelph Gryphons, the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack of Kamloops, and the Northwest University Eagles from Kirkland, Wash.
“It’s going to be a very good quality of basketball early in the year,” Cascades head coach Barnaby Craddock pointed out. “It’s exciting to get the tradition started.”
“I think it’s huge,” UFV centre Jasper Moedt echoed. “It’s a great way to start the season off right, and get some notice nationally.”
The tournament opens on Friday, Oct. 28, with TRU facing Northwest University (6 p.m.) and UFV vs. Guelph (8 p.m.). The following day, it’s TRU vs. Guelph (6 p.m.) and UFV vs. Northwest (8 p.m.). All games are at the Envision Athletic Centre.
Pat Loehndorf, Honda Way general manager, said it was “a natural fit” for the dealership to come on board as tournament title sponsor.
“The university and the community are growing together, and we want to be a part of that,” he said.
CASCADES TO HOST NCAA TEAMS
The Cascades basketball teams are also hosting a series of games against NCAA opponents in August and September.
The UFV men are playing a trio of teams from south of the border. NCAA Division I foes include the University of Texas at Arlington (Monday, Aug. 22) and Santa Clara University (Friday, Sept. 9). Craddock’s squad is also hosting Whitman College, a Div. III squad from Walla Walla, Wash., on Friday, Aug. 26.
“The Santa Clara game, having Steve Nash’s old school up here, is really exciting,” Craddock said. “It’s the first week students are back, so I think it’ll be a really good atmosphere.”
The UFV women’s hoopsters host the University of Mississippi (Friday, Aug. 5) and the University of Louisville (Sunday, Aug. 14).
UFV WOMEN WIN BIG IN ANTIGUA
The Cascades women went 3-0 in exhibition play during a two-week trip to Antigua.
Last Thursday, May 12, the UFV squad defeated the Antigua Vipers 81-37. Alyssa Gaukel led the way with 21 points, while Sarah Wierks racked up 16 points and 10 rebounds.
The Cascades followed up with a 70-44 win over Antiguan AS on Tuesday. Tessa Klassen paced the UFV squad with 27 points and three steals, while Wierks notched her second straight double-double with 15 points and 10 boards.
The UFV women wrapped up the trip with a 60-32 victory over the Antigua Selects. Klassen and Courtney Bartel tied for team-high scoring honours with 12 points apiece.
The Cascades’ trip to the Caribbean island is in conjunction with UFV kinesiology instructor Joanna Sheppard’s course, “Champions for Health Promoting Schools.” UFV students work side-by-side with local educators to promote health education in innovative ways.
“The Antigua basketball federation and the people of Antigua have been tremendous hosts,” Cascades coach Al Tuchscherer said via email. “The trip has been an unbelievable experience for our team; the people have completely embraced us, the island has so much history and beauty, and the basketball experience was something our team will never forget.”