Joseph Vance is intrigued by the possibility of playing for the UNBC Timberwolves.
Vance, a 22-year-old point guard from Vancouver, Wash., was in Prince George for last weekend's season-ending games between the UNBC men's basketball team and the Mount Royal University Cougars.
Based on what he experienced, suiting up for the 2013-14 Timberwolves is something he can picture himself doing.
"It's been a heck of a visit," said Vance, who watched UNBC lose 99-91 to Mount Royal on Friday night and bounce back with an 83-68 victory on Saturday. Both games were played at the Northern Sport Centre in front of large and vocal crowds.
"[The atmosphere] is probably the No. 1 thing I was impressed by -- the fan support, how energetic it was, how much passion was in the building," Vance added. "The teams that were playing were both on losing streaks so to get crowds like that, it's great to know that even when you're on a bad streak the fans around here will still support you."
Vance, who stands an even six feet, already has two years of college basketball experience to his credit. In his first year out of high school, he attended Linfield College, an NCAA Division 3 school in McMinnville, Ore. Vance then played for Linn-Benton Community College in Albany, Ore., in 2011-12 and took a hiatus this season to consider his options. He did get a couple offers in the States but then heard about basketball north of the border, specifically the Canada West conference of Canadian Interuniversity Sport.
"I contacted a couple coaches and came up here [to Prince George] and I've been nothing but impressed," he said.
Vance considers his "basketball IQ" to be his biggest asset.
"I really understand the game," he said. "I've been playing it all my life and been around it all my life. I'm a shooter and a distributor. I can knock down the open shot pretty well and I really like to get guys involved and elevate other guys' games."
In December of 2011, Vance hit for 37 points in a 103-100 Linn-Benton win against Yakima Valley. In that contest, he went 14-for-20 from the field, including 4-for-6 from outside the three-point line. He also had four assists and two steals.
Next season, Vance could help fill a massive void in the UNBC backcourt, one created by the departure of graduates Sam Raphael, Francis Rowe, Joel Rybachuk and Jose Araujo.
"Those guys were some good players," Vance said. "They graduate a lot of minutes and a lot of points, and I've been around the block. I've been playing for 15 years so I think I'd be very ready to step right in and pick up where those guys left off."
Vance said he's considering playing at a couple other CIS schools but hasn't yet visited any other campuses. For now, UNBC is at the top of his list.
"The league itself is really what intrigues me," he said. "I'd have three years [of eligibility] here and I really want to play a few more years and try to pursue something after that, even. I like the idea of having three more years to grow my game before I get out in the real world."