High School

Understated and Underrated: Meet Jacob Mand

This past off-season is what has lead me to an outstanding start to the high school season. It began in April when I was fortunate enough to play for The Academy for the second consecutive AAU season. The Academy is composed of an exceptional group of players and coaches who each and every day push one another to be at their finest. From the early morning conditioning sessions to individual training sessions, we all poured blood sweat and tears into that season. For myself I could not recall having an off day that summer. Each day I was tenacious to work on my craft and my body. That’s something I knew my fellow opposition wouldn’t be doing, and as a result I found myself illustrating a dominance this season.

Commencing the high school basketball (Terry Fox Secondary School) season, people believed we were a substandard team; some would say “Having a down year.” As I take a strong leadership role on this team, I refuse to let that become a fact. After our teams 20 point loss to Vancouver College in our home opener, not only myself was discouraged about the future of our season by that loss, but my teammates were too. In addition to that we knew our views and habits needed to change and it started in practice. Our intensity ramped up taking our energy in practice to a notable level. A week after the Vancouver College game on December 5th we beat St. Thomas Moore 86-47. This win had an incredible impact on the games to come as well we began to gel and become a competitive team in the province. I personally gained a lot of this game, scoring 26 points, and learning how to score out of our offence.

Later that week we were attending the Howard Tsumura Invitational where we played at the time #1 AAA ranked team the South Kamloops Titans in the opening round. We came out and gave the first push of the game with a 10-3 start. Throughout the up and the downs of the game we came out on top with a 70-62 win over the titans and we started to make a statement in the basketball community. Finishing with 16 points I was very proud of that win and how my team played. As a by-product of that game, we played Yale Secondary in the quarter finals. Continuing our win streak we ended up 88-65. I had an outstanding defensive game against good friend and all-star guard Bradley Braich finishing with 29 points. As we entered the semi-finals versus a very talented Oak Bay team, we went in with confidence. We started out very strong forcing them to take a time out, but they pushed back with more fight then we could handle taking the win 99-50. However, we didn’t doubt ourselves after that loss and instead looked for the positives to take into out next game against the #4 W.J. Mouat Hawks. We had later lost that game by 13 points and I finished with 26 of our 58. We left this tournament with our heads high and our mind focused on our next game against Lord Tweedsmuir a top Fraser Valley team.

I had found my rhythm in this game. Starting out in warm up I had a sniffle and a cough. I wasn’t feeling 100% all there, but that’s the exact opposite of how I played. I maneuvered way to scoring 37 points and going 7/10 from beyond the arc in our 17 point victory. After completing near 40 team practices, our team has come together extremely well managing to get us a spot in the honorable mention - but we aren’t even close to finished yet. We are just getting started this season. I, just like my team, have prepared countless hours for the events to come and we are fully ready to take on what is next. All the hard work will pay off and the right things will happen at the right time. KEEP WATERING THE BAMBOO.