Guenther commits to Okanagan College

Daily Herald File Photo Josh Guenther works his way by David Dimaano of the Lloydminster Barons during the 2019 St. Mary Marauders Invitational tournament.

After four seasons with the Carlton Crusaders basketball team, Josh Guenther will be heading to British Columbia for the next step in his career.

Guenther, who stands 6’4” and weighs 180 lbs., has committed to the Kelowna-based Okanagan College Coyotes for the 2020-21 season and will compete against other schools from B.C. in the PacWest Conference.

“Everything came together in the last month and it’s been super exciting,” Guenther said. “I’ve put in a lot of work to play basketball at the next level and it means a lot to have that opportunity.

The Coyotes finished in third position in PacWest regular season play last year with a 10-8 record and ended up with a fourth place finish at the conference tournament.

“The coach (Dino Gini) is a super nice guy and he told me that the energy that is around the team really helps to bring to the school together,” Guenther said.

“The atmosphere that the students bring for the home games makes things really exciting and everyone there is super committed to the sport of basketball.”

Although he doesn’t know anyone that is currently a member of the Coyotes, Guenther will be joined by a familiar face from the Rise Above club program in Saskatoon.

“Blake Anderson (who is from Weyburn and played for the Eagles high school program) is someone that I’ve known for a long time and it’s going to be really cool to have him out there,” said Guenther, who plans to study business administration in Kelowna.

This past season saw Guenther help the Crusaders earn the second overall seed for the 5A boys’ rural regional tournament in Weyburn in March, but that event was cancelled due to job action by the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation, which came shortly before all high schools in the province were shut down due to COVID-19.

He also earned an invite to the 2020 Senior All Star Classic, which was postponed due to the pandemic.

“I thought we had a pretty good chance of making it to Hoopla this year, but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be,” Guenther said. “Things happen though and you just have to move on…there’s nothing you can do about it now.”

After playing all over the court during high school, Guenther expects that he’ll more than likely start his post-secondary career as a shooting guard or as a point guard, which are his natural positions.

“Being able to learn every position really helped me out as I got to focus on defence in every aspect of the game,” Guenther said. “I also feel like my shot got a lot better during these last few years, especially my mid-range jumper and three-point shot.

“As I get ready for the next level, the biggest thing I’m going to be working on is to get my weight up, especially as I’ll be moving into a tougher league and playing against older guys who are a lot more built than I am at the moment.”