[This story originally appeared on The North Coast Review, a blog based in Prince Rupert that contains “items of interest to those living on the North Coast of BC.”]
University basketball season is underway and B.C.’s six teams in the Canada West Conference are looking towards a strong fall and winter season, one that many hope will be leading to some national championship opportunities in Edmonton in mid-March of 2022.
For hoops fans of the northwest, one of the teams to watch is the University of Victoria Vikings, which features two notable stars of high school basketball.
On the court for the Vikes this year is former Charles Hays Rainmaker, Justin McChesney (#9), who has seen action twice this year so far, with games against Trinity Western and UBC, gaining six minutes of play, with two points on the stats sheet.
The six-foot-nine forward from Prince Rupert joined the Vikes following a transfer from UBC in 2017 and is part of a mix of players from British Columbia, Alberta, Washington State and Norway looking to bring UVic back into prominence on the basketball scene in Canada.
Also returning for the ride this year is Trent Monkman (#7) from Smithers. He has joined the Vikes by way of Thompson Rivers university, when like McChesney he joined the Vikes in 2017.
His name will be familiar for fans and followers of the Rainmakers, with the Monkman/McChesney showdowns a highlight moment of many battles on the court through those years. Now as the basketball winds shift, they find themselves on the same court, on the same side ready to contribute towards the 2021-22 season.
The Smithereen Monkman is already making his presence on the court known, with 9 points and fourteen minutes of play in two games this year so far.
The pair of Northwesterners make up just a portion of the fifteen player roster that head coach Craig Beaucamp has assembled, as the team begins a four-month journey that Vikes supporters hope will lead to the national championships.