Two new collegiate basketball teams are about to suit up under the Coyotes Banner.
Thanks to a partnership between Okanagan College and the Kelowna College Basketball Society, a men’s and women’s basketball squad will each compete for Okanagan College in 2017.
The eventual goal for both teams will be to work toward inclusion in the Pacific Western Athletic Association. To begin, however, the teams will begin with what Okanagan College calls a “strong exhibition schedule” next year.
Adding to the buzz around the new teams is the involvement of longtime Okanagan basketball coach Dino Gini, who will head up a coaching squad that boasts more than 85 years of combined experience.
Gini will coach the men’s team and assist with the women’s team. A head coach for the women will be officially announced shortly.
“We are incredibly excited about this new partnership with Okanagan College,” says Gini. “We are situated in a hotbed of basketball in the province and we have a number of players who are talented enough to play beyond their high school careers.”
Jim Hamilton, the president of Okanagan College, says the teams will be a fantastic opportunity for students.
“We don’t have the kind of athletic team model that allows us to fund intercollegiate sports but through our experience with the baseball team, we have found a way to support the team and provide opportunities for students who have aspirations to be collegiate-level athletes. It’s a great example of working with our community to offer an expanded student experience,” he said.
Okanagan College also has a baseball team, currently in its ninth season, in the Canadian College Baseball Conference (CCBC). It operates under a similar partnership between the College and the Kelowna College Baseball Society.
The agreement between Okanagan College and the Kelowna College Basketball Society has the society covering all operating costs associated with both basketball teams.
“We are grateful for the support of Okanagan College to help us see this vision through to reality,” says Gini. “We’re excited to bring the varsity spirit to the hallways of the College and to build upon the OC Coyotes athletic profile.”
Originally posted by Kelowna Now – Varsity Basketball Coming To Okanagan College