Guard To Join V-Reds in 2019-20

Guard Nolan Willett drives to the basket during a game with the Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack this past season. Willett, who will skip the 2018-19 season, will join the Varsity Reds in 2019-20. (Photo: Victoria AP Shutter)
Guard Nolan Willett drives to the basket during a game with the Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack this past season. Willett, who will skip the 2018-19 season, will join the Varsity Reds in 2019-20. (Photo: Victoria AP Shutter)

(FREDERICTON, NB) Nolan Willett’s basketball journey has taken him from California to Calgary to Kamloops… and now to Fredericton.

The well-traveled point guard has signed a U SPORTS Letter of Intent, and will join the UNB Varsity Reds beginning in the 2019-20 season.

The 6’1” guard played his high school basketball at Jserra Catholic High School, in San Juan Capistrano, California. In his junior year, Willett was among the top five in the Trinity League’s three-point shooting percentage. As a senior, he was top three in assists per game, top five in steals, and top ten in three-point shooting percentage.

In 2016, Willett led the Western State Athletic Conference in assists as a member of the Allan Hancock Junior College Bulldogs.

He spent last season with the Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack, in the Canada West conference. Willett saw action in 19 games, starting ten. He scored 96 points on 77.3% shooting and recorded 34 assists.

As per U SPORTS regulations, Willett will sit out the 2018-19 season. He’ll be eligible to join the Varsity Reds for the 2019-20 season.

“I’ll be able to bring a high level of IQ to the team, and help elevate my teammates’ games,” said Willett. “I pride myself on being able to push the ball up the court and control the pace of the game. I’ll bring an elite level of ball handling, and will be able to shoot the ball from anywhere on the court.”

While he won’t see game action during the coming season, interim Varsity Reds head coach Matt Daley sees Willett as a key member of this summer’s recruiting class.

“He has a high basketball IQ at the point guard position,” said Daley. “He sees the floor well and plays at a fast pace, which is what we want to do here.”

“His experience and skill at the university level will allow him to make an immediate impact in the 2019-20 season,” said Daley.

Willett recognizes UNB Basketball has reached a high point recently, and wants to maintain the standard.

“I want to win another AUS championship for the school and make a push to be a national championship contender every year I’m here,” he said. “Ultimately, I want to bring a national championship to UNB.”