After an impressive show of determination at their season openers against the VIU Mariners in Nanaimo last Saturday, the Camosun College Chargers basketball teams are preparing to host their home openers of the 2016-17 season this weekend at the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence.
The Chargers women delivered a persuasive performance against the defending PACWEST champion Mariners dropping Saturday’s game by a single bucket (53-51) while the men kept pace with their opponents tying the game at the half before falling victim to a 10 point tilt in the third quarter which resulted in an 89-77 defeat.
Despite falling in both contests, the Chargers are looking strong thanks to the recent enlistment of Strength and Conditioning Coach Kate Perry who has been putting the Chargers through their paces since the beginning of August.
“Kate has brought an incredibly detailed, scientific approach to developing the athlete,” states Chargers Men’s Basketball Head Coach, Scot Cuachon. “She is much more than a strength and conditioning coach, she is a specialist in high performance athletic development. She is one of the brightest minds I’ve ever had the chance to work with and her contributions will continue to benefit the development of our athletes.”
“It’s been great working with the Chargers,” comments Perry who has a Masters Degree in Science and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. “While basketball is obviously their sport of choice, it’s been extremely beneficial to work with athletes who have a background of playing multiple sports from a physical preparation side.”
Multi-sport athletes are abundant in the Chargers program with student-athletes having competed in a diverse range of activities including rugby (Bryan Elder), wrestling (Andrew Larson) and volleyball (Jack Wenstob). Second-year guard Mat Hampton was a competitive swimmer before playing both volleyball and basketball in high school (Oak Bay) and newcomer Jake Wilmott who graduated from St. Michaels University, helped the Jags win championship titles in BC High School Boys’ AA Soccer, Basketball and Rugby in 2014-15. First-year Charger Mia Roberts from the women’s team is also a SMUS grad and competed in basketball, soccer and field hockey.
“Being a multi-sport athlete is beneficial to the individual first and foremost, comments Coach Cuachon. “It highlights a bit of love for the sport that you’ve chosen because you’ve obviously had multiple options and being involved in numerous sports just makes you a better athlete, period.”
What Cuachon says rings true with athletes like Mia Roberts and second-year Charger Mat Hampton who have developed a genuine passion for their sport.
“Basketball is for sure my number one sport and it’s what drew me to Camosun,” says Mia Roberts whose experience juggling sports and school at SMUS has helped her make a smooth transition from high school to college. “I had an injury in high school and in my Grade 12 year, I was in the gym more than I was anywhere else because it was a part of my rehab. I really wanted to return to playing basketball so I did what I had to do to get back to playing.”
Mat Hampton says he chose basketball because he liked the competitive side of the sport. “I liked volleyball and it was fun to play with my friends and I enjoyed swimming but I always felt like I was just competing with myself. I chose basketball because I love the competitiveness of the game and the fact that it’s a contact sport. I feel like I’m actually competing with my opponent.”
Kate Perry believes there is a visible difference between multi-sport athletes and their single-sport counterparts.
“Athletes like Mia and Mat have an advanced physicality, coordination and body awareness. Their ability to pick up and learn the various strength and conditioning techniques and drills is noticeably advanced. While there are still some areas that we need to work on based on their training history and injury reduction strategies, both Mia and Mat’s dedication and willingness to constantly improve is definitely of a high standard. I believe this is because of their multi-sport training and participation.”
The Chargers are set to tip-off in their home openers this weekend against the Capilano University Blues and the Douglas College Royals.
“We have Capilano and Douglas this weekend and both are pretty strong this year,” comments Hampton. “I think both teams improved during the off season but we did as well. We learned a lot from our game with VIU and I’m looking for us to bounce back this weekend.”
Roberts is also looking forward to hitting the court and is not affected by the fact that it will be her first post-secondary league contest in front of a home crowd.
“I’m pretty excited about the weekend,” she states. “I’m not the type to get nervous. I’m stoked to play!”
Catch the Chargers this weekend at PISE.
Friday, Nov. 4 Camosun vs. Capilano University Blues Women 6pm; Men8pm
Saturday, Nov. 5 Camosun vs. Douglas College Royals Women 1pm; Men 3pm
Games will also be streamed on SportsCanadaTV.