Cascades add Albertan ace

Dan Kinvig,

Black Press

As the University of the Fraser Valley men’s basketball team rolls out its list of recruits, head coach Barnaby Craddock says there’s one common denominator.

“We want guys who know how to win,” the Cascades bench boss said. “The biggest thing is, winning breeds winning, and we’re trying to recruit guys here who have had success.”

Craddock’s two latest recruits – power forward Luke Braund and point guard Klaus Figueiredo – certainly meet that standard.

Figueiredo helped the Alberta provincial U17 team to a national title in 2007, and won a 4A high school title with the Paul Kane Blues of St. Albert. He’s heading into his third year of eligibility, after playing two seasons of college ball for the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton.

Figueiredo fills a need at point guard for UFV, as veteran floor general Zeon Gray is planning to play professionally in Europe next season.

“He had some interest from the Alberta Universities – Calgary and U of A – and he chose us,” Craddock said. “I think he’s going to be an impact type of kid.”

Braund was a member of a B.C. AAA championship team with the St. George’s Saints of Vancouver in 2009. After redshirting with the Trinity Western Spartans in 2009-10, he planned to transfer to the University of Western Ontario before changing his mind.

“He decided to sit out this season,” Craddock explained. “He’s actually been studying at UFV since Christmas, taking classes and working. He sort of re-found his passion for basketball, and we’ve been talking to him for quite a while trying to get him to play here.”

At 6’5”, Braund boasts a smooth shooting stroke from beyond the three-point line.

Craddock’s previously announced recruits included Jordan Blackman, a guard out of Abbotsford’s Yale Secondary, and centre Mike James, a transfer from the University of Winnipeg.