Dynamic debut for Dino

Matt Letkeman was a force for Abbotsford’s Yale Lions

Matt Letkeman was a force for Abbotsford’s Yale Lions

A player with Chilliwack connections has been named rookie of the year in CIS men’s basketball.

Matt Letkeman grew up in Chilliwack, attending Mt. Slesse middle school in Grades 7 to 9.

In Grade 10, Letkeman’s family moved to Abbotsford, where he played for the high school hoops powerhouse Yale Lions. The Lions won a AAA provincial title in 2009-10.

Letkeman made the leap to university basketball this season, taking first-year kinesiology courses at the University of Calgary.

Letkeman played big minutes for the Dinos, starting 19 of 24 conference games while logging better than 19 minutes per match.

The six-foot-seven forward averaged 8.5 points per game with his .503 field-goal percentage ranked 15th in the Canada West conference.

Letkeman posted a season-high 24 points on Feb. 5 and recorded a pair of double-doubles. He also finished top-15 in blocked shots with 15.

“Matt was a big bright spot for us this year,” said Calgary head coach Dan Vanhooren. “Not only is he a great player, but he’s a great student and teammate. He’s going to be a big part of our team for years to come. On the court he brought physical size and presence, and he had some big nights that really helped us win some basketball games with our line-up as bruised and battered as it was. We’re looking forward to building on that in the coming years.”

The Dinos went 8-16 this year, placing ninth in the 13 team circuit while missing the playoffs.