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Airdrie basketball player moves on to CIS in BC

By: Lucas Punkari

  |  Posted: Thursday, Apr 24, 2014 06:00 am

Grade 12 George McDougall student Ryan Morck will be playing for the UBC Okanagan Heat starting next year.
Grade 12 George McDougall student Ryan Morck will be playing for the UBC Okanagan Heat starting next year.
File Photo/Rocky View Publishing

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Airdrie native Ryan Morck will be heading west to continue his basketball career.

The 17-year-old Grade 12 student at George McDougall High School will be suiting up for the UBC (University of British Columbia) Okanagan Heat starting next fall.

They had contacted me in the spring of last year, offered me a scholarship in January, and I officially committed in early March before they officially announced my commitment on April 14, Morck said.

Im excited about the experience of moving out there, and Im looking forward to developing as a player over the course of the five years, he added.

Morck, who will be studying Human Kinetics, also considered attending the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon and Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton, before a visit to the UBC Okanagan campus in December of 2013 sealed his decision.

I really connected with the rest of the team when I was there, and they really made me feel welcome, Morck said. The campus is really beautiful and the community there is nice, and it made my decision a pretty easy one.

The fact that he is excited to come here and play with us is really important, Heat Head Coach Pete Guarasci said. We are going to have a very young team here next year, and we are looking to build this group that Ryan will be a part of over the next two to three years.

As he prepares for his first season in CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) basketball, Morck will be hitting the gym during the summer, as the 69, 200-pound forward hopes to get himself in peak physical condition.

I really want to work on my strength training this summer, Morck said. Its important for me to focus on that, especially since I will be guarding bigger and older guys than I have here in Airdrie.

There will be an adjustment period for Ryan Im sure, but I dont think it will take him long to be an effective player for us, Guarasci added. Hes a guy who has a really nice set of skills to go along with his size, and we look forward to having him on our team.

Although playing against many of the top university teams in Western Canada will be different than the Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) schedule hes played for the last four seasons, Morck says that his experience of playing in the Canada Games last summer and for the Calgary Generals club team should help him out a lot.

When you get to play against the top players, it helps you get used to playing at a higher tempo and at a more physical level than you are used to, Morck said. As I get used to playing in the CIS, I will be looking back at those experiences.


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