KELOWNA, B.C. – Jim Bell from Earl Marriott Secondary has given his letter of intent to attend UBC’s Okanagan campus and play for Heat men’s volleyball next fall. The 6’6” outside/middle has enjoyed a successful volleyball career throughout his high school years playing for Team BC as well as the Mariners, and has maintained a high level of academics throughout.
Richard Thain, Bell’s coach at Earl Marriott, praised his hard work and contributions. “Jim graduates from Earl Marriott having completed his third year with the senior boy’s program. In each of his 3 years, he has been a key part of the success that Earl Marriott has enjoyed. Jim has worked extremely hard over the past 3 years with his high school and club teams and has developed into the best high school blocker in BC.”
Bell’s volleyball accomplishments are vast and include his attendance of High School Provincials, which earned him a AAA Silver Medal and an All-Star selection in 2010. In 2011 Jim's participation in Team BC (U17) Western Elites earned him a Gold Medal and an All-Star selection, while the Western Canada Summer Games (U18 Team BC) and the U17 Nationals honored him with a Bronze Medal.
During his time playing volleyball, Bell has also maintained a 4.0 GPA from Grade 8 through to the present. “Jim is an excellent student and has proven his leadership with his teammates on and off the floor,” added Thain.
Bell has expressed an avid interest in learning as well as volleyball at UBC’s Okanagan campus. “UBC Okanagan is gaining an increasing amount of recognition academically and athletically,” he said. “Being a young team in CIS Canada West competition, I feel UBC Okanagan will give me the best opportunity to develop as an athlete and a student. The team has a solid core group of players and an accomplished coach moving forward, which will establish itself as a prominent contender in years to come.”
Bell is a gifted athlete with great jumping ability; at the U18 Club Provincials he boasted the highest spike touch at 11’5’’. Heat coach Greg Poitras commented on Bell’s athleticism. “Jim is a very physically-gifted player. He jumps very well and is a very aggressive blocker. He has surrounded himself with great coaching and thus has gained the necessary experience to play at the CIS level.”
Poitras went on to comment on Bell as a student-athlete at UBC Okanagan. “Because of his academic and athletic aspirations, Jim is the perfect fit for our program. We look forward to working with this great student-athlete as he ventures into this very exciting phase of his life.”
Thain was confident in Bell’s ability to make an instant impact for the Heat. “Jim has a great attitude on the court and is motivated to work very hard in order to become a better player. This will serve him well under Coach Poitras next fall.”
He concluded by adding, “Jim has the ability to step in and contribute to the UBC Okanagan program right away as the team enters in to its second season in the CIS Canada West next September.”