Kelowna, B.C. – No rookie made as big as an impact in the win column as the Heat's Hafith Moallin this year in Canada West men's basketball. For his impressive season, the first year UBCO guard has been named to the Canada West All-Rookie team as the conference released its annual award winners Thursday morning.
Moallin's numbers on the court were impressive but the ultra-quick point guards biggest number was in the win column. With the addition of the Ontario raised point guard into the starting lineup at the beginning of the season the Heat went from a two-win team to a nearly .500 ball club, a team that narrowly missed qualifying for the postseason for the first time in school history.
Playing in just 16 games, and starting all but one of those, the first year player from Mississauga, Ont., averaged 12.0 points a game, the top mark in the CW conference for rookies. He also led the nation in most threes made by a first-year player with 36 and shot those at a 36.7-per cent rate, second highest for first-year players in the CW.
With 69 assists, Moallin was second across U SPORTS and first in the conference for total assists for rookies. At his is rate of 4.3 helpers a game average he was 10th in Canada West amongst all players, not just rookies.
The 5'10" guard held his own on the glass as well, as he averaged 4.2 boards per game, the second highest average amongst rookies in the CW conference.
Also topping the conference in minutes played per game for first-year players at 29.8, the Heat went 7-9 in the games Moallin was on the court for.
All of these numbers would have been more impressive if the guard hadn't broken his wrist in late November, forcing the GTA Prep student out of four and a half games.
Head coach Ken Olynyk is happy that his first-year player is getting the deserved recognition, boasting that there was no one rookie that impacted their team close to what Moallin did.
"Hafith [Haf] being named to the CW All-Rookie team is a credit to his abilities and his contributions to a team that was a win away from the playoffs," said Olynyk.
"Hafith missed 8 weeks after breaking his wrist and fortunately, that happened with only three games to play in the fall semester," explains Olynyk on the timing of Moallin's injury, and how it was the best of a worst-case scenario, even so, the Heat did lose every game that Moallin missed. "Without Haf in the lineup, it made it difficult for us, as he was such an important cog in our wheel."
"I'm excited for Haf, and know he will take this forward and continue to grow as a player and leader with our team," finished the interim coach.
For the men's basketball program at UBC Okanagan, this is only the second time a member of the team has made the conference's All-Rookie team. The last and only time that has happened was in 2014 when Aldrich Berrios reached that mark.
It is fitting for Moallin to be selected to the All-Rookie team this year, as it was also Berrios' final season at UBCO, and all he did in his five years was finish his career as the all-time points leader at UBCO with 1483 points. Moallin still has a long way to go to reach that level, but mark him down for 192 in year one, as he enters the record books.
List of Canada West All-Rookies for UBC Okanagan:
2018/19: Hafith Moallin (MBB), Cam Vanderveen (MVB), Jade Bussard (WVB), Sydney Grills (WVB)
2017/18: Sam McDonald (MSOC), Caleb Funk (MVB)
2016/17: Kyle Hinchey (MVB), Sara McCreary (WVB)
2015/16: Eli Risso (MVB), Devon Cote (MVB)
2014/15: Aldrich Berrios (MBB)
2013/14: Lars Bornemann (MVB), Michelle Jackszuk (WVB)
Canada West Universities Athletic Association has been giving out All-Rookie teams since the 2013/14 season. Soccer started giving out All-Rookie teams in the fall of 2017.
The conference's major award winners will be unveiled on Thursday, February 28.
FIRST ALL-STAR TEAM
POSITION / NAME / UNIVERSITY / YEAR / HOMETOWN
- F / Brody Clarke / Alberta / 4 / Toronto, Ont.
- G / Jadon Cohee / UBC / 4 / Langley, B.C.
- G / Mambi Diawara / Calgary / 5 / Montreal, Que.
- G / David Kapinga / Calgary / 5 / Calgary, Alta.
- G / Zac Overwater / Lethbridge / 5 / Didsbury, Alta.
SECOND ALL-STAR TEAM
- G / Narcisse Ambanza / Winnipeg / 3 / Toronto, Ont.
- G / Parm Bains / Fraser Valley / 4 / Surrey, B.C.
- G / Greishe Clerjuste / Regina / 4 / Montreal, Que.
- F / Brett Layton / Calgary / 3 / Calgary, Alta.
- F / Grant Shephard / UBC / 2 / Kelowna, B.C.
THIRD ALL-STAR TEAM
- F / Joe Barker / Saskatchewan / 5 / Saskatoon, Sask.
- G / Rashawn Browne / Manitoba / 4 / Toronto, Ont.
- G / Jordan Charles / Victoria / 5 / Duncan, B.C.
- G / Tyvon Cooper / Brandon / 5 / Middletown, New York
- G & F / Jovan Leamy / UNBC / 5 / Toronto, Ont.
- F / Nick Barnard / Regina / Regina, Sask.
- G / Alexander Dewar / Saskatchewan / Saskatoon, Sask.
- G / Hafith Moallin / UBCO / Mississauga, Ont.
- G / Adam Paige / Alberta / Surrey, B.C.
- G / Aaron Tesfagiorgis / Victoria / Calgary, Alta.
Full Canada West release here: https://www.canadawest.org/sports/mbkb/2018-19/releases/20190221mbballstars