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Stud big man KC Ibekwe leads Centaurs to victory

KC Ibekwe gets up to tip in the basketball.

In the third quarter of the first game of Day 3 at The Big Ticket, Centennial Centaurs centre KC Ibekwe put up 13 points. The Centaurs together scored 15 that quarter.

KC Ibekwe has a quiet confidence about him, and on the court, he’s a quiet dominator.

Ibekwe’s ability to come through for his team when they need it most is likely because at such a young age, he is able to pick his spots and play within his team’s style of play. The North Surrey Spartans were leading the Centaurs 25 – 24 at half. Heading into the fourth, it was 39 – 28 for Centennial.

For Grade 10er Ibekwe, who was 5’11” at 11 years old, then 6’1” in Grade 8, and now 6’6”, getting better is always the goal. “I’ve especially been working on my post moves – that’s what I need to work on – and I worked on my shooting form a lot over the summer,” he said. He also spends time with the seniors, trying to improve his footwork.

KC Ibekwe towers over defenders as he tries to score the basketball.

After the game, Ibekwe reflected on the difference between the first two games and the third, their first win at The Big Ticket. “I think we more aggressive, we were not afraid to hold the ball and we were ready to go in and get a dub.”

As Ibekwe continues to improve, it helps Centaurs Head Coach, Alan Kaselj, who can play more to the strengths of his big man.

“We just want to really move the ball, get the ball into our big man, KC Ibekwe, who’s one of the best post players in the province,” said the coach. The team’s willingness to feed the ball inside is balanced and complemented by a pace and space style, lead by guard Nick Yang and wing player Arjun Panju.

All in all, though, the most important thing for Coach Kaselj and his team heading into the new season was getting the win. “We lost two really close games on Monday and Tuesday,” said Kaselj. “So, for the kids to put it all together, get that sour taste out of their mouths, it was really nice to see them bounce back.”

“It’s kind of nice to go into practice next week with a win under our belt and get ready for league play,” said the Centaurs’ coach.

Plus, the benefits of doing so without the losses going on record is one of the many reasons Coach Kaselj is a big fan of The Big Ticket. “We needed to get some games under our belt before league starts and other tournaments, so it’s awesome to get games right away,” said Kaselj.

Equally important was the fact that all teams get to play at least three games, regardless the results. “Obviously you want to win and play Thursday and Friday, but just to know that you’re going to get your guys 3 games is really, really important,” added Coach Kaselj about the format of The Big Ticket.

By ending The Big Ticket on a positive note, Kaselj and his boys have a positive outlook going into the season and all year long, you can expect KC Ibekwe to quietly go about his business.

Written by: Mohak Sood

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