Some big names from the past will be in the house, using their ample skills against the current edition of the UNBC Timberwolves.
On Saturday night at the Northern Sport Centre, the UNBC men's basketball program will hold its annual alumni game. The contest will bring former stars like Inderbir Gill, Matt Mills, Jesse Smith, Jay Gladish and Jari Deutsch back to town and will give the 2012-13 Timberwolves a chance to test themselves after almost a month of practices.
This year's UNBC team is preparing for its first season in the Canada West conference of Canadian Interuniversity Sport.
"More than anything, that weekend is about getting the alumni guys up and having that connection between the current guys and the guys who have played and moved on to different things," said Timberwolves coach Todd Jordan. "The other thing is, it will be our first real run this year, playing against another team, so that will be a good first game to get the rust off the wheels a little bit."
Gill, Mills and Smith were all members of the UNBC team that won a Canadian Colleges Athletic Association national championship in 2010. Gill, from Spokane, Wash., was recognized as an All-Canadian in each of his three seasons with the T-wolves and was the CCAA's male athlete of the year in 2010.
As for the present-day Timberwolves, veterans like Sam Raphael, Francis Rowe, Jose Araujo and Charles Barton have been setting the tone in practice sessions. But, Jordan has also been impressed with a couple of rookies from Surrey -- namely Gagan Sahota and Navjot Bains. Sahota is a six-foot-five perimeter player and Bains is a six-foot-six forward/post.
"[Sahota] has got a bit of a natural scoring touch, which I like," Jordan said. "He's shooting the ball pretty well. And Navjot Bains, he's learning every day and I think he's really going to develop and be a good player for us down the road. I'm pretty excited about those guys and what they've shown me. They have ample potential."
The Timberwolves will see their first pre-season action Oct. 5-6 when the Grande Prairie Regional College Wolves stop in Prince George for a double-dip at the NSC. The following weekend, the UNBC men will be at the University of Waterloo for more exhibition contests. The team will also play some games in the Lower Mainland before the start of the Canada West season. UNBC's regular-season opener is Nov. 2 in Kamloops against the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack.
Jordan said this year's Timberwolves are "right up there with the best teams the school has ever had" and he's excited about the test that lies ahead of his squad.
"Obviously it's going to be a big challenge playing at the CIS level against bigger and better athletes but it's something we're really looking forward to with our veterans who have been in the college league for three or four years," he said.
The alumni game will start at 7 p.m.
Admission is by donation.