Brett Christensen is good.
Anyone who has seen the 6’’4’ forward from Langley, BC, play knows that. But I’m not talking about his basketball talent so much as everything else that comes with it. Ask him about the expectations that surrounded his arrival at VIU, or his transition to high school on and off the court, and the freshman doesn’t seem fazed.
“Adjusting has been pretty seamless. I’m fine. You make friends, especially with the basketball team. You have fourteen friends and brothers to hang out with. Plus the coaches always keep tabs to ensure we are taken care of.”
What to many may seem like a daunting schedule, is nothing new in Christensen’s eyes. As a lifelong athlete who played for a tremendous high school coach in George Bergen at Walnut Grove Secondary, Christensen’s work ethic and understanding of the challenges of student athletics was already well developed before he arrived at VIU.
Assistant coach Avneet Brar leads the team in player development and has worked with Christensen since his signing last year. Brar has been a firsthand witness to Christensen’s abilities, while also working with him to further develop his skills.
“Despite being a freshman athlete, he is often making sure everyone else is doing well and acknowledged at practice. It has been so fun to see him be assertive as a freshman. He knows we believe in him and he is going to have a chance to play right away, and he has really stepped up,” said Brar.
Earning PACWEST Men’s Basketball Player of the Week honors for his play in the Mariners back-to-back weekend matchups against the Langara Falcons, Christensen proved that if given the opportunity, he will not fail to come through.
“You have to find your places to score inside the offense. You’re not going to be the guy that’s getting the plays drawn up for him,” said Christensen.
Finding those spots proved easy for the forward, shooting above 50 percent from the field in both wins.
Brar pointed out how Christensen’s shooting ability has shown tremendous growth. “We have spent a lot of time in the gym together trying to improve elements of his shooting. It has been great to see him have some great performances as a freshman athlete.”
Brett’s effort goes beyond just game nights. Each game week is a balance of classwork, recovery, and preparation for the upcoming matchup. He regularly puts in the extra effort to improve his game.
As a rookie to the program, Christensen’s ability to adapt and contribute to the Mariner program has been truly remarkable. His attitude towards the game, his teammates, and coaches is something athletes even at the highest level could aspire to. The program has long been an excellent platform for young athletes looking to take the next step in their athletic careers, and with Christensen they have found a potential star and future leader.