Star Rattler to play on college team

Star Rattler to play on college team

Fans react as Gurlal Dhaliwal advances with the ball in a game earlier this season. (Richard McGuire photo)

By Richard McGuire

A star player from the Osoyoos Rattlers senior basketball team, Gurlal Dhaliwal, has been selected to play with the Okanagan College Coyotes during the upcoming season.

Dhaliwal, 18, graduated recently from Osoyoos Secondary School (OSS) and he plans to study business at Okanagan College in Kelowna.

“I was one of 90 kids who tried out,” said Dhaliwal, adding that most of the others were in their second or third year of college.

Those trying out were narrowed to 22, then 18 and finally to 12 players of which Dhaliwal was one.

“There are only three kids that are in first year and I’m one of them,” he said. “I’m the only single A kid on the team.”

Dhaliwal, who is six feet, five inches tall, towered over his teammates on the Rattlers. On his new team, however, he says he’ll be more in the middle height-wise with three or four teammates taller than him.

Rattler’s Coach Casey Brouwer was excited by the news.

“I am very proud of him and all that he has accomplished in his years at OSS,” said Brouwer. “He is a great player and a great person.”

Brouwer added that Dhaliwal was named most valuable player for the 2016-17 senior boys basketball team.

“He will be missed,” Brouwer added. “He was a great asset to the team. I’m very happy to see him carry on with basketball.”

Brouwer said Dhaliwal is the first player he’s coached to go on and play at the college level.

“I am looking forward to attending some of his games,” he said. “If Gurlal continues to work hard and is focused, he has potential of going far with basketball.”

Dhaliwal said he’s been playing basketball since he was about six years old. He started with the junior Rattlers in Grade 8.

In Grade 10, although he was a junior, he played on the senior team before becoming a senior in grades 11 and 12.

He’s happy with the time he spent with the Rattlers, who had a strong season until they were defeated in the Valleys playoffs tournament.

“It was a fun experience,” he said. “I learned a lot and had really good relationships with the coaches and the players.”

Also during his time in Grades 10 to 12, Dhaliwal played in Kelowna with the University of British Columbia (Okanagan) junior heat team.

He also was on a B regional team in Kelowna and during grades 10 and 11 he played with the GINI Elite Basketball Academy from Kelowna as well.

His schedule for the coming season isn’t yet confirmed, but Dhaliwal said he could be playing with his new team as early as this month.