KELOWNA, BC - Two transfers and a high school forward have been added to the UBC Okanagan Heat men's basketball roster as head coach Pete Guarasci has added to his list of new prospects for the upcoming 2017-18 season with more size and some post secondary experience.
Transferring in from the University of Calgary is Alyosius Callaghan the six-foot guard has always been a top point getter wherever he has played and will be tasked by coach Guarasci to add scoring to the Heat.
The other transfer is Kyrin Cybenko, a 6'6" forward from Saskatoon, Sask. who has been playing at Lakeland College for the past three seasons.
Another forward, Gurman Bhangu, a 6'7" forward and recent graduate from Panorama Ridge in Surrey, B.C. this past June will join Cybenk and the previously announced Owen Keyes (6-9 P, Kelowna), Amir Hajisafer (6-8 P, N. Vancouver-Handsworth), and Ben Kornelsen (6-7 P, Armstrong-Pleasant Valley, Briercrest College) as players joining the Heat that are 6'6" inches or taller.
Gurman Bhangu is a 6'7" forward from Surrey, BC who graduated from Panorama Ridge this past June.
Starting every game throughout his high school career Bhangu possess a strong playing resume that includes a second place finish at the provincial championship in his junior season at Tamanawis Secondary.
In the 11th grade Bhangu's team won the Fraser Valley Championship along with the prestigious and competitive RCMP annual tournament while this past season in his senior year the forward was the Belmont tournament MVP and earned an RCMP first team all-star.
Outside of basketball Banghu wrestled for eight years before letting go of the sport in grade 10 due to a massive growth spurt, spreading the love of the game the young player also helps coach young kids with his club team, Drive.
At UBC Okanagan in the classroom, Banghu will begin his academic career in the Faculty of Arts with one of his goals academically is to find the balance between being a U SPORTS athlete and keeping up in the classroom.
Gurman Bhangu on coming to UBC Okanagan…
"I chose UBCO because of the beautiful campus, gym and the city of Kelowna. It is not so far from home but far enough for me to focus on school and basketball. Also coach Pete [Guarasci] emphasizes development of a player and for me that's a huge factor. I am extremely excited for the upcoming season and to work on my game with coach Pete [Guarasci], he can really mold me into a great player. Being 6'7" I really developed my guard skills over the past couple years and I feel like my versatility will help the team tremendously. My work ethic and willingness to soak in as much knowledge as I can will be a huge asset at the university level."
Pete Guarasci on Gurman Bhangu…
"Gurman has a great feel for the game and an excellent skill set for his size. He can score in the post and facing the basket but does so in the flow of the game. We're excited to work with Gurman as we think he can develop into a standout U SPORTS athlete."
Alyosius Callaghan is a 6'0" combo guard from Calgary who has some pro experience with Al Manama in Bahrain, part of the Pro 'A' League in the Middle East. He has also played for SAIT, Mount Royal, and the University of Calgary and at all stops has shown a propensity at scoring.
Callaghan will study Management at UBCO as he works towards his degree. His is part of a strong athletic family, his sister, whom Alyosius calls "the cool one in the family" played NCAA Division 1 tennis at St. Bonaventure University in New York.
Aloysius Callaghan on coming to UBC Okanagan…
"I choose UBCO because it is a great school and I have a great relationship with Pete [Guarasci] and Landry [Ndayitwayeko, assistant coach of the Heat]. I'm in a great situation to show everyone what I can do"
Pete Guarasci on Aloysius Callaghan …
"Aloysius comes to UBC Okanagan with plenty of post secondary experience. He is a committed hard working student-athlete that we look forward to integrating into our systems. Offensively, he is very talented and we believe he'll be a difficult match up for our Canada West opponents."
Kyrin Cybenko is a 6'6" forward from Saskatoon, Sask. who brings some post-secondary basketball experience to the Heat next season.
He played for Lakeland College in Lloydminster, Alta. from 2014-17 and was the team captain in his second and third years. This past season he finished fourth in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) in total rebounds with 214. He also ranked first in the CCAA with 92 offensive boards.
At Aden Bowman Collegiate Cybenk was the team MVP in his senior season (2013-14), and he was named to the North Team at the Saskatchewan high school all-star game.
Transferring into UBC Okanagan the 6-foot six post will be studying psychology this fall at UBCO while working towards his Bachelor of Arts degree. Cybenko in his free time enjoys volunteering and coaching young kids the game of basketball.
Kyrin Cybenko on coming to UBC Okanagan…
"I'm excited to be attending UBCO as a student-athlete. I look forward to bringing my skills to the team in order to win games and being able to continue growing as an on court leader and an athlete while continuing to grow as a student off the court."
Pete Guarasci on Kyrin Cybenk...
"Kyrin is physically ready to make an impact at the U SPORTS level. We will look to Kyrin to provide strength and athleticism to our frontcourt on both sides of the ball. He's capable of playing both inside and out and brings a mature presence to our locker room."
The men's basketball team will also add two players from the Junior Heat program to their roster with Penticton's Jake Stokker and Mount Boucherie's Sterling Paterson also readying themselves for the late summer training camp.
The team will start with their preseason schedule at home on September 21 when they host Vancouver Island University. The Canada West schedule will have UBCO open on the road in Victoria (Oct. 27-28). The home schedule will begin Nov. 4-5 when the Heat host the Thompson Rivers WolfPack.
For the full men's basketball schedule click here.