By Sports and Lifestyle Editor Cole Schisler

Local basketball players Alex Staniforth and Anders Cederberg have joined the Mariners for the 2017/18 season. Mariners coach Avneet Brar has been coaching the pair for eight years, and is thrilled to have them on the team.

“I started coaching them at age 13, it’s a pretty rewarding feeling to be a part of the process of the decision of where they play in post-secondary,” Brar says.

The Mariners have a history of supporting local talent. They run summer training camps in the community, and many alumni and members of the Mariners coaching staff are involved in coaching younger players; there is a strong familiarity in the Nanaimo athletic community. Staniforth and Cederberg grew up watching the Mariners play, and have had the opportunity to train with the Mariners over the past five years. 

Staniforth went to school at Wellington Secondary, and Cederberg attended Nanaimo District Secondary School (NDSS). While the two played as rivals in highschool, they are now a part of the Mariners family.

“I grew up coming to the games and watching the Mariners play,” Cederberg said. “To finally be a part of this team and this organization is really cool.”

The rookies hold themselves to a high standard. They are both focused, and driven to be the best that they can be both on and off the court. Staniforth is going to take a Bachelor’s in Visual Arts, and Cederberg is enrolling in general studies. For them currently, the main focus is on basketball, but they are both looking to the future with goals in mind.

“My goal is to be the best student I can be, the best player I can be, and hopefully helping to win a national championship next year,” Staniforth said.

Coach Brar was quick to point out that he has high expectations for the rookies.

“We definitely have big expectations for them,” he said. “The most important thing for them at the start is strength and conditioning, but also learning our team culture. I want them to continue to work their hardest, grow their game, and do well in the classroom.”   

The addition of Staniforth and Cederberg to the Mariners roster serves as a testament to the quality of the culture of sport in Nanaimo. The Mariners programs give Vancouver Island athletes something to work towards, and provide the youth with the opportunity to compete at a high level while pursuing an education in a local environment.

Cole is a second-year Bachelor of Arts student majoring in creative writing, minoring in political science. He has an interest in all things exciting, mundane, or otherwise. He hopes to one day become an author, actor, comedian, editor, and rapper, while moonlighting as an astronaut.