Saje Gosal dribbles up the court during a game with the UNBC Timberwolves this past season.

Saje Gosal dribbles up the court during a game with the UNBC Timberwolves this past season.

Local products complete first season at UNBC

Saje Gosal and Neal Randhawa recently completed their first season of university basketball at the University of Northern British Columbia.

A little over a year after they wrapped up their high school basketball careers with an appearance at the provincials, Saje Gosal and Neal Randhawa have completed their first season of university basketball at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC).

The pair of Goldenites saw more playing time than is typically expected out of first year players, with both appearing in multiple games as rookies. Gosal even got the chance to start a handful of games after both the starting and backup point guards went down with injuries.

“It was a good opportunity. The guys were really supportive…I think really, what it did, is show me that I should never have issues with confidence and getting into the game. I’ve kind of proven to myself that I can at least hang in there,” Gosal said.

The pair were a part of a Timberwolves team that won just four of their 20 games after injuries played a significant toll on the club’s chances. Still, both Eagles alumni remain confident in the program going forward.

“We brought in four first years so we had a really young team and we’re kind of at the developmental stage…we lost a few close ones and most of our games slipped away,” Randhawa said. “We’re kind of in a transition phase where we’re going to build from the bottom and grow up.”

High school basketball was a different animal altogether when compared to the university game. The sport at this level requires that much more time, effort and commitment and it’s a routine that Gosal and Randhawa were forced to fall into quickly.

“We have practice every day and often times it takes up the majority of your day, because it’s not like high school where you can just kind of show up to practice and get right into it. You kind of got to mentally prepare and focus, watch film and lift weights all around practice. It becomes kind of a lifestyle more than a hobby,” Gosal said.

“Especially the mental effort in practice and in games is a lot tougher…it’s more of a grind,” Randhawa said.

Part of the challenge for any first year university student is to stay on top of their academics, a challenge that is compounded for student-athletes. The key is to find a way to balance both.

“Considering when we’re travelling, we’ll miss a couple of days of school and the weekend…every opportunity you get you’ve got to work on whatever you have,” Randhawa said.

The pair also had the benefit of living with each other, allowing them to rely on one another for support after difficult practices or games.

“I don’t see more of him than I ever saw him (before) anyway. I’ve seen him all day for 13 years now or something like that so nothing’s really changed,” Gosal laughed.

They’ll spend much of their off-season in Prince George training with their teammates and coaches in order to get ready for the season in the fall, They’ll return to Golden for July and August, however, in order to spend some time with friends and family and step away from the daily grind for a few weeks.

Gosal will also be hosting his annual basketball and sports camps this summer. The basketball camp will go from July 4-8 and the sports camp from July 25-29.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

Cases continue to climb in B.C amid a third wave of COVID-19. (Omar Marques/AP photo)
Physicians of Golden warn of third wave

Cases continue to climb provincially

Environment Canada is forecasting up to 20 centimetres of snow on the Coquihalla Highway Friday, April 9, 2021. (File photo)
Snowfall warning in effect for Coquihalla Highway

Environment Canada is forecasting up to 20 cm of snow to fall on the Coquihalla Friday

The Peach is adhering to the mandatory mask protocols put in place by the Provincial Health Officer on Nov. 19. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Interior Health doesn’t echo B.C.’s daily COVID record

80 new cases reported Thursday, April 8, compared to 91 the day prior

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Winter driving conditions returned to the Coquihalla Highway on April 10. (ICBC image)
Coquihalla motorists warned of fresh snow

Five to 10 cm of snow is expected today for the mountain highway.

Penticton Christian School. (Facebook)
COVID-19 exposure at South Okanagan independent school

The exposures are the latest in a quickly growing list in the Interior

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Vernon Secondary School. (Google Maps)
Case of COVID-19 at North Okanagan high school

VSS exposure announced late Friday, April 9

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

Bart and Tracey Larson enjoying a Begbie Cream Ale. The couple have been together for 40 years. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
The art of really good beer: Revelstoke brewery celebrates 25 years

Mt. Begbie Brewery owners Bart and Tracey Larson reflect on their company’s history

Most Read