He may not be joining the most prolific offence in U Sports’ basketball, yet high-scoring Diego Maffia likes the schematics of his hometown Victoria Vikes and the ways in which his greatest skills can potentially find their fit at the university level.
As Maffia prepares to round out his high school career Saturday at the 43rd annual B.C. High School Basketball All-Star games at Surrey’s Semiahmoo Secondary, the Oak Bay Bays’ resident superstar guard was comfortable speaking to his future which is set to begin unfolding right in his own back yard this coming fall.
“We had a couple of meetings and we discussed the plan,” Maffia said Thursday about chatting about his role within the future of Vikes’ basketball with head coach Craig Beaucamp.
“I think the main thing was still being able to come off ball screens, so I was pretty comfortable with that,” continued Maffia, who gave the B.C. high school sports world perhaps its biggest spike of publicity in recent history when he set a provincial single-game record by scoring 96 points as part of a season in which he averaged over 30 ppg. “Most of my game is coming off ball screens and making reads. I also like lots of movement and as I’ve watched (Victoria) play, (Beaucamp) has reinforced lots of ball movement. That made the fit really good for me. It’s something I’m already used to.”
Yet if the decision seemed like a given to those watching from afar, that one of the province’s most prolific scorers ever would stay home for his university career, was it really all that simple for him in the end?
“Not really, no,” said Maffia, who plays high final high school game on Saturday night as he and the rest of B.C.’s Quad-A all-stars face the B.C. Triple-A all-stars at 7:30 p.m.
“It took some time for me to decide. There were many other offers, but I think this one was the most logical financially, in terms of knowing all the coaches, and of course, being able to train year-round in Victoria. Those were the main points of my decision.”
Moving to Victoria for his Grade 9 year, Maffia very quickly picked up on the special vibe the Vikes have in the capital city, as well as the connection Oak Bay has as a traditional feeder to the UVic program.
“When I moved here and then started to watch the games and then got connected playing in the Vikes Nation program,” added Maffia, “it really made me comfortable to realize that you’re able to continue a tradition of Island players staying home and helping to try to win titles. That’s what I wanted to do. Keep a tradition going.”
Throughout his high school career, Maffia has been a step ahead of his competition in terms of the ways he has worked to put himself in the best position to flourish, especially on the offensive end.
Now, however, his greatest energies are being poured into trying to insure the same kinds of things can begin to happen at the next level, where initially, the competition is going to be, in some cases, four-to-six-years his senior.
“I’m training a little different, too” he adds. “The weight room is going to be a big part for me. I think the physicality is going to be a big jump. It’s just way more physical. It’s going to be like a different game.”
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