Golden Secondary School’s senior boys basketball team continued to impress against their provincial counterparts over the weekend, and it’s the team’s foreign exchange students that are allowing them to compete against some of the best clubs in the province.
This past weekend at a tournament in Kamloops, the Eagles suffered narrow defeats to NorKam Secondary School (two points) and Fulton (one point) before taking their tournament finale over Kelowna Secondary’s B team by a 78-59 score.
In both losses, Golden had a chance to grab the win with a final shot but had their attempts fail to drop.
“When it comes down to taking the last shot and running a play, we’re still a little rough, but we haven’t even put in our basic plays that we want to run…right at the end of the game,” said head coach Kindy Gosal.
As the team enters the second third of their season, Gosal says they will begin to focus on systems and set plays, whereas the first portion of the season they spent most of their time working on fundamentals with their less experienced players.
“We’ve broken up the season into different sections and the first one was about skills development. We have a lot of kids that hardly played any basketball before…now we’re going into systems,” Gosal said.
While the Eagles continue to be led by Meva Dhami, Kiran Gosal and John Oszust, a trio of returning players, the team wouldn’t be able to field a competitive roster without contributions from overseas.
“The extra bodies are important to us, in practice, on the bench in case we need them. We’re really lucky this year that (they) showed up. This is the struggles of a small town trying to have a competitive basketball team,” Gosal said.
Pau Masco and Paul Pothoff are exchange students from Spain and Germany respectively, and each have played significant roles for a squad that is challenged in numbers.
Pothoff, from a city outside of Cologne, had limited experience with basketball before joining the Eagles in the fall.
“Some friends invited me to play basketball here and come to the training,” Pothoff said.
The Grade 10 student will be returning to Germany later this month and says he has learned a lot under Gosal’s tutelage this season.
“(Basketball) is pretty new (for me) and I’ve got a lot of support from our coaches and the other players,” he said.
Masco, from Barcelona, chose to do a foreign exchange in Golden in part because of its basketball program. While he was considering his options for studies overseas, Masco received a message from Dhami detailing the strengths of Golden Secondary’s basketball program. He was quickly convinced.
“I said, okay I’ll go to Golden,” he said.
While he had experience playing basketball in Spain, he says he has learned a lot so far this season and hopes to continue to improve the rest of the way.
“I’m enjoying it a lot and I’m learning a lot…Kindy’s one of the best coaches I’ve ever had. He always tries to teach me new things,” Masco said.
The Eagles will head to Salmon Arm for a tournament this weekend before taking a break over the exam period.