After an unfortunate road trip to Prince George, the Kwantlen Eagles’ men’s team returned home to face Quest University’s Kermodes on Friday, Feb. 4, a team they’d never lost to at home. Coming into the game the Eagles had lost seven straight, bringing their record to 1-11 for the season.
If you want to find Didar Grewal, look no further then the gym at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Surrey campus.
This gym is home to the Kwantlen Eagles, who open their regular season campaign on Nov. 3 and Grewal is the newest shooting guard on the men’s basketball team. The 18-year-old Tamanawis graduate is entering his first season with the team and has great ambitions for this season.
“I work out six days a week,” Grewal said, “everyday except for Monday’s because I have three classes that day.”
Pushing himself physically is nothing new to Grewal. He has been playing basketball competitively since he was in Grade 6 and was never pushed by anyone to practice.
“Shooting around is for my own benefit, so I shoot all the time,” Grewal said.
“My high school coach Aman Heran has been a big influence on me. I go to him for advice and he has always pushed me hard.”
The hard work is paying off: Grewal is tall and athletic, the muscle in his arms, shoulders, chest and legs are well defined, and he barely breaks a sweat even after 20 minutes of shooting around.
The transition from high school basketball to college hoops is never easy for anyone, even a two-time winner of the male athlete of the year award at Tamanawis Secondary in Surrey.
“At a higher level the players are all good. It is the best players from every team in high school playing together,” Grewal said, “The tempo and speed are higher and players are stronger as well.”
The speed, strength and conditioning of the players was evident when Grewal played with the Kwantlen team against the Division 1 NCAA school Idaho State.
“It was a good experience for me and the team,” Grewal said. “They were faster and stronger then us.”
Grewal hopes that Kwantlen can become a stepping stone to a higher level of basketball. He is aiming to play in the CIS next year as a 19-year-old after only one season of playing college basketball.
By Kyle Vinoly
It was a tense fourth quarter for the Kwantlen Eagle’s Women’s basketball team, as they defeated the Quest University Kermodes of Squamish 62-59 Friday. After dominating the first half of their match-up against Quest, competition heated up and the game came down to a nail-bitting final two minutes.
“Into the fourth quarter, we stopped playing defense,” said Eagle’s guard Emily Wright, who played 37 minutes and drained one of the trio of three-point shots made by the Eagles. “We always play well for the first three quarters and then the fourth quarter we don’t do well.”
Eagle’s coach Gary Pawluck said that the girls have had many close finishes this year but thinks it’s helped make them a better team.
“We came out with real intensity today,” said Pawluck. “We missed a few easy shots in the second half, and [Quest] stepped up and made some good shots.”
The women also faced off against Quest Saturday, in an attempt to secure a spot in the B.C. Provincial Championships. (Results will follow.)
“I don’t think anyone ever picked Kwantlen to make the playoffs, ever,” said Eagles forward Shmyla Thandi, who posted 11 points in the night and secured a double-double, getting 10 defensive rebounds. “It’s exciting, it motivates me for the next game.”
By Kyle Vinoly
A high-pressure free throw from Eagle’s guard Mike Davis sealed a win for the Eagle’s in the final 30 seconds of the fourth quarter of their Friday game against Quest University Kermodes of Squamish 65 to 64.
The Eagle’s were ahead by 10 points at the end of the first quarter but the men from Quest fought back in the second and third quarters. The lead changed 12 times before the Eagles finally won, 65-64.
February 1, 2010 by Justin Langille · Comments Off
Both Kwantlen Eagles basketball teams suffered tough losses against Victoria Island University Mariners at home in Surrey Saturday.
The Mariners put the women’s team through the wringer first, coming out with a 91-47 win over the Eagles.
Eagles forwards Shmyla Thandi and Chantelle Doerksen led in points for the Eagles with 15 and nine points.
The teams tied in three-point shot efficiency.
On the men’s side, things weren’t much better, with the Mariners men’s team taking an 87-66 win over the Eagles.
Forward Ali Bosir and guard Mike Davis managed to pull together 16 points each for the Eagles, but their hard work wasn’t enough to come back from an 83-61 Mariners lead. The Eagles led the Mariners in three point shots 18-15.
Gary Pawluk, coach of the Eagles women’s team says that while the team showed a strong effort the night before, only losing by nine, he wants his team to be playing a higher, more consistent level.
Next Friday and Saturday, the Eagles will face off against the Quest University Kermodes, games that Pawluk says will determine whether the Eagles make it into the playoffs.
“We gotta work hard this week to succeed this weekend,” said Pawluk. “It’s one of our most important weekends of the year. We have to adjust to their style of play and their strengths and take care of their strengths accordingly and try to utilize ours a little better.”
On a night of celebration for Kwantlen soccer fans, the school’s basketball followers didn’t have much to cheer about.
Within hours of the raising of the Kwantlen soccer team banner to celebrate their national championship bronze medal Friday, the Eagles men’s team lost 94-68 to the Vancouver Island University (VIU) Mariners in their first home game since Nov. 7.
Despite Mike Davis’ 22 points, the game high, the Eagles couldn’t find a shooting rhythm. Both Lenny Piprah and Doug Meyers also pitched in, with 15 and 11 points.
Kwantlen fell behind early, but kept the game close, down 10 after the first quarter. But VIU started to pull away in the second and led 51-32 at the half. They outscored Kwantlen 43-36 in the second half, never losing the lead during the game.
VIU’s Mike Wohlers hit six three-pointers and led his team with 20 points in the game, while Andrew Kaban contributed with 15 and Jake Hayton had 14.
With that loss, Kwantlen fell to 10-13 on the year.
Women’s record falls to .500
The Kwantlen Eagles women’s basketball team came up short Friday night at home as the Mariners from Vancouver Island University defeated them 68-59.
The Eagles, who were led by forward Chantelle Doerksen’s 17 points, trailed from start to finish in a game that saw no lead changes. The largest spread in points came just before the half time break when VIU enjoyed a 19-point advantage over Kwantlen.
The Mariners leading scorer was guard Katherine Pearson who poured in 17 points of her own. As a team, VIU shot 36.5 per cent from the floor and went 13 for 18 from the free throw line.
VIU also enjoyed a decided advantage on points off turnovers, outscoring the Eagles 17-9 in that category.
The loss drops the Eagles record to an even .500 for the season, going 7-7 in league play, while the victory solidifies the Mariners position at the top of the BCAA league standings with a record of 10-2.
The Kwantlen Eagles mascot is in need of a name and the athletics department is challenging students to come up with it, offering an iPod touch to the winner.
The mascot, which was designed by a collaboration of student opinions, is a giant eagle that has been nameless since its first appearance last September at a school sporting event.
â€œWe feel that this is a great opportunity for students to get involved and show their school spirit,â€ said Katlyn Moore, Kwantlenâ€™s athletic director.
The contest requires students to submit their suggested names to the athletic department web site before the Jan. 15 deadline. Once all the name ideas have been reviewed, the athletics department will post the 10 finalists on the Kwantlen website and students will be able to vote for their favourite.
â€œThe response has been really good,â€ said Moore, who claims there have been over 60 unique names suggested already.
The winning name will be announced on Jan. 29 at the same time as the school raises the Kwantlen womenâ€™s soccer teamâ€™s championship banner in the Surrey gymnasium prior to both the menâ€™s and womenâ€™s basketball games against Vancouver Island University.
As UBCO huddled and cheered, the Eagles stood on the floor, dumbstruck, unable to believe what had just happened.
The Kwantlen Eagles men’s basketball team fought hard Saturday night against the UBC-Okanagan (UBCO) Heat, but lost 65-63 when UBCO’s Alex Roth scored a buzzer-beating lay-up.
The teams were evenly matched, as they swapped leads throughout the game, and the Eagles led by one at the half. But after half time, it’s as if a different team had come out on the floor. Kwantlen’s field goal shooting stalled in the third quarter and missed foul shots began to add up.
Down by double-digits late in the fourth, Kwantlen’s Dustin Egelstad led Kwantlen to within three points of the Heat and Varinder Singh tied the game with three foul shots after being fouled beyond the arc.
The loss means Kwantlen starts its season off 0-2. The team’s next game, the start of a long stretch of away games, is in Victoria against the Camosun Chargers on Nov. 13. The Eagles’ next home game is Jan. 29, 2010, against the Vancouver Island University Mariners.
Name: Omid Davani
Program: general studies
Hometown: Port Coquitlam
Favourite actress: Jennifer Aniston
Favourite basketball movie: Coach Carter
Favourite food: his momâ€™s lasagna
On Omid Davaniâ€™s basketball team, every person has a different character on the court and in the dressing roomâ€”thereâ€™s the star forward, the distributor, the big guy, the veteran and the list goes on. Davaniâ€™s role? The rookie.
And what a year this rookie has had so far. In 12 weeks of play, heâ€™s averaging nearly 17 points a game, ranking him 10th best in the league. His rebounding average of nine a game is even better, placing him fifth.
The 18-year-old from Port Coquitlam had a modest start in basketball, joining his first team in when he was 13, where Davani admits that he had his work cut out for him: â€œI wasnâ€™t very good at all. I sucked.â€
Two years later, when he made the move to Terry Fox secondary school, he was cut from the junior team. But when someone quit the team soon after, he took their spot. Davani said, â€œfrom then on I appreciated any minute I got.â€ The work paid off, and he was named team captain in his senior year.
After graduation, Davani made the move to the Kwantlen Eagleâ€™s basketball club, and said it was like â€œgoing from a dog cage into the wild.â€ He admits the transition from a structured to free-flowing offense was weird and his increase in minutes on the floor has been a challenge. â€œItâ€™s tough, but Iâ€™d rather be playing and getting injured than sitting on the bench,â€ he said.
Another thing thatâ€™s changed for Davani is his pre-game routine. â€œMy philosophy this year was â€˜new place, new changes.â€™ So, last year I had to do everything twice: tie my shoes twice, go to the washroom twice, wash my face twice, everything I did I had to do twice. But this year, because I changed everything, I donâ€™t do that anymore.â€ Instead, his only routine is that he puts on his jersey halfway through the warm-up: â€œthat way itâ€™s not too sweaty.â€
Davani said that basketball is his sport. “Itâ€™s in my DNA, I love it. The feeling you get scoring the tying point, getting that fast break or stealing the ball, being a part of the big playâ€”itâ€™s so much different than any other sport. Itâ€™s five guys playing as one. Itâ€™s unexplainable I guess.â€
His goal is to one day play basketball internationally, and would like to tryout for the league in Iran, where his parents are from. But for now heâ€™ll enjoy the perks of being a rookie: â€œI learn a lot from the older guys on the teamâ€¦they give girl advice, too.â€
This is the second in a series of occasional profiles of Kwantlen Eaglesâ€™ team members.
RELATED: Profile: Taminder Dhaliwal
Reporter Rachelle took a video camera to last weekend’s women’s Eagles basketball game. The result is a video essay with some highlights from the game, and visual detail on those who led the Eagles to their win over Quest. (Video is large.)
The Kwantlen eagles men’s basketball team, in anticipation of the latest college season, has been sharpening its skills in tournaments. Reporter/photographer Sandy Buemann was at Douglas College Saturday, Oct. 18, as the Eagles took on Camosun College (they lost, 75-59) and brought back these images.