Men's Basketball adds Mountain State transfer
Men's Basketball - Fri, Aug. 3, 2012
Bruce Komakech, shown here playing for Mountain State in a game last season against Salem, is transferring to Rio Grande.
RIO GRANDE, Ohio - University of Rio Grande men's basketball head coach Ken French has announced the addition of Bruce Komakech to the RedStorm roster for the 2012-13 season.
Komakech, a 6-foot-7 forward from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, averaged 2.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks as a sophomore last season at NAIA Division I power Mountain State (W.Va.) University, which recently disbanded its program after the school was stripped of its accreditation and head coach Bob Bolen was among the faculty/staff members whose position was terminated.
"We are excited to add Bruce to our program," said French. "It's unfortunate what has happened to Mountain State and their program."
Komakech shot 44 percent from the field (37-for-84) and scored a career-best 17 points in a win over Southern States. Ironically, he also had five points in the Cougars' 84-66 win over Rio Grande on January 10 at the Raleigh County Convention center in Beckley.
"It feels good," Komakech said, when asked about the opportunity to continue his playing career with the RedStorm. "My fiance' and I were in coach French's office for a good hour or so talking about the basketball program and we both agreed that Rio would be a good fit for me. I'm glad to be getting the opportunity to play again seeing how the events at my previous school happened the way they did."
Komakech averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds per game during his high school days at Notre Dame Regional Secondary School in Vancouver. He was also a two-time Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year selection for head coach Jamie Boreham's Jugglers.
Komakech drew the attention of a handful of college recruiters before eventually landing at Mountain State. In light of the Cougars' demise, the chance to finish his career at Rio provided a "win-win" scenario.
"I wanted to be closer to home and to my fiance', who lives in Columbus," Komakech said. "And I also want to win. Coach French wants to win, too."
For French, Komakech's arrival appears to have filled a need the program faced heading into the upcoming season.
"With the addition of Bruce we're adding an experienced player at a position of need for us," he said. "He's long, athletic and has the potential to be a great help-side defender. We're looking forward to having him join our family here at Rio."
Komakech, who is majoring in business and marketing, said his versatility is the biggest thing that he'll bring to the program.
"I can dribble, shoot and defend. I feel like I can do just about anything when I'm out there," he said. "The one area I can improve on would be my assertiveness when I get in the game. I realize that being a newcomer has its complications and not everyone is going to expect you to make a few calls, but I feel that's what I need to do."
Komakech, who has two years of eligibility remaining, has lofty aspirations for the remainder of his collegiate career.
"My ultimate goal as a player is to become an All-American and make it out to the national tournament in Kansas City with my team," he said. "I feel as though we can make it out there and compete for a national title."
Komakech is the son of Simon Oryema and Selina Lamunu.