Clan to honour Stewardson
The Simon Fraser University men’s basketball team will honour former coach Stan Stewardson at Saturday night’s home opener.
Stewadson coached the Clan for nine seasons, 1975-1979 and 1984-1989. Among his charges was former Toronto Raptors head coach Jay Triano, now an assistant coach for the Portland Trail Blazers and national team coach, and Canadian hero Terry Fox.
Eleven of his players played for Canada and 16 went on to play professionally.
He has been inducted into the Basketball BC Hall of Fame and Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame.
The ceremony will take place at halftime of the Clan’s Great Northwest Athletic Conference opener against the Western Washington University Vikings, the defending NCAA Division II champions which starts at 7:30 p.m.
Last week the Clan men split a pair of games at the Notre Dame de Namur Thanksgiving Classic in Belmont, Calif. They finished the tournament downing the host Argonauts 75-67 Saturday, a night after suffering their first loss of the season, 84-64 to the Fresno Pacific University Sunbirds. The Clan head into Saturday’s game sporting a 5-1 record in pre-season play.
• The men’s team also announced J.J. Pankratz, a star for Abbotsford’s Yale secondary, has signed a letter of intent to play for SFU.
“J.J. is one of the top players coming out of B.C. this year,” said Clan head coach James Blake in a press release. “He has had great coaching with the Basketball BC team and from his high school coach, Al Friesen. J.J. can play our wing spots in our secondary break offence because he can score in a number of ways off the bounce.”
Last season with Yale, Pankratz averaged 21 points, 10 rebounds and four assists per game. Pankratz’s father, John, played college basketball for Fresno Pacific, and is now principal at Yale.
On Tuesday, SFU announced guard Elijah Gillis-Gold had signed a letter of intent with the Clan.
Women hoopsters win pair of games
New Westminster’s Kia van Laare pumped in 23 points as the Clan women’s team won a pair of NCAA Division II games over the visiting Cal State Stanislaus Warriors on the weekend.
On Friday, she netted 16 points, including 11 in the second half, as the Clan won 95-52 at SFU West Gym. The next night she scored seven in 17 minutes of play in a 76-46 victory.
The Clan are 6-1 heading into the start of Great Northwest Athletic Conference play on Thursday when they play host to the Saint Martin’s Saints of Lacey, Wash. Tip off is 7 p.m.
• The women’s team has signed Port Coquitlam’s Fiona Beales to a letter of intent. Beales plays for Riverside secondary which is coached by Paul Langford, brother of SFU head coach Bruce Langford.
In Grade 11, she averaged 11.2 points, eight rebounds and 4.5 steals per game.
“She is one of the few players on the B.C. provincial team who could physically compete with Americans last year when the team travelled to Portland. Her strength and competitive will is needed to have success in our league,” said Bruce Langford.