From the Saskatchewan Huskies
SASKATOON, Sask. – It was a big week for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies men’s basketball as head coach Barry Rawlyk welcomed three new recruits to the program.
All have taken different paths to end up in Saskatoon. There is a Junior College transfer from California, a Saskatoon local with incredibly deep ties to the Huskies and a Saskatchewan product who returns to the Prairies with NCAA Division 1 experience. While all three have their own unique experiences they will bring to the program, the one thing they have in common is that they are sure to be key pieces in the Huskies’ hunt for a fifth-consecutive playoff berth.
Originally from Flint Michigan, Marquavian Stephens joins the Huskies by way of Southwestern Community College in Chula Vista, California. A 6-3 guard, Stephens brings an impressive resume to Saskatoon after he was named the MVP of the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference in each of the two seasons he suited up for Southwestern.
“We are very excited to add a player of Marquavian’s skill, athleticism, and character to our program. Just as many other prospects from the California Junior College ranks have had a major positive impact for our program on the court and in the community, we expect that Marquavian will play a major role in our success. He is a very personable young man with an incredible work ethic and a true passion for the game of basketball,” said Rawlyk.
Intending to join the College of Kinesiology, Stephens averaged 19.0 points-per-game last year and during his time with Southwestern the team didn’t lose a conference game in two seasons.
“I felt like it was the perfect opportunity for me to play high level basketball but also a good way for me to get prepared for where I want to go next,” said Stephens. “It’s a blessing to have the opportunity to play for a school and community like the University of Saskatchewan.”
Seth Jones and Huskie Athletics go hand-in-hand. The Saskatoon local comes from a family of iconic figures in Huskie history. His father Kirk played Huskie basketball from 1983-87, helping the team capture a share of the first regular season first place finish in program history. His mother Joanna competed with the track & field team from 1984-98, winning a Canada West title in 1986-87. On top of all of that, Seth’s cousin Andrew Spagrud is one of, if not the, most accomplished athletes in program history sitting atop the team record books in points (2,182), rebounds (1,039) and steals (221).
As for Seth himself, the 6-5 forward has starred for the Walter Murray Marauders, being named team MVP this past season. The BRIT three-point competition winner has also suited up for Team Saskatchewan the past two years.
“Continuing with our goal of attracting the best local talent to our program, we are very happy to welcome Seth to our team. His family has some very strong ties to the men’s basketball program at the University of Saskatchewan, and he has tremendous potential to develop into an outstanding university level student-athlete. Seth has demonstrated that he is very coachable and not afraid to make a full commitment to reaching his full potential as a student-athlete,” said Rawlyk.
The future computer science major will be joining the team with some ties of his own, having played for current assistant coach Dan Dewar at Walter Murray.
“My parents and my cousin were Huskie Athletes,” said Jones on joining the team. “The Huskies have a strong program with a fantastic facility, and provide an opportunity to compete at the U SPORTS level.”
Returning back to Saskatchewan to complete a basketball journey that has taken him throughout the United States, Regina product Tyrese Potoma will bring plenty of high-level experience to the Huskies.
Named Mr. Basketball Saskatchewan in 2017, Potoma led the Campbell Collegiate Tartans to a provincial championship. After a year at the DME Sports Academy in Florida, Potoma joined the Laramie County Community College Golden Eagles where he was a team captain and averaged 18.8 points-per-game.
“We are thrilled to be able to add a player of Tyrese’s caliber to our program. He has played at a high level and is ready to step in and be a major contributor to our success this upcoming season. We expect him to be very successful both on the court and in the classroom, as he has shown the discipline to excel as a student-athlete,” said Rawlyk.
Parlaying that success in Wyoming into an opportunity to compete at the highest level, Potoma suited up for the NCAA Division 1 Cleveland State Vikings, appearing in 19 games for the Vikings last year before making the decision to return to Saskatchewan, where athletes are eligible for five seasons of play rather than four in the NCAA.
“I chose to commit to USask because of the extra year of eligibility as well as for the chance to be able to play in front of my friends and family,” said Potoma. “With all of the returning players on the team I feel that we have a good shot of making it all the way to the U SPORTS National Championship tournament.”
– T. Bennett