UBC Okanagan is the Choice for Top Basketballer Goodwin

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KELOWNA, B.C. (ISN) – One of the most sought-after high school basketball prospects in the province is coming to UBC’s Okanagan campus.

Kelowna Secondary School standout Mitch Goodwin has elected to pursue his basketball dreams in front of his friends and family and will lace up for the UBC Okanagan Heat this September.

Pete Guarasci made the impressive acquisition just five weeks into the role of head coach for the men’s basketball program.

“I’m very excited Mitch has decided to join the program. I’ve been coaching Mitch since he was 15 and have always been impressed with his ability to put a challenge in front of him and then knock it down. As my first official signing I am happy we are able to keep a local star,” says Guarasci

The 6’2″ point guard’s resume is impressive and he hopes to keep adding hardware to the trophy case during his five years at UBC’s Okanagan campus.

His career is highlighted with the recently awarded Augie Ciancone Award, given out to the top male high school athlete of the year in the City of Kelowna. Goodwin was a nominee for the Basketball B.C.’s top male high school athlete of the year, a third team all-star for the seventh place Owls at the AAA Provincial Championships and the winner of 2011 Telus Championship full University Scholarship awarded to the best senior boys basketball player in the province. He was a member of the BC provincial team as a U15, U16, U17; earning a first-team all star at the U17 boys national championship.

Goodwin is known as a team player, putting the team’s success over individual accomplishments and he looks forward to staying at home and playing at home. Goodwin will pursue a degree in Human Kinetics and cites the world-class education UBC’s Okanagan campus provides as one of the reasons he chose to attend the university.

“My goal is to become the best I can be and, hopefully after UBC Okanagan, I can play pro for a couple of years,” says Goodwin. “I’d love to play for the national team. Staying in Canada I think will help develop Canada more as a nation of basketball rather than going down to the States and developing down there.”

“Mitch had a lot of quality offers from schools in the U.S., quality schools, but he wanted a high level of education and the opportunity to maximize his development as a player. One of Mitch’s goals is to one day compete for Canada. Being a former national team player, I hope to provide my players with the necessary coaching and development that will help them accomplish their goals,” says Guarasci, adding there are many benefits for a player to stay in Canada.

“I think when you look at what Jordan Baker is doing at the Alberta – a player I’m very familiar with as I coached him at the U of A and with the Junior National team. I believe his development has been enhanced by his decision to stay in Canada. Phil Scrub from Vancouver and now playing at Carleton has achieved so much by staying in Canada. The number of hours you can work with your coach is not restricted. There is just so much we can do here in Canada.”

“I like how those guys did it,” Goodwin says referring to the success of Baker and Scrub. “Hopefully it will inspire other guys to stay in Canada too.”

“The Heat could not have signed a better player,” says Goodwin’s high school coach Harry Parmer. “He is a very determined person who is already looking forward to his career with UBC Okanagan.”

Goodwin is the first in what may be several recruits signing on with the Heat as Guarasci plans to add more players over the next few weeks.

Christian J. Stewart
Christian is a professional photographer and media professional based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Currently working as the Assistant General Manager for Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club, a Senior Contributing Editor and photographer at Independent Sports News (ISN) and operating his own freelance photography and media/pr company.