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UFV Cascades men’s basketball sign pair of B.C. talents

White Rock’s Marcus Flores, Victoria’s Takeshi Croke joining UFV for 2023-24
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The UFV Cascades men’s basketball team has added White Rock’s Marcus Flores and Victoria’s Takeshi Croke for the 2023-24 Canada West season. (UFV Athletics photo)

The University of the Fraser Valley Cascades men’s basketball team has added White Rock’s Marcus Flores and Victoria’s Takeshi Croke for the 2023-24 Canada West season.

Flores, a 6-7 forward, helped the Semiahmoo Totems win the 2023 4A provincial championship last month. He was named a second team all-star at that tournament.

“You want to bring in guys who have won championships,” stated UFV head coach Joe Enevoldson. “When you do that, they just know how to win.”

“Rebounding wise, and defensively, he’s going to be able to step on the floor in a CW game right away, and he’s going to be a big part of our culture moving forward. He’s been very well coached over the course of the last couple of years and he’s a winner that makes winning basketball plays.”

Flores said it was Enevoldson who convinced him to choose the UFV Cascades team.

“The coach reached out to me in early January and we just had a great conversation about who I was as a player – he really seemed to understand my game,” Flores said Tuesday.

“I felt like we had a really good connection and that he understood me.”

RELATED: Semiahmoo senior boys Thunderbirds bring blue banner home for first time in school’s history

Flores plans to study kinesiology for four years, then earn a Master’s degree in physiotherapy.

“I want to be a physio(therapist) – I was inspired by my physio(therapist) – I’ve been going to physio for the past two years and it’s been a super cool experience,” he said.

Having already scrimmaged a few times with his new teammates, Flores is looking forward to the 2023-2024 season.

“They’ve got some really good people – I’m really excited to play with them,” he said. “I’m excited to be there.”

Croke just finished his third year with the Camosun Chargers of the Pacwest conference and will transfer to UFV. He was named to the Pacwest all-rookie team in 2020 and earned Pacwest first team all-star and CCAA all-Canadian status in 2022.

“With Takeshi, we’re adding a CCAA All-Canadian at a very integral position,” explained Enevoldson.

“We are bringing in a great culture guy who will be a great fit into the team system. From a basketball perspective you’re getting a good athlete who can run a team and is a leader – I’m looking forward to coaching him.”

This past season he averaged 12.1 points per game and earned a provincial bronze medal with the Chargers. The 6-2 guard also averaged 13.8 ppg and 5.4 rebounds per game with Camosun in the 2021-22 season.

The pair join a Cascades team that finished with a regular season record of 9-11 and then were eliminated by the Brandon Bobcats in the playoffs on Feb. 17.

– with files from Tricia Weel

RELATED: UFV Cascades sunk by Brandon’s three-point shooting in Canada West play-in

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Ben Lypka

About the Author: Ben Lypka

I joined the Abbotsford News in 2015.
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