He might be finishing Grade 11, but there was no question where Devin Halcrow wanted to play his CIS basketball — in his hometown with the TRU WolfPack.
The six-foot, eight-inch NorKam secondary student has committed to the WolfPack starting in September.
“I wanted to come to TRU for a few reasons," Halcrow said. “I feel that staying here is the best situation for myself. I will get a chance to become a better player as well as getting an education and helping to give back to the community. The basketball community in Kamloops is so tight knit that I wanted to be a part of it.”
“Devin is a good basketball player,” said WolfPack head coach Scott Clark. “He can do lots of things He runs and moves well. He can shoot the ball facing the basket. He handles the ball — he is a good basketball player. He is a good student, a nice guy. He will fit in with our players. I first saw him a few years ago when he came out for our regional training centre. He has a lot of upside. Having a local kid who is good to stay local is a no brainer.”
“My strengths are my height,” Halcrow said. “I am faster than a lot of big men. If I am able to draw them out away from the basket a little bit and use my speed: it’s pretty effective for me. I do like to put up a shot when I can. I have worked on my jumper for a number of years and it is finally starting to come around.”
Clark first heard about Halcrow from former University College of the Cariboo player Will Blair, who started working with him at Brock Middle School at the end of his Grade eight year. “The first thing that stood out to me about him was he was such a sponge,” said Blair. “All you needed to do was show him something once and he put it into practice until he perfected it.”
Halcrow has been working out with current members of the WolfPack and the alumni for a while. He says it’s helped him get a head start at CIS basketball.
“It’s great. Training with these guys is definitely a lot more physical than my high school basketball. Having the chance to compete with them at this stage of my career can only benefit me. It’ll mean I will have less catching up to do when I come here in September 2017.”
As far as moving into CIS “Once I get here and start playing with these guys it will feel pretty natural,” Halcrow said. “I will have a year and a bit of experience playing with them will help.”
Halcrow says his former and current coaches: Blair and TRU alum Mantej Mahil along with current NorKam coach Kyle Beday had a big influence on him deciding to stay home.
“With my coaches, we didn’t talk directly about what school I would go to, we just chatted in general. Coach Blair is the one who made me believe in myself. He told me that if I stuck to it and worked hard I could make something of it (playing basketball). Coach Mantej did it as well but he more of a life mentor for me. If I asked him a question he will give me a response in full detail and take time to explain it. Kyle was really the one who made me realize I am a ‘game changer’ on the court. He stressed to me to be a leader.”
DOUBLE DRIBBLES: Halcrow worked last summer with former WolfPack players Tallon Milne and Kevin Pribilsky at the Regional Training Centre along with current TRU player Volodomyr Iegorov. “There was a mentiorship for Devin there,” said Clark. “That will continue this summer and next year. By the time he starts school here he should be able to ‘hit the ground running’ basketball and academic wise.”
Clark added: “It is essential we keep our best players at home. They get to play in front of their friends and family where they’ve grown up. But also to make a name for themselves in the community if they plan to live afterwards. That is a big part of meeting the community’s needs with the athletics program.”