Peter Greaves had a stellar high school basketball career at Vanier Secondary. The 6’8” centre will join the men’s basketball team at UBC Okanagan in Kelowna. File photo

Courtenay basketball star jumping to U Sports level in Kelowna

Peter Greaves, a 6’8” centre who was part of three Island championship-winning teams at Vanier Secondary in Courtenay, has signed a letter of intent to play basketball at UBC Okanagan in Kelowna. The team competes at the U Sports level, but might be playing in a local league while the coronavirus pandemic wears on.

“My goal is to get at least second team all-star for this coming year,” Greaves said, noting the UBCO men’s team is in a restructuring phase. “I think if we come to a winning streak, it could make a lot of us young guys on the team look quite good.”

He hopes head coach Clayton Pottinger — who captained the national championship-winning U of Alberta team in 1994 —injects some “new knowledge” into the UBCO basketball program, which has competed in U Sports for less than a decade.

“I hope I can make it far enough to bring a poster or statue back to the school,” he said with a laugh.

Greaves had a stellar high school basketball career. He earned numerous all-star awards, and was a top 10 selection for the 4A division of senior boys basketball in B.C. The three Island championships are a first for Vanier.

He was chosen for the Island all-star game, and would have played in the provincial all-star game, but both were cancelled due to COVID-19. He received monetary scholarships from the BC High School Boys Basketball Association, and from Vanier.

Towhees coach Larry Street said Greaves’ long hours of personal development have paid off. Along with training at Vanier, Greaves also developed his game each summer with the provincial team program, and with the Vancouver-based AthElite Basketball Academy.

Street said the possible delay in U Sports league play “may be a blessing” and allow Greaves to better prepare.

“It’s always hard for freshmen,” Street said. “It’s a big jump. He’s got to learn now to play at a more physical level and play harder. It’ll come…I think he’s willing to work.”

Over the years, Greaves said Street has been “super helpful” with his development as a youth and as a high school player.

“He kind of paved the way for my years. I hope he keeps doing the summer camps. I still wear one of the shirts.”

Two of his Vanier teammates, Jakob Tortorelli and Macyn Leopkey-Johnson, were also selected to play in the Island all-star game, which was slated for early April in Victoria. Tortorelli also received a monetary scholarship bursary from the BC Basketball Association. He plans to attend the University of Victoria. Leopkey-Johnson will be attending Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops in the fall.

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