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Andy Watson

Highly sought after CIS recruit Kyle Peterson has committed to the University of Victoria Vikes men’s basketball program beginning in the 2012-13 season.

A product of the Harry Ainlay Titans high school program in Edmonton, the multi-sport athlete chose basketball, following his dream to play basketball at the post-secondary level.

After quarterbacking his school to a 4A provincial football championship last season over their rivals, the Raymond Comets, he’s handing over the pigskin in favour of the hardcore, building on a strong basketball career to date that includes Alberta provincial team experience at the Under-15 and Under-17 level.

“He’s been a proven team member,” Vikes head coach Craig Beaucamp said of the long, 6-foot-2 combo guard. “He can come in and run and jump and compete at this level right away which is big. He’s a really good leader and he’s proven that on teams he’s been on in the past. He brings length and athleticism, and has the potential to step in and help us next year.”

Aspiring to be a lawyer, Peterson is described as a true leader.

“I’ve been playing basketball since I was four or five. It’s always been my dream to pursue basketball,” Peterson said from Edmonton. “I can play point and wing, but I prefer the point guard spot. I like to create shots for teammates and get them open looks and distribute the ball.”

Peterson, who is also a 1,500- and 3,000-metre track runner, is the nephew of former NHL hockey player and coach Brent Peterson who played in the pros for 12 seasons before moving on to coaching.

“I think it’s good as a young teenager to move away from home and grow and develop as an individual,” Peterson said. “I have family in Victoria – aunts, uncles and cousins – so I know some people in town. I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”

The 17-year-old said the rich UVic tradition of excellence – particularly in basketball – helped him to make a choice over other interested CIS schools.

“One thing that really rose to my attention is the fact that they have a good crowd at every game at UVic, good fan support,” Peterson said. “Here in Edmonton and in other schools I talked to, there are other major sports there. Victoria has no NHL hockey or CFL football. University sports, it’s a bigger deal.”

“I am hoping to come in and make an impact hopefully right away but I’m happy to wait for my turn if needed,” Peterson said. “Victoria has a historic program and one that’s very successful every year. I want to carry that winning tradition I’ve experienced in high school on to university.”

NOTE: Requests for interviews can be made through Andy Watson – 250-213-5596