GW Graham basketball coach Jake Mouritzen listens to one of his players during a high school hoops game last week. Mouritzen has accepted an assistant coaching role with Team B.C. U-17 at next summer’s national championships. (Eric J. Welsh/ The Progress)

Basketball B.C. offers U-17 coaching role to GW Graham’s Jake Mouritzen

The boys basketball coach at GWG will help lead Team B.C. into nationals next summer.

GW Graham basketball coach Jake Mouritzen will be an assistant coach with Team B.C.’s U-17 boys when they head into nationals next August.

GWG’s longtime athletic director has accepted an offer from Basketball B.C. and will work alongside Capilano University men’s basketball boss Cassidy Kannemeyer.

“I’ve been all over the country recently doing a whole bunch of work with Basketball Canada, completing my ‘Train to Compete’ certification which allows me to coach at any level,” Mouritzen said. “That obviously got me into a pool of people they (Basketball B.C.) were interested in talking to, and Joe Enevoldson reached out to ask if I’d be interested in coaching a team next summer.”

Mouritzen already has a ton on his plate at GWG, plus his work as director of TransCanada athletics, plus a new role with the fledgling Eastern Valley High School Athletic Association.

He’s also the father of two school-aged children.

“With all that and everything else that happens in life, I told Basketball B.C. ‘maybe’ at first,” he said with a laugh.

But Mouritzen aspires to coach at a higher level one day, and the opportunity to get experience at the national level was too much to pass up.

“It’s really an opportunity to work with and learn from some awesome people,” he said. “Going to Kingston (Ontario) and being engulfed in that Basketball Canada landscape – I’ve been trying to add additional pieces to my resume with the idea of going to the next level at some point. So while it’s not an opportunity I was actively seeking, at the same time it’s kind of a no-brainer to do it.”

Mouritzen doesn’t expect to be heavily involved in selecting the team, but once the roster is finalized he’ll have plenty to do.

“There will be four or five two or three day sessions where they (players) will come in to train extensively and prepare for the tournament,” Mouritzen said. “I’ve talked to people that have done it before, and they’ve all enjoyed the experience.

“It’ll give me a chance to meet more people in the basketball community and continue to grow my profile.”

Mouritzen says his selection is validation of the good things happening with GW Graham and TransCanada basketball, and he believes the Chilliwack hoops scene is as strong as it’s ever been.

“Kyle (Graves) is doing great things with his Chilliwack Basketball Club, and Unity Christian, this tiny little school, is a powerhouse in single-A high school basketball,” Mouritzen noted. “Chilliwack is being noticed for producing basketball talent and it’s all starting to snowball.

“It’s come a long way.”

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