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UBC Men’s Basketball Lands Major Prospect In Star Hoopster Mindy Minhas

Coach Kevin Hanson (left) welcomes Mindy Minhas (right) to the UBC basketball program.

Mindy Minhas led his Vancouver’s Sir Winston Churchill Secondary team to a 13th-place finish at the B.C. High School ‘AAA’ Boys’ Provincial Championships in Langley. He was named the tournament’s Most Inspirational Player after averaging 22.2 points, 11.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 3.8 steals a game over five appearances. His performance also landed him a spot on the event’s Third All-Star Team. Churchill, which is also the alma-mater of LINK editor R. Paul Dhillon (a proud Bulldog), was also declared the Most Inspirational Team of the provincial championships.

VANCOUVER – The 2013-14 Canada West men’s basketball season hasn’t even begun but UBC Thunderbirds head coach Kevin Hanson has already landed a major prospect for the 2014-15 season, who happens to be a star high school Indo-Canadian hoopster.

On Thursday, Mindy Minhas, a 6-foot-4 small forward, committed to the Thunderbirds basketball program.

“He’s one of the top recruits coming out this year,” remarked Hanson. “To get a signing of this caliber of player this early is amazing.”

The dynamic Minhas has been playing for Drive Basketball, under the guidance of former T-Birds Pasha Bains and Chad Clifford, since he was in elementary school. Minhas is entering his grade 12 year at Vancouver’s Sir Winston Churchill Secondary, where Rick Lopez, the 2013 B.C. high school basketball coach of the year, is the bench boss of the senior boys’ team.

“I think UBC is where I am supposed to be,” said Minhas of his decision to commit to the Thunderbirds. “It is close to home and this is a really good opportunity. I am really looking forward to it.

“I have a really good feeling right now. It’s a great day.”

This past season, Minhas led his Churchill team to a 13th-place finish at the B.C. High School ‘AAA’ Boys’ Provincial Championships in Langley. He was named the tournament’s Most Inspirational Player after averaging 22.2 points, 11.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 3.8 steals a game over five appearances. His performance also landed him a spot on the event’s Third All-Star Team. Churchill was also declared the Most Inspirational Team of the provincial championships.

For the entire high school season, Minhas averaged 35 points, 10 rebounds and six assists per game.

“He’s a true scorer, he’s got height, he’s got length and he’s got the ability to rebound,” said Hanson of Minhas. “Mindy passes the ball very well for someone who’s a scorer. He’s a local guy we’re very excited about.

“The best thing for Mindy is that he can now focus on his grade 12 year and just have an outstanding season. We know what he can do. We are very confident he’s coming in here to be an impact player at UBC so we’re thrilled to have him join our family.”

“Mindy is the rare player that is able to fill up the box score in so many different ways,” said Lopez. “He is capable of playing four different positions. He can beat you in so many ways, from shooting threes to the mid-range game and in the post. Mindy is not only a great scorer but also averages double-digit rebounds.

“I have been impressed with Mindy’s work ethic and desire to get better. He is always willing to put in the time and effort to improve and is a very coachable player who believes in playing team basketball and supporting his teammates in whatever way he can.”

Minhas is quick to give credit to his coaches, including Bains, Clifford and Karn Sharda of Drive as well as Lopez.

“They’ve had a huge role in my life,” said Minhas. “They’ve developed me to become what I am today. Everything I have today, I owe a lot of it to them.”

Hanson also had high praise for Minhas’ coaches.

“Pasha and Chad both have big impacts on these guys’ lives,” he said. “They’re big supporters of our program and certainly helped convince Mindy that UBC was a great fit for him so we’re very happy to have that relationship with Drive and we’re thankful for their role in helping develop Mindy as a person and as a basketball player.”

“Coach Lopez has done a great job of giving him some freedom. He’s developed Mindy and spent time with him. He’s built a great program at Churchill and Mindy is certainly leaving his impression.”

“It is always a huge thrill as a coach and a basketball program when one of your players is able to play for one of the top basketball programs in Canada,” said Lopez. “UBC has an outstanding reputation and Kevin has done an unbelievable job of creating a nationally-recognized basketball program. It is not only exciting for me but for all of Mindy’s family and friends who will be able to continue to watch him play and develop as a basketball player and person at UBC.

“It is also a confirmation of all of the work that all of the coaches and teachers at Churchill have done to support Mindy in his studies and athletic goals. We are all very proud of him.”

Minhas will have one more year at Churchill before beginning his time at UBC in the fall of 2014.

The Thunderbirds, defending Canada West champions, played Rice University (NCAA Div. I) Wednesday night and are preparing for the rest of the 2013-14 season, which will resume on Sep. 5 with a home game against California-Riverside.

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