KAMLOOPS, BC—Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s basketball coach Scott Clark had one goal when he began recruiting for the upcoming Canada West season. That was to fill the ranks of young guards.
Clark has added his second recruit for the 2018-19 campaign. Like his first recruit Nick Sarai of the BC “AAA” champion South Kamloops Titans, the WolfPack have added to that position.
The WolfPack and Coach Clark are pleased to announce that Richard Mageto of Clayton Heights Secondary in Surrey, BC will join the program beginning September 1st.
The 6’1 point guard will be taking courses aimed at earning a Bachelor of Science degree at Thompson Rivers. “I love TRU,” he says. “I loved the campus, the coaching and the team. Seems like great people who only want the best for you and will work to encourage you.”
Mageto says another key factor in him choosing Thompson Rivers over Trinity Western and Capilano University (PACWEST) was Coach Clark. “I think we really made a connection. I liked him promising that I will be a different man by the time I finish my time there.”
“He is a good athlete with quickness and length,” Clark states. “He is young and need experience but he has some things you can’t teach. Those are athletic abilities. He has ‘quickness’ (both mental and physical), Richie can handle the basketball and he guards the ball well. He can get to the rim. He is an OK shooter but will have to improve upon that aspect of his game at this level. He wants to get better and work hard so there is a lot of upside to him. Richie is a very good student. His parents are both very academically minded. We are happy to add Richie to our team. His values and our values as far as being a student-athlete jive. It’s a great fit.”
Mageto contacted Clark early in the recruiting process. After the WolfPack coach did some checking into him (speaking to other coaches who had high praise) and saw Mageto play a few times during the course of the high school season before inviting him to Kamloops to check out Thompson Rivers and Kamloops.
He helped his Clayton Heights Night Riders to a second place finish in league play, third in the Fraser Valley “AAA”zone playoffs and an 11th place finish at the provincial championships. Mageto was the team’s leading scorer, starter at the perimeter and leader on the floor.
He averaged 21 points, five rebounds and 5 assists per game this season while shooting 80 per cent from the free throw line and 46 per cent from field goal range.
His coach in grade 10 and this past season, Simon Mah speaks very highly of the newest member of the WolfPack. “ He bought into and exemplifies the concept of ‘student-athlete’. In addition to excelling on the court Rich also excels in the classroom, which should help him succeed in life in general. He developed and maintains a strong work ethic and commitment to team, school and family.”
Mah adds, “ I think his natural athleticism and work ethic will enable him to succeed over time. It may take some time for him to adjust to competing against bigger/physically stronger players and he will need to be more vocal on the floor. Rich has played a key role in our program’s recent success. From not making the playoffs in his grade 10 year to participating in the 3A Boys Basketball Provincials in grade 12, he has led his team through great strides.”
“My team did great this year,” Mageto explains. “We made the provincials despite all odds and we battled hard. We didn’t finish where we would have liked but nevertheless was a great experience.”
Mageto earned a lot of individual success this high school season including a second team all-star and scholarship winner at the Surrey RCMP Basketball tournament where he led his team to a fourth place finish behind 4A Surrey powerhouses: Tamanawis, Semiahmoo and Lord Tweedsmuir.
The WolfPack men’s basketball program plan to make more recruit announcements in the near future.
FOUL SHOTS: Mah believes Mageto is a ‘natural fit’ for the WolfPack’s community service endeavors. “He will naturally adapt as he has been involved in community service work through the school and his church. With the school, as part of the Leadership program, Rich helped coordinate a Halloween food drive; through basketball he’s given back to the school’s athletic program with scorekeeping at basketball provincials and school based tournaments; at church he has participated in outreach services to help those in the community in need.”
Mageto can’t say enough good things about the basketball culture and Thompson Rivers University, “ I loved the campus. It has a modern field to it that I like and I also liked the social areas and all the opportunities that there are there to interact with others. Meeting the team was also another great experience. There was a sense of brotherhood that I really like and all the players were extremely supportive even when I made dumb mistakes.”