Print Edition: November 27, 2013
Although last weekend’s basketball game at the Saville Centre saw the Golden Bears reign victorious over the visiting University of the Fraser Valley Cascades by a score of 94–66 on Friday night, the game against UFV held more significance given the recent personal history between the two squads that goes beyond simply being Canada West rivals.
With former CIS all-Canadian and ex-Cascades guard Joel Friesen sitting out of the Bears lineup on Friday due to a fractured scaphoid, longtime teammate and backcourt partner Jasper Moedt hit the court Friday against the Bears, unable to face-off against his former teammate. They weren’t able to play one another last year either, due to CIS transfer restrictions on both players.
Friesen and Moedt played on the same starting roster for more than five years, starting back in high school at Yale Secondary in Abbotsford, where they also earned a provincial championship in the highest division in British Columbia.
“Not playing with Jasper [has been] a big change after being on the same starting roster for five-plus years,” Friesen said of his former teammate’s absence beside him in the backcourt, and his adjustment to playing at Alberta. “[Although] the team hasn’t changed much since I first arrived, it’s more [about] just learning [a] player’s tendencies in a game situation.”
At UFV, both Friesen and Moedt had the opportunity to play under current Bears head coach Barnaby Craddock, the bench boss for the Cascades when the two men played there. When both his head coach and longtime friend and teammate left to be a part of the Bears organization two summers ago, Moedt said that he faced a very tough decision regarding his basketball career and where it would continue.
“Last year was a tough transition year,” Moedt said. “I actually spent 3-4 months up with the team at U of A last fall as I initially came to be a Golden Bear when coach Craddock left [UFV]. Academically, it just didn’t fit, and my credits didn’t transfer well, so it didn’t work. Coming back to University of the Fraser Valley again this year has been a brand-new experience as it is a new team and new coach.”
Despite not being able to face off against each other on Friday due to Friesen’s injury, Moedt and the fourth-year Bears guard were still excited for the game, even though only one of them would be out on the court.
“As far as Friday night goes I am really excited to get out and play,” Moedt said before tip-off. “It is too bad Joel is not playing, because I always thought I would have a good time [playing] against him, but aside from that I’m just looking forward to seeing some good guys and competing.”
Moedt led his team in scoring with 12 points against the Bears.
Both he and Friesen took a redshirt year during their respective CIS careers due to ACL tears before they eventually started together for the Cascades. For Friesen, seeing his friend and former teammate do well is not something that unnerves him.
“He can go for 50 as long we get the W,” Friesen said of his former teammate.