KELOWNA, B.C. – The Heat men’s basketball team has received a letter of intent from Dario Gini, a three year starter for the Immaculata Regional senior boys’ basketball team. Dario is the first local high school player to sign on with the Heat since the team has been a part of the Canada West Universities Athletic Association.
Gini is a 6’2” point guard that looks forward to lacing them up for the Heat next year and embraces playing at home. “It’s awesome that my friends and family will be able to see me play,” says Dario. “I don’t think there will be any extra pressure [from being a hometown recruit].”
The pressure will likely come from the extreme jump in quality of play Dario will face as he goes from Single A in high school to Canada West, the strongest conference of university basketball in Canada. Dario embraces the challenge. “I’m excited and it should be fun. I’m looking forward to it and to improving my game by taking on this challenge.”
Dario has been a dominant player leading the Immaculata Mustangs for the last three years. In his grade ten year he was named co-MVP on the senior team and then won the team MVP this past year as a grade twelve senior. Also this past year Dario led his team to a pair of provincial medals when his team captured bronze in both the Single A Provincial Championships and the B.C. Catholics, a championship tournament comprised mostly of Double A schools.
Dario considers himself a “pass first point guard” that will contribute to the team with his ball handling, passing and his perimeter shooting.
For a pass first guard Dario can really get it going from long range. At this past Provincial Championship Gini knocked in 19 threes, just two short of the tournament record. This was highlighted in his 41 point double overtime performance in the team’s semi-final loss to St. Ann’s of Kamloops. His performance that weekend earned him a first team tournament all-star.
For the season Dario averaged 20 points per game, with five rebounds and six assists per contest, while dropping an average of three threes a game, topped by a season high of eight in the provincial semi-final.
Dario tore his ACL last January and has worked incredibly hard to get back into shape. In the process of his training with Randy Goodman and the staff at Pinnacle Elite, Dario has found a love for the process of strengthening and building the human body and will enter the Human Kinetics program at UBC’s Okanagan campus this September, with the long range goal of one day becoming a trainer himself.
This summer Dario will play with the Junior Heat U17 team and continue to spend time at Pinnacle Elite, as Dario wants to “train hard and hopefully get a bit bigger and quicker.”
Dario will join Calgary product Matt Matear as the two new players signed by Darren Semeniuk before handing over the reins to the new coach. Dario is the son of long-time Kelowna basketball coach Dino Gini.