Langley Gator heads to Interior university

Josh Mayorga is taking his basketball talents to Kamloops starting in the fall of 2014.

The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s basketball team have signed the 6’5” forward, who was a member of the 2013 B.C. Triple A senior boys high school champion Walnut Grove Gators.

Head coach Scott Clark announced that the team has signed Josh Mayorga to a letter of intent for the 2014-15 season.

Mayorga is the WolfPack’s second recruit for the upcoming Canada West season. 

A native of London, Ont., Mayorga was a first team all-star at last March’s provincial tournament held at the Langley Events Centre.

“He is a really good basketball player,” Clark says about Mayorga, who played Grade 11 at H.B. Beal Secondary in London, Ont. “During that time, he was a junior national team invitation player. He didn’t make the team but was invited to the tryout camp. 

Mayorga moved to B.C. in Grade 12, Clark added.

“He does a lot of things well,” Clark continued. “He can shoot from the perimeter, he can dribble it and rebounds. He has some grit and toughness in the area of rebounding.”

 Clark explains what he liked about Mayorga when he scouted him: “You look for guys who can play multiple positions offensively and can guard multiple positions defensively and Josh can do that. He is a really good kid and that is a great thing as well. I also thought he was a top five kid coming out of high school in B.C. last year. We are pleased to be able to sign him.”

Mayorga will take Bachelor of Arts courses at TRU with an eye to majoring in history.

He was succinct in describing why he chose Thompson Rivers to go to university: “Up and coming program, good coach, and great guys.”

Mayorga believes he has to improve every aspect of his game in order to make the jump to CIS.

Veteran Gators head coach George Bergen says he wished he could have had Josh Mayorga for all five years of his high school development. 

“Josh is capable of shutting down anyone. He could defend against every position. His strength is his toughness. He is very effective in tough situations on the basketball court: rebounding, passing, defending, getting after loose balls.”

Bergen believes Mayorga will adapt quickly to life in the Canada West.  

“His game should suit the CIS perfectly,” he said. “I believe he could step in right now and contribute in many ways both offensively and defensively. Josh never backs down.”

Mayorga played a definitive role on Bergen’s championship Walnut Grove squad in 2012/13. 

“He could play the point guard position if he had to. He could play shooting guard or small forward, but he played a power game for our team.”

Clark says Mayorga and other recruits for 2014/15 come in at a good time in the ’Pack cycle with three veterans: Brett Rouault (Vernon),  Tallon Milne (Vanderhoof) and Brett Parker (Langley) all set to enter their fifth year of eligibility.  

“When you get into a pretty good situation your turnover is similar to what you are bringing in. You hope your older guys will teach your younger players about the culture. The culture is created by the players: their attitude, their effort and the environment they create,” Clark said. “It is more about them and not the coach. You hope your older players leave a legacy for the younger players by teaching them.”

FREE THROWS: Bergen coached Parker in high school. He and Mayorga are similar. 

“Brett is an all time favourite of mine,” he said. 

“Both players will never stop working and both have the ability to make teammates believe they can get better and win.” 

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