For the third year in a row, Terrace’s Marek Ormerod will be playing ball for Team BC this summer.
And while playing for Team BC isn’t a first for Ormerod, 15, it is the first time a basketball player from Terrace has made the cut three years in a row.
“I was kind of on the fence,” said Ormerod, of whether he attended tryouts expecting to make the team. “It’s tough competition, right? It’s always tough to make the cut, but it’s a relief when you do.”
Ormerod was up against 70 other players from around the province at the camp, which was whittled down to 24 and then to 12 over the course of three days at Walnut Grove in Langley. He’s one of four returning players – including his friend Justin McChesney from Prince Rupert.
In past years, Ormerod was one of the bigger players at tryouts – but that wasn’t the case this time.
“I grew up pretty early, I was an early bloomer. So it was cool to see everyone else grow up, because this is the age,” he said. “So, when I went down there I wasn’t expecting to be big, I wasn’t expecting to be tall. (But I) was actually a mid-size, small kind of guy … it’s intimidating being around 6’6”, 6’7” guys.”
But intimidated or not, he was ready. Training extensively since he was 11, at North Coast gym and Parkside with his coach, Terry Monture, Ormerod’s physique and skills are at a level not typically seen of someone just 15-years-old.
But he’s not a typical kid. Aside from near-daily training and attention to nutrition, supplements, massage therapy, and warm-up and recovery routines, academically, he gets marks in the high 90s and is only one credit shy from graduating high school despite technically being in Grade 10.
The goal after high school is to study pre-med, neurosciences, and basketball should help to get him there.
“Basketball is something to do, keep me in shape, it’s a source of fun for me,” he said.
And he’s hoping to widen his net in the future.
“I’m hoping that if I can find a way to travel and see different places then I’ll get a bigger perspective of cultures, that’s what I want to do,” he said.
Playing for Team BC is not a bad way to start – the team, which typically finishes the season top four, travels throughout the United States, places like Seattle, Portland, California until July before hitting up nationals and Ormerod is out of town nearly every weekend.
His father, Hugh, says it’s a heavy time commitment, but well worth it as basketball is what Marek wants to do – and he’s clearly proved he has what it takes.
“He takes initiative,” he said. “And his hard work has paid off.”
Both Ormerods credit Monture with helping Marek hone that drive by coaching and mentoring him for over four years.
“I’ve probably had about 77 athletes I’ve worked with over the last 30 years and he’s top three for the whole package,” said Monture. “You have a lot of really good cars down there, but he’s got the engine, the tires, the paint job, just everything is there. You just don’t see that at 15.”
But it took time and training to get there.
“The hours we’ve put in, I don’t even know a number, thousands of hours and that’s why he’s where he’s at today,” he said. “I’ve pushed him at a very high level and he’s accepted it.”
Leadership is one of Ormerod’s greatest qualities, said Monture. He’s already mentoring some of the younger athletes Monture is grooming, and he is able to see the floor and understand the game in a way that sets him above the rest – while still being humble.
“That’s something I try to instill with all of the guys that I have,” he said. “It’s about being great, being humble, being generous. It’s not just about basketball but it’s about life and being a good person afterwards, and he’s a good kid.”