Vancouver Basketball is excited to introduce our newest contributor, Marek Klassen. Marek will be bringing his insights from a decorated BC high school, US college, and now overseas professional career to the Vancouver Basketball audience. With a passion for giving back matched by his talent on the court, Marek will be using our platform to help the next generation of ball players understand what it takes to play at “The Next Level” and achieve their goals.
For his first piece, Vancouver Basketball sent some questions all the way to Turkey for Marek where he discussed some of his accomplishments, where he’s from and what he wants to do with Basketball in the future.
VB: You’ve been away from home for quite some time now, but where did you get your start playing basketball in Vancouver?
MK: I played high school basketball in Abbotsford for Yale Secondary from 2006-2010. I won two provincial championships. First in 2008 and second in 2010, where I was AAAA MVP and won Player of the Year for British Columbia.
VB: That’s not a bad resume at all. Can you tell us a bit about your post-secondary career?
MK: After high school I attended Point Loma Nazarene University(PLNU) in Southern California. At Point Loma, I was a dual sport athlete and ran Track in addition to playing Basketball. I was a four year starter and became a two-time All-American. Winning freshman of the year for the Pacwest Conference and being in the Point Loma all time Top 10 record books for Points, Assists and Steals are some of my highlights. I graduated in 2015 with a Business Undergraduate degree and a Masters in Business Administration/ Entrepreneurship.
VB: You’re now a three-year pro. Walk us through your professional journey.
MK: Following Point Loma I signed my first contract as a pro to play in Romania. Since then, I have played in England and am now currently playing for Bakirköy Basketball Club in Turkey.
I have been playing pro basketball for 3 years now. It was a goal of mine for as far back as I can remember to be a pro, and realizing that dream has been an incredible roller coaster ride of emotions and actions.
VB: Why is it so important for you to give back to the basketball community?
MK: Playing pro has given me huge goals and aspirations of giving back to the youth of today! More than anything I want to provide young hoopers with some insight on how to dream big and achieve their goals. I'm a huge believer that a major reason I’m where I am today is because my Dad did his best to have me around a lot of pro athletes as a young man. Most people don’t have that luxury. So through platforms like this, I can help the readers understand how a pro thinks and what it takes to push yourself to the next level. In the end, I think most people want to work hard to accomplish their goals, but either lack resources or direction. I’m here to provide a small dose of direction and be a resource to any who need it.
VB: For the young players reading this right now, what would be the most important piece of advice you would like to share with them?
MK: If you have big dreams it’s time to develop a growth mindset and double down on yourself.
Vancouver Basketball is very excited to have Marek sharing his journey from Abbotsford to an overseas pro. Young hoopers, take note. Keep your eyes open for Marek’s next post, but until then, good luck during your season!
Follow Marek on Instagram at @marek_klassen. Marek is open to questions at any time and would love to hear your thoughts on his journals.