TRU WolfPack has had a few student athletes who have followed in their parents' footsteps in recent years but none in the sport of men’s basketball until this week.
Head coach Scott Clark and the WolfPack announced that six-foot guard Jordan “Jordy” Komarniski of South Kamloops secondary has agreed to join the Canada West silver medallists Sept. 1.
Komarniski is the son of former WolfPack assistant coach and Cariboo College player Del Komarniski. The older Komarniski is a longtime coach and teacher at South Kamloops.
“Coming to TRU was an easy choice,” Jordy said. “I have grown up around the program. I have worked with coach Clark since grade six. The hard choice was whether or not I was going to play. I have been ill since October and it really effected by ability to play basketball. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to play but this is too good an opportunity to give up.”
Komarniski has had a series of back to back bouts of pneumonia which curtailed his play at South Kamloops. Still, he was able to lead the Titans to the Okanagan AAA playoffs where he was named an all-star.
“I am going to try and play this year and not red shirt,” he says. “I am feeling a lot better now. Pneumonia is not a quick recovery if you have had it before but I should be ready.”
“My first year here Jordy was a sixth or seventh grader,” says Clark who remembers Komarniski as one of the first youngsters to take part in his “Junior Wolves” program. “He has grown both physically and mentally every step of the way. That is what you hope for with a young person.”
One of Komarniski’s coaches at South Kamloops was WolfPack Athletics and Recreation Director Ken Olynyk.
“Jordy was around when Kelly (Olynyk, Ken’s son and current member of the NBA Boston Celtics) was at South Kam and I was helping Del coach," Ken said. "It has been great to see Jordy come from an elementary school player to the point where he is now as a student/athlete. He has constantly gotten better. He has worked very hard at being a better basketball player. It is a credit to him and a credit to his father and the standard that they set. He has lived up to that standard.”
Olynyk thinks that coming from a "basketball family" has given Jordy insight into what is expected of a university student/athlete.