KAMLOOPS — Nick Sarai starred on South Kam's historic AAA boys basketball team that captured the school's first championship last month, and he hopes to do the same at TRU, officially signing on with the school on Wednesday.
"It will be a dream come true," said the championship MVP who scored 28 points in the Titans' final victory. "Always watching the Wolfpack games and seeing all the alumni play and now getting the chance to suit up in a game like that, play in front of my parents and friends, it's going to be surreal."
Sarai looked at his options, visiting UBC Okanagan's Kelowna campus during spring break. But the thought of staying in Kamloops, where he was born and raised, made it too hard to leave.
"I don't think moving out of town will be the best situation for me as of right now," he said. "Staying in town and still getting to play in front of my parents was the best."
Sarai has been around the TRU program since he was young, part of summer basketball camps, and more recently spring leagues organized by Wolfpack head coach Scott Clark.
That participation and committment played a big role in Clark's decision to sign him.
"Obviously Nick knew us and we knew Nick, and we were in communication throughout the season, and at the end of the season I said 'hey, come up, have a look around. I think there's a good option in your backyard. What we do is pretty good.' He agreed I guess," said Clark.
Clark likes Sarai's skill set, but also loves his character.
"When you're looking at kids, skill and talent is a good starting point, and I think he has that," said Clark. "I think if you back that up a step, there's a work ethic, there's a good character to him. That probably has to proceed what he brings in terms of skill."
Sarai says character is important to him, a key value that was passed on to him by his family.
"I try to be the best person I can be," he said. "I think I'm very selfless. I've always been dedicated to basketball since a young age. I've always put in the tim, helped in my community."
As the 17 year old finishes up high school, he's excited about the next step in life and basketball, but also knows it'll be another challenge.
"Year one, I expect to be just a sponge, just learn everything that the coach says, the teammates help me with. Just academics, too. It's going to be a big transition."
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