Warriors welcome new men’s basketball team members New players look forward to starting the 2023-24 season

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The Warriors men’s basketball team will welcome several new team members for the upcoming 2023–24 season. New team members include Nate Chan (guard), Thach Peter (forward), Ross Pockar (forward), Daniel Thompson (forward), Josh Kpioyo (guard), and Ben Mascarenhas (guard). 

Under the leadership of head coach Troy Stevenson, the team’s new players are looking forward to joining Waterloo’s ranks. Mascarenhas, from Cambridge, spoke about becoming a Warrior. “I’m very excited to get started with UW. Everyone has been so welcoming and has made me feel like a part of the team.”

“As a transfer, right now I’m learning a lot in terms of the team culture and what kind of system coach Troy runs. I’m just trying to see where I fit in to help bring some more success to the program,” Mascarenhas added. 

Having played since the founding of UW in 1957, the Warriors men’s basketball team is rich in history. Being a part of this team is an exciting step for several players joining this season. “Making it to the [university] sports level has been a goal of mine throughout all of high school,” Kpioyo, from Niagara, said.

Kpioyo explained how becoming a Warrior and playing basketball for Waterloo offers a sense of community. “I’m happy to simply be around university level hoopers, and I want to help in any way possible,” he said. 

Thompson, from Mississauga, shared similar thoughts: “I’m excited to join the team, and I’m looking forward to playing with the rest of the guys this season.”

A few of the new Warriors shared what their journey has been like to get where they are now. 

“To go from last on the bench in grade nine — playing against local public schools — to being captain of a prep school in my fifth year, competing with the best teams [in Canada] is already amazing. To then be told that I was accepted into Waterloo’s engineering program and the varsity basketball team as well is a miracle,” Kpioyo said. 

Between taking courses and joining the team, these new players will have a busy start to the season. According to Mascarenhas, preparing early is an important strategy for the team. “This off season is going to be big for us,” he said. “There is always room for improvement and so far we’ve been taking the right steps to get better everyday.”

Kpioyo reflected on having to juggle various responsibilities during the upcoming season. “I expect a very difficult first year as I gain much needed experience,” he said, explaining that it will likely be hard work to balance basketball with a full course load of engineering content. “However, I know that it will be worth the life skills, memories, and knowledge I will surely gain.”

“As a team, I’m sure we will set goals that suit our individual and collective vision for the future of [UW men’s basketball], but until then, I’d love for us to start the season off strong by competing to the best of our abilities and really meshing as a team,” said Pockar from Calgary, Alta. “I think if we can develop a chemistry and level of intensity we will be successful this season and in many years to come. I can’t wait to get out there and get to work,” he added.

The first game of the 2023–24 season will take place on Nov. 3 in Toronto, with the Warriors facing off against York University. The Warriors’ home opener will take place on Nov. 11, with Waterloo playing the University of Guelph.