The UVic Vikes men’s basketball team boasts a handful of local players on their roster for the upcoming season, and the biggest of the bunch is Eric Hegadoren, who took an unusual route to university basketball. Tyler Bennett has the story.

Victoria’s Eric Hegadoren is an intimidating figure at 6’11, but surprisingly, this is his first year playing basketball since his elementary days. For the last eight years, Hegadoren has focused on baseball, and even played on a Division 2 NCAA college team in the states over the past two seasons. But after an injury ended his baseball career, Hegadoren returned to Victoria and found a new passion in the sport of basketball.

“It’s been a long time and a lot of work has gone into it,” Hegadoren says while reflecting on the journey of starting a new sport, “We gotta great group of senior leaders that have helped me along the way, especially with the coaches too, they pushed me to get into the sport and earn a spot on this team so finally getting here and playing, it’s super exciting.”

“Right now, you’re looking at a first-year guy, that’s athletic, moves very well, has pretty good hands,” Vikes men’s basketball head coach Craig Beaucamp says. “Yes he’s got a big learning curve but he’s still learning the game and he’s still a step behind here and there, and at times looks a little awkward but, big picture we’re pretty excited.”

Tyler Bennett