Scott Clark likes to fish, so the TRU WolfPack men’s basketball coach took out his “recruiting rod” and reeled in a big prospect.
Clark and the WolfPack have signed six-foot, nine-inch post/forward Maalik Hazziez (pronounced Mal-lic Haz-ee-ce) of Sacramento, Calif.
Hazziez will join the WolfPack in September and will have three years of CIS eligibility left after spending the past two seasons playing with the American River College Beavers of California Community College Athletic Association.
“He is a big body and averaged 12 points and 10 rebounds per game,” said Clark. “Twelve points is nice. 10 rebounds is very impressive. When you look just from a numbers perspective, we lose 20 points and 10 rebounds with Josh (Wolfram, Canada West All-Star who graduated this past year). Scoring can come from anywhere but getting someone who can rebound as well as Maalik is hard to find.”
Hazziez’s coach at American River Mark Giorgi contacted Clark about him after the WolfPack coach contacted every junior college in Washington State, Arizona, Texas and California on his search for players.
“I am very excited to attend Thompson Rivers University,” said the 20-year-old Hazziez, who will take computer science courses at TRU. “Not only does the school have great business and education programs but it is also the right size, location and environment for me to excel both as a student and as an athlete. I am looking forward to being a member of the WolfPack.”
“I hadn’t looked into any schools outside of the United States prior to talking with Coach Clark,” he added. “Once I looked into the program, I found out the team is constantly improving. I know last year that they had a great season and they are a team that continues to move forward. If they continue to work they will be one of the top schools in the CIS.”
Hazziez says the biggest adjustment he will face to playing Canadian basketball is the rules, but Clark said that won’t be a problem.
“It’s just 24 seconds on the clock. A little faster paced game but basketball is basketball. The speed of the attack is quicker than when you are playing with a 30 second or 35 second clock. It will be an adjustment period of about four or five games.”
“We are excited to have him,’ Clark added. “He seems like a really nice young man. He is a good player and we are excited to welcome him to the team.”
Hazziez becomes the seventh recruit signed by the WolfPack for this coming season. The others are: Ryan Miller (6’6” forward, Kamloops, Valleyview secondary), Trent Monkman (6’2”, guard, Smithers, Smithers secondary/Northwest Jr. Timberwolves), Noah Kaefer (6’4”, forward, Courtenay, Mark R. Isefeld secondary), Madhu McConnell (6’0” guard, Victoria, Oak Bay secondary), Jass Singh (6’0” guard, Abbotsford, W.J. Mouat secondary, Team B.C.), and Jordan Komarniski (6’0”, guard, Kamloops, South Kamloops secondary).
The WolfPack kick off their 2016-17 Canada West season at home on Friday, Nov. 4, when they take on the team they beat to advance to the league championship final last year: the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds. Tip off on the Warner Rentals Court at the Tournament Capital Centre will be 8 p.m.