For many high school basketball players, the last game of their senior year marks the end of their basketball career. To continue on at the college ranks is a rare opportunity, and one Pitt Meadows Marauders Air Force captain Trevor Severinski hopes to make the most of.
On Monday, Severinski signed his letter of intent to play for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies in Saskatoon, extending his hardwood career by as much as five years.
Severinski will receive a full scholarship while playing for the Huskies in Canadian Interuniversity Sports’ Canada West division.
One of the main things that attracted him to the University of Saskatchewan was the school’s agricultural program. When Severinski isn’t shooting hoops, he’s hauling hay, milking cows, and driving the tractor on the dairy farm his family manages in Maple Ridge.
“I’ve lived on a dairy farm my whole life, and I hope to work as a nutritionist for animals, “ he says. “[The University of Saskatchewan] is one of the top basketball programs in the country, and they have one of the best agricultural programs, so it’s the best of both worlds.”
After a season that saw him named to the first all-star team at the provincial finals, Severinski understandably garnered a lot of interest from B.C. schools, two of which – Thompson Rivers University and Trinity Western University – made him offers.
And while the Marauders season didn’t end with a provincial championship, Severinski has a long list of accomplishments to hang his hat on as his high school career comes to an end.
Pitt Meadows won the Fraser Valley Championships, the North Shore Invitational tournament, the WJ Mouat Hawkball tournament, their own Pitt Meadows Air Show, and placed in the top four at the Telus Basketball Classic for the first time ever.
Severinski and the Marauders also helped their head coach, Rich Goulet, reach the 1,000-win milestone with the senior team.
Severinski credits Goulet for holding him accountable and helping him develop strong fundamentals.
“Mr. Goulet really made the magic happen,” he says. “Without him, I wouldn’t be the player I am.”
Goulet considers Severinski to be one of the best players he’s ever coached in 40 years.
“He does so many things so well,” he says. At six-foot-six, Severinski has the size of a centre, but was also one of the school’s all-time leaders in three-point shooting.
For Severinski, one of the motivating forces driving him this season was the fact that he was cut from the provincial development team last year. After getting cut, Severinski resolved to prove the selectors wrong, and made a point of showing up any player who was picked ahead of him.
“It was a huge motivator,” he says. “Every time I stepped on the court, and I’d see someone who has [on Team B.C.], I had to show them I was better.”
Despite the fact that they normally don’t recruit B.C. players, University of Saskatchewan head coach Barry Rawlyk says Severinski is a good fit for his program for a number of reasons.
“Pitt Meadows is well known for having a very strong, very disciplined program, with an emphasis on defence,” Rawlyk says. “That’’s where a lot of high school students are behind. [Severinski] has a very good skill set, and is a very well-rounded player, and that will allow him to transition a lot easier.”
However, it is Severinski’s background and character that most impresses Rawlyk.
The Severinski family’s local basketball legacy has been well documented. Both Severinski’s father, Leroy, and mother, Darlene, both played AAA high school basketball, as does his sister Danica, who is a member of the Maple Ridge Ramblers.
“That’s big,” says Rawlyk. “They will support him in all his endeavors, and that support will help him be successful.”
Severinski’s composure on and off the court also impresses Rawlyk.
“He carries himself well and he doesn’t get rattled,” he says. “Beyond the basketball, he has personal intangibles that will help his development and help him succeed.
“He’s a quality kid with all sorts of potential to blossom.”