REGINA, SK–Regina, Saskatchewan isn’t necessarily what you call an NCAA hot bed as far as Canadian talent is concerned.
Nevertheless, Joe De Ciman from Leboldus Secondary has challenged the norm in becoming Saskatchewan’s seventh player all-time that will compete at the NCAA D1 level.
Current Junior National Team member Trey Lyles (Indiana), Ryan Mitchell (Stephen Austin), Aaron Bell (Sacramento State), Kirk Homenick (USC), Marc Van Burck (Colorado/ Cornell), & Kai Williams (South Dakota State) round out the six others, according to Barry Hayes of Hoop Stars Canada.
De Ciman already has international experience under his belt as a member of a remarkable U17 Canadian National team in 2010, where he played along side the likes of Kevin Pangos (Gonzaga), Anthony Bennett (UNLV), Negus Webster-Chan (Missouri), Olivier Hanlan (Boston College) and Andrew Wiggins to name a few.
He also recently took part in the first ever Red and White game that featured the final 17 players before the U18 Junior Mens National team roster was composed.
Although De Ciman did not make the cut, the time spent competing against the nation’s finest certainly assisted with his growth.
“National team experience will always help because you get the chance to compete with the best players in Canada and get high level coaching from the program,” he explained.
Last November, we had the opportunity to witness him capture the Northern Exposure Camp MVP in Calgary, where he showcased his strength and athleticism.
De Ciman says selecting Colorado State came down to trust and comfortability with his new home.
“The main factor was a trust with the coaches on my first visit…a beautiful city of Fort Collins and the opportunity to play in one of the best conferences in the country in the Mountain West.”
While De Ciman’s role for the Rams is yet to be defined as an incoming freshman due to a new coaching staff, he will step on campus and soak everything up.
“I am willing to learn and take advice from seniors on the team to help me adjust to the college level.”
Entering his freshman season could be a challenge as it will be a big transition from high school hoops in Saskatchewan. However, he did not look out of place during the Canadian junior national team try outs…refreshing to hear if you’re a Colorado State fan.