Skip to content

Wildcats to Bearcats: Burnaby's Jayla Huynh joins CBC basketball

The soon-to-be 2024 Burnaby Central grad will play at Canada's second-highest level of university sports starting this fall.
Burnaby Central Wildcats guard Jayla Huynh (#9) has committed to playing for the CBC Bearcats' women's basketball team for the 2024-25 PACWEST season.

A Burnaby Central Wildcat is getting a new set of claws at a higher level of basketball east of the Fraser River.

Jayla Huynh recently committed to the Columbia Bible College (CBC) Bearcats in the PACWEST conference of the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA).

The 5'6" guard is joining Canada's second highest level of university basketball after a pair of impressive seasons with Central's senior girls squad.

Huynh scored 19 points in four games at the 2024 B.C. girls basketball championships, helping the Wildcats win the consolation bracket and a ninth-place finish out of 16 teams.

Prior to the tournament, she helped the Wildcats to the 2024 Burnaby-New West city banner and a silver-medal finish at Fraser North regionals.

In Grade 11, she tallied 49 points in four games in aiding Burnaby Central claim the bronze from the 2023 provincials — the school's first known medal in AAAA senior girls basketball.

"Jayla will be a great addition to our team, on and off the court," said Taylor Claggett, CBC women's basketball head coach, in a social media post.

"She has great court vision and basketball IQ, and will be someone that can confidently bring the ball up the floor for us. She can really shoot the ball from the perimeter and can break her defender down and get into her midrange shot."

Huynh is joining a CBC Bearcats club that's back on the rise after recent winless seasons.

However, the Abbotsford post-secondary school has bounced back, finishing third in its 2023-24 campaign with a 14-10 regular-season record. The Bearcats were upset in its playoff quarterfinal match by sixth-seeded Okanagan College.

CBC is also home to starting forward Elissa Vreugdenhil, who won the PACWEST Female Athlete of the Year award.

Burnaby player to UFV

Meanwhile, a second Burnaby athlete has signed on to play collegiate basketball in Abbotsford this fall.

Vince Velasquez is joining the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) in Canada West and U SPORTS — the highest level of university athletics in Canada — looking to help the Cascades reach a higher plateau.

The 6'1" guard is set to graduate Vancouver College. He helped the Fighting Irish to a junior boys provincial championship in 2022 and even made a couple appearances at the AAAA boys tournament as a Grade 10 student.

In his senior stint, he recorded 46 points in four games at provincials, but Van College ended up in eighth.

Velasquez, a 2024 all-star selection for the Sea to Sky district, said UFV can provide a big boost to his life goals on and off the court.

"I believe that this university will help me strive to the best of my abilities both in academics and in athletics," he said in a news release.

"My goals are to help the basketball program reach an even higher level, to maintain a great GPA academically, and to develop great relationships with the staff and students at UFV."

Last season, the Cascades men's basketball team posted a record of 8-12 and upset the Regina Cougars as the 11th playoff seed before ultimately falling in the quarterfinals to Winnipeg.