The Simon Fraser University men's ice hockey program announced a commitment from junior B defenceman Mike Ball to attend SFU and join the team for the 2012/13 British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League season.
Ball, who played four seasons with the Pacific International junior league's Richmond Sockeyes, had been on SFU's radar for some time.
"Mike showed steady improvement every season with Richmond, and he's definitely a guy we think can continue to improve and contribute to our blueline," said SFU Head Coach Mark Coletta.
While he put up 29 points in 42 games during his final season with Richmond, Ball's playoff numbers were even more impressive, garnering nine points in 11 games during the 2012 playoffs and averaging more than 0.5 points per game over his four PIJHL seasons.
"He has such a great skill set for a big guy. He's exactly what you want in a defenceman," says Mark Coletta about the 6-2, 230-pound defenceman. "Giving a good local kid a chance to get a great education at home, while playing hockey, is extremely important and rewarding to us."
"Obviously it's a very exciting opportunity for me. Getting the chance to play for a team that's had so much success in the past is something I look forward to. The SFU Hockey program has progressed so much in the past few years and seeing how everyone aspires to continue that trend it's not hard to want to be a part of that."
Ball is SFU's fourth commitment for the 2012/13 season. Additional player announcements will be made in the coming weeks.
All Academic team
Simon Fraser University track and field athlete Kirsten Allen has been named to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference all-academic team.
Allen, a sophomore, is studying kinesiology and has a grade point average of 3.84.
At the University of Washington Indoor Invitational in January, Allen earned a conference provisional qualification in the mile competition following a time of 5:23.39, making her eligible for the all-academic team.
To be eligible for the GNAC All-Academic team, student-athletes must have a minimum grade point average of 3.20 and be in at least their second year of competition.
Hoop team adds size
Ontario post Keegan Dunlop committed to the Simon Fraser University men's basketball team, and will join the Clan in the fall.
Dunlop is a 6'11 centre who spent last season playing for coaches Mike Athas and Jim Hart at the Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, Massachusetts.
"Keegan is a very skilled post with great size and a solid feel for the game," said SFU head coach James Blake. "Simon Fraser has had some great players from Southern Ontario throughout the history of our program. We expect him to step in and make a contribution next season."
"I would describe myself as a throwback post," said Dunlop. "I like to operate off the block but at the same time I can come out, make a one-dribble move and hit a jumper. Defensively I can alter shots and I would say passing is the strongest part of my game, and my favourite part."
In 22 games last season, Dunlop averaged 12.4 points per game and 7.4 rebounds. He led the team in total rebounds and points.
"Last season, Keegan played in one of the toughest prep school leagues in America, competing against Division I prospects on a nightly basis. That experience will benefit him when he comes to SFU," finished Blake.
Before prep school, Keegan played at St. Francis High School in his hometown of St. Catharines, Ont.
"This last year at Williston was a jump in intensity and speed for me. It helped improve my decision making and ability to make plays under pressure. It's going to be great to be able to play my university basketball in Canada and when I visited, I really felt like Simon Fraser would be a good fit," said Dunlop.
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