KELOWNA, BC - For the first time in the four years that UBC Okanagan has been competing in the Canada West men's basketball league the team has earned a conference award as Aldrich Berrios has been selected to the Canada West All-Rookie team for his outstanding freshman season.
This is the third Canada West award won by UBC Okanagan this year and the eighth since 2011/12 when UBC Okanagan entered the CIS. Aldrich is the third student athlete to earn a spot on the All-Rookie team; last season women's volleyball placed Michelle Jakszuk on the squad, while Lars Bornemann from men's volleyball was selected. Canada West started handing out an All-Rookie team in 2013/14.
Making the jump from high school to Canada West in men's basketball is an extremely big step, and making the jump as a point guard is even more difficult due to the demands of the position. Aldrich Berrios was tasked with not only making those two jumps but he was also on-the-job learning the point guard position as a first year starter in the Canada West.
For his rookie season Berrios was almost always on the court. He started all 20 conference games for his squad and averaged 34.7 minutes per contest, the fourth highest mark in Canada West. The 6-foot one rookie from Notre Dame Secondary was third in scoring for UBC Okanagan, averaging 12.4 points per game. His season high was 25 (Jan. 17 versus Mount Royal) and he led the team in scoring six times. His 3.1 assists per contest were tops on the team and 18th in the conference and he posted a season high six helpers on January 24 at Fraser Valley.
Deadly from long range, Aldrich finished the year with the eighth most made threes in the conference (46) and shooting at a 38-percent clip. He also hauled in 3.9 rebounds a contest and 1.6 steals.
Among the other rookies selected to the All-Rookie team were the Heat point guard and Rookie of the Year Lars Schlueter of the University of Calgary; Schlueter and Berrios were the only two to start in all of their team's games. Berrios was the only Canada West rookie to average double-digits and his 3.1 assist per contest were tops among rookies as well.
“Al was an outstanding recruit for us last year and we were excited when he came to camp last September," Berrios' coach Pete Guarasci said of his young point guard. "Then due to injuries and other circumstances he was thrust into a very important role on this team and was asked to do a lot more than I had planned. Yet he stepped up big time, gritted through some tough games and shone in others; he also stepped up in a big way off the court and in a leadership role. I'm really happy with the growth he had this season, and as one of the leaders of this very young team I look forward to what he can accomplish over the next four years here at UBC Okanagan."
Complete list of 2014-15 Canada West Men’s Basketball Awards winners:
Outstanding Player of the Year: Chris McLaughlin, Victoria
Defensive Player of the Year: Ben Baker, Saskatchewan
Rookie of the Year: Lars Schlueter, Calgary
Coach of the Year: Dan Vanhooren, Calgary
Student-Athlete Community Service Award: Devin McMurtry, UNBC
2014-15 Canada West All-Stars (repeat-winners in bold):
Chris McLaughlin, Victoria
Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson, Calgary
Tommy Nixon, UBC
Joel Friesen, Alberta
Josh Wolfram, Thompson Rivers
Jelane Pryce, Winnipeg
Mamadou Gueye, Alberta
Franco Kouagnia, UNBC
Matthew Forbes, Saskatchewan
Jasper Moedt, UFV
Marcus Tibbs, Victoria
Dadrian Collins, Saskatchewan
Denzel James, MacEwan
Kevon Parchment, UFV
Jonathan Tull, Regina
2014-15 Canada West All-Rookie Team:
Lars Schlueter, Calgary
Aldrich Berrios, UBC Okanagan
Zac Overwater, Lethbridge
Sebastien Denault, Alberta
Josh Mayorga, Thompson Rivers