Not too many guards in BC are able to score and make their teammates better at the same time. That’s why Suraj Gahir of North Delta might not only be one of the top guards at the AAA level, but in the province as well. After a strong grade 11 season that saw himself and the North Delta Huskies finish third at provincials, Gahir is primed to be a leader on and off the court for his team next season.
“Individually I think I had a good year, but I didn’t get the main thing (the provincial championship)” said Gahir talking to BC Sports Hub. “So it was kind of a sad season at the end. But overall, I got Fraser Valley MVP so I think it was a good year.”
“I expect Suraj to be a leader on and off the court for the Huskies in 2019” said North Delta head coach Gary Sandhu. “Last year Suraj took a back seat when it came to the off court leadership role last year because he respected the senior players on the team, and he felt it was their role as senior members in our program.
Many people outside of our program don't know that. They see him play and automatically think he is the team leader and captain, but last year's team was led by Armaan Johal [and] Brandon Bassi.
What makes Gahir such an effective player is not only his ability to score, but also to facilitate the offence around him. In the semifinal game against Byrne Creek, he finished with 19 points and six assists, to go along with 11 rebounds. It’s something that he stresses is a big part of his game.
“I like to get my teammates involved a lot” Gahir said. “I think when everyone is playing as a team, then we are more effective than one person scoring. If we have all five guys scoring, then the other team has to worry about five guys than just the one.”
There isn’t much lacking in Gahir’s game but his plans for the offseason are clear; get stronger for his senior season.
That’s what all my coaches, parents, and family are telling me” he said on his offseason plans. “So I have to get stronger, and also my handle. Sometimes it’s a little loose so I have to get that tighter.”
Although far into the future, his plans for after high school are clear as well; get a Division I offer to play basketball.
“I want to get a division I offer and play somewhere in the states hopefully” he said on his future plans. From there, we’ll see how it goes. I’m just trying to go as far as I can.”
“If he gains weight, fills out his body and really takes on the leadership role on and off the court, I feel Suraj can play at the Division I level, I have no doubt about that” said his head coach at North Delta. “Suraj is the hardest working basketball player I have seen in all my years of coaching, he comes in for seven am practices for skill work and he works on his game everyday, and [coach] Hundal puts him through the paces during morning sessions.
I don't know any kids that have done that in our program over the last decade. He lives, eats, and sleeps, basketball.”
We will have to wait and see if the hard work and dedication to the game will result in a provincial championship, but Suraj Gahir will be one of the players to keep an eye on next season.
Written by: Nick Bondi