Three year high school starter to join UBC Okanagan

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Heat men’s basketball add Triston Matthews, 3D Basketball Academy product, to what they hope will be their first roster to appear in a Canada West postseason.

KELOWNA, BC –– Triston Matthews, a 6’4” shooting guard from Deep Cove, North Vancouver, BC is the newest addition to the Heat men’s basketball program.

“It’s been my dream to play at the University level,” said Matthews. “I’m really looking forward to being a part of the Heat program and competing at the next level in the CIS.”

Asked what he expects to contribute to his new team, he said, “as a freshman I want to contribute any way I can to help the Heat continue to make [their] mark in the CIS. I know it will take some time for me to catch up to players like Mitch Goodwin and Aldrich Berrios, but I am confident in my ability to be an impact player and work with coach Guarasci to grow, get better, and become stronger.”

“Triston has the size and athletic ability to become an impact player at the CIS level. His shooting is already at a high level and will provide a good foundation for the rest of his development. He’s also very focused academically and has the character to fit right into our locker room. We’re excited to have him join the Heat, “says head coach Pete Guarasci, who is heading entering his fifth season leading the men’s basketball program at UBC Okanagan.

Matthews, a multi-talented guard coming to UBC Okanagan from Sentinel Secondary in the West Vancouver School District, brings with him a basketball resume that includes stints with two different premiere basketball academies and multiple provincial teams on top of a successful five-year career with the Sentinel Spartans.

Triston was also a passionate and talented baseball player growing up, competing in the 2012 Little League Canadian Championships, nearly earning a spot in the Little League World Series. He went on to play with the North Shore Twins and was a pitcher and outfielder in the Pacific Baseball League before deciding to hang up the cleats and focus on basketball full-time.

Matthews was a starter for his Spartans’ senior team through his grade ten, eleven, and twelve years, and served as Captain through his last two seasons on the team. Matthews averaged roughly 25 points, 10 rebounds, and 7assists per game through his three seasons, leading his team to the semi-finals of the Howe Sound Tournament every year. In his final season with the Spartans, he was coached by ex-Canadian National Team member Ransford Brempong.

In each of his three seasons as a senior Spartan, Matthews was named a Howe Sound Team All-Star, and was the Howe Sound Player of the Year in both his grade eleven and twelve seasons.

On top of those season-long awards, Matthews was named a First Team All-Star at a number of tournaments in which the Spartans competed, including the Cactus Cup in Arizona.

Matthews also spent six years as a member of the 3D Basketball Academy’s Elite Program, competing in AAU- and NCAA-sanctioned tournaments throughout the United States. During his season with the program’s U16 squad, they were the highest ranking Canadian team at the Las Vegas Classic. During his time with the program, Matthews played all five positions, and was once again well-coached, this time by current SFU head coach Steve Hanson.

As a student with the 3D Academy, Matthews earned numerous Player of the Month awards, as well as once being honoured as the 3D Player of the Year.
Through his last two seasons of high school basketball, Matthews also trained as a member of the West Vancouver Basketball Academy. He trained in the program with another ex-Canadian National Team member, Greg Meldrum.

Triston has also been heavily involved in Basketball BC programs. He trained for four years with Basketball Canada’s Centre for Performance, was a gold medalist with his U14 Summer Games team, and appeared in the national tournament twice. In 2013 his U15 team finished 7th at the nationals hosted in Newfoundland, and in 2015 his U17 team travelled to Halifax and finished as fourth best in Canada.

Joining the Heat in September, Matthews will be enrolled as a student in the Sciences. He explained why he chose UBC Okanagan.

“Academically I chose UBCO because I put a lot of value into a Canadian degree, and a UBC degree is one of the most recognizable in Canada. Athletically I really appreciate coach Guarasci and I think the program is a really good fit for me.” He continued, “also, growing up playing with and knowing players that are on the team now, such as Austin Penrose and David Manshrek, as well as being good friends/competitors/teammates with fellow freshman Matt Lafontaine really made it an easy decision.”

As to how he believes he can help the Heat in their continuing bid to make their first appearance in a postseason, Matthews doesn’t shy away from his belief in his ability.

“I think the best part of my game is probably my shooting, as well as my ability to rebound at the guard position.” He added, as if in response to the inevitable questions of readiness posed to any incoming freshman student-athlete, “I am also an athletic player, and I think that will help me in my transition to the next level.”

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be given this opportunity,” said Matthews. “I am here to make the most of it.”

Training camp is fast approaching for the men’s basketball team, Triston and his new Heat teammates will open their Canada West season in November at home when the host the Trinity Western Spartans on Friday the 4th at 8 p.m. The team will play preseason games as well in Kelowna after a scrimmage against some Alumni on September 24 the Heat will play a community engagement game at Immaculata Regional high school against Vancouver Island University of Friday September 30, with an 8 p.m. tip-off. This will be the second straight year they have played a preseason game at Immaculata.

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