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Bright future ahead for NAIT Ooks men’s basketball squad

By Tristan Johnston on October 19, 2023

Averaging over 12 points per game last season, Griffin Lorenz has become the new leader for a significantly young 2023-24 Ooks team. With eight rookies on the roster, Lorenz is the only fifth year player on the roster. With this increased role as the team veteran, as well as the four years of gathered experience, he can expect to see huge scoring boosts this season.

Head coach Jordan Baker is looking to spend this season developing the strong incoming talent, especially players like Gabriel Humilde and Amari Lessa Linklater, who have had significant playing time in preseason games.

Gabriel Humilde comes to the team after playing high school basketball with the Harry Ainlay Titans and shows high upside as an athletic playmaking guard. His brother, Ephraim Humilde played last season for the Ooks and boasted an impressive 41 per cent accuracy from the three point line. Gabriel does boast range from three already sinking multiple in his first preseason games.

Amari Lessa Linklater has showcased a strong playmaking ability have multiple preseason games with five or more assists. Coming from Aden Bowman High School, Linklater is listed as 5’9″, the same as Gabriel Humilde. The smaller than average size of these two has made it difficult for the two to get on the floor at the same time, which will create some interesting competition throughout the season for the lead guard spot.

There will be a balance between veteran and rookie playing time, as players like Yasser Abdullahi and Antonio Benjamin look to take advantage of an increased role in the depth chart, whilst also a strong rookie presence that offers Jordan Baker good variety in line up choices.

00 Austin Walter02 Antonio Benjamin
01 Griffin Lorenz06 Elijah Van Boom
03 Amari Lessa Linklater08 Owen Weaver
04 Gabriel Humilde09 Yasser Abdullahi
05 Tayshon Potoma13 Stian Gleddie
07 Jaylon Alfonso
10 Mikkel Manio
11 Kohl Wedman

Going 2-3 in preseason games, this Ooks team hopes to start the season strong this Friday against the Concordia Thunder. The Ooks won both games against the Thunder last season, and look to start the season 2-0 in this weekend’s double header. More information for these games can be found on the naitooks website.



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