Men’s basketball team recruits five new Golden Hawks

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Photo by Sadman Sakib Rahman

The Wilfrid Laurier University men’s basketball team have added five new recruits for the 2018-19 season.

Head coach Justin Serresse will work with two new guards and three new forwards going into his third year with the Hawks.

“We wanted to have one player at each position and we somewhat did it. I’m happy with that because knowing that we’re going to lose a few guys in a couple of years, I wanted to make sure we have depth at every position. We’re going to lose nine guys over the next two years so we need to have a complete roster right now,” coach Serresse said.

At guard, Jackson Mayers and Branko Damjanovic will compete for starting spots with the surplus of talent that the Hawks already have in the back court. Mayers is transferring from the University of Ottawa after missing all of last season with an injury.

The London, Ont. native is an important addition to the Hawks due to his size, speed and all-around solid play.

Kitchener native Branko Damjanovic will provide instant offense for Laurier. Damjanovic finished as a top 15 scorer in the National Preparatory Association last year.

It’s going to be an intriguing 2018-19 season for the Golden Hawks and with the added amount of talent available at coach Serresse’s disposal, you can once again expect a season of exciting basketball at Laurier.

In the front court, the three new student-athletes include Zach Douglas from London, Ont., Majok Deng out of Surrey, B.C. and Kitchener’s own Milan Roknic.

Deng, who stands at 6’8, will provide much needed length and rim protection for the Hawks, while Roknic is a perimeter threat. Douglas only started his basketball career two years ago. However, Douglas impressed the Hawks with his athleticism and he will be a long term project for coach Serresse.   

The five rookies will be joining a team that has made the playoffs in consecutive years and coach Serresse expects them to contribute right away. “I look at the year as a whole. When we start in August, everyone has a chance to showcase their talent. That being said, all the recruits have to understand that everybody needs to get better,” he said.

“If you want to help [the team], you have got to bring it every day because that’s how you get better and that’s how you make the team better. If they don’t match everyone else’s intensity, then it’s not going to be good for us or them.”

“I’ve spoken to some of them and what I’ve told them is that the torch is going to be passed on to you and we hope that the torch is going to be lit on fire while you are carrying it. That’s the way the better programs are doing it. Guys come in, they learn, they train, they get minutes,” Serresse added.

“They go from role players to leaders and they help out the next generation. I’m hoping that’s what is going to happen.”

It’s going to be an intriguing 2018-19 season for the Golden Hawks and with the added amount of talent available at coach Serresse’s disposal, you can once again expect a season of exciting basketball at Laurier.

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