Sports

VIU basketball adds high-profile players from U.S.

The VIU Mariners men’s basketball team needed to add some talent, and it’s done just that.

Vancouver Island University’s men’s b-ball coach Matt Kuzminski announced last week the signings of Americans Justin King and Kadeem Stewart.

King, a 6-foot-4 swingman/forward from Las Vegas, has experience playing in Canada. In 2011-12 he played at Thompson Rivers University where he led the CIS Canada West in scoring with 23.1 points per game and was third in rebounding with 10.1 per game.

Kuzminski said he thinks King can be one of the best players in the Canadian Colleges’ Athletic Association.

“He’s interesting,” Kuzminski said. “He can score inside, outside, he can shoot the three, he can play off the bounce. He’s a very well-rounded player who will really cause a lot of problems for people in this league.”

Stewart, a 5-foot-10 point guard from Seattle, was an all-star in junior college in the U.S. and liked what he saw on a visit to VIU last month.

With the Mariners losing star Brandon Jones to graduation, they needed help at the point guard position.

“Kadeem’s really going to be able to provide that,” Kuzminski said. “He’s very athletic and very fast. With his speed and his quickness he’ll be very effective at penetrating and getting in the lane as well as defence in the full court.”

Aside from Jones, the M’s also graduate guards Clayton Billett and Evan Verdel.

The Mariners placed second at PacWest provincials earlier this month.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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