Brandon Bassi signs his official commitment to SFU on Feb. 13, 2018. (James Smith photo)

Brandon Bassi signs his official commitment to SFU on Feb. 13, 2018. (James Smith photo)

North Delta soccer player signs NCAA deal with Simon Fraser University

North Delta Secondary’s Brandon Bassi plays for Coastal FC, and on NDSS’s senior boys basketball team

Soccer runs deep in Brandon Bassi’s blood.

Following in the footsteps of both his father and his older brother, the 17-year-old North Delta Secondary senior first took to the pitch when he was six years old, though it was anything but love at first sight.

“When I was younger I wasn’t the best, I didn’t want to go to practice, I didn’t want to go to games,” Bassi said. “Then as I got older I started loving the game more and more, and it just became something that stuck with me.”

All those years of hard work — even the reluctant ones — payed off this week as Bassi signed on to play NCAA soccer at Simon Fraser University.

“It kinda feels unreal because my brother also went to this school (both of them actually, [NDSS] and SFU), so it kinda feels like I’m following in someone’s footsteps.”

Bassi began his career playing with the North Delta Soccer Association before joining Coastal Football Club, where the six-foot-four centre-back has been captain of his club teams since U13. When he was 15, Bassi spent a season playing with the Vancouver Whitecaps’ residency program, and represented B.C. on the national stage.

“He’s done everything,” said Steven Duffy, a senior staff coach at Coastal FC. “He’s played at national championships, he’s played for the Whitecaps, he’s played for a bunch of teams, got a scholarship, so as far as soccer stuff goes he’s kind of ticked every box.”

Duffy, who has known Bassi for four years, coaching him at BC Soccer’s provincial program and at the club level from U14 to U16, praised the young defender’s maturity and consistency of play as part of what makes him such an integral part of his teams.

“He’s an absolute leader,” Duffy said. “You have kids that excel at a young age and they make all these programs and their heads swell and they get a little cocky and they have some ego; he’s never been that kid. He’s just one of those guys that’s super down to earth, really hard working, comes from a great family, and yeah, he’s just a stand up guy.”

“He’s one of those guys where you know what you’re going to get from him every week. He’s one of those players, if you’re going to rate him out of 10, he’s always going to be like an eight out of 10 every single week week, no matter what. He’s one of those guys that you can always rely on.”

Duffy said Bassi has always sought to understand and improve his game, communicating well with both his coaches and teammates and helping the team work together

“He’s just extremely vocal. He helps, he communicates, he organizes. He used to ask tons of questions when I was his coach, and as a coach I love that. He was always very curious about why we would do stuff and he wanted to understand it,” Duffy said. “My thing with younger kids is I like them to take ownership of their own development, and to do that you’ve got to ask tons of questions to understand why we’re doing certain things.”

It’s an approach Bassi has applied to his pursuits at NDSS as well, where he has earned honour roll status for his scholastic achievements and helped the Huskies senior boys basketball team climb to fourth place in the provincial AAA rankings and a record of 6-0 in league play.

“Brandon, as a student, he’s hard working, he’s intelligent, gives his honest effort. As a player he’s fiery, he’s competitive, he’s intense, and honestly he’ll do whatever it takes to win,” said Huskies head coach Jesse Hundal. “Before the game he’s all jokes, but when the whistle blows it’s like he’s transformed into like the Dark Knight. It’s all business, he’ll do whatever it takes to win. Anything and everything.”

“He brings that intangibility to both soccer and basketball, where you can tell when he’s on the court, the players react differently because he has those leadership skills,” added basketball coach Gary Sandhu. “He picks guys up when they’re down. He’s the type of athlete that comes around once a decade.”

“He makes a difference on our team. He’s made a difference every since Grade 8 coming in, that’s how important he is to our program.”

Hundal and Sandhu shared a story of how Bassi overcame a personal tragedy in order to uphold his commitment to his teammates.

“Two years ago we were at junior boys provincials and … he found out that his grandfather had passed away. But rather than stay at home, he came to play the first game. I asked him and Gary asked him, we said, ‘Brandon, go home,’ and he goes, ‘No, I have a commitment to the guys and the coaches. I know my grandfather would want me to play.’ And he played. Like, five hours before his grandfather had passed away. That tells a lot.”

“We were winning that game at the half, we just ran out of gas against a highly ranked Burnaby South team. We ended up losing by six, but if he wasn’t in the lineup I don’t know if we would have had that same fire,” Sandhu said.

“And the main thing is, you see a guy that shows that much commitment … that tells you a lot about the type of guy that SFU’s getting. He’s a leader. He’s a man.”

As for Bassi, he seems to be taking all in stride. And though he’d like to keep playing and see how far he can take his soccer career, his goals while at SFU aren’t confined to the pitch. Bassi’s planning on pursing a major in criminology, with a minor in sports science “so I can stick to soccer somehow and stay close to sports after I’m actually done playing.”

Like in soccer and basketball, Bassi is committed to doing what he can to elevate not only himself but those around him.

“It’s not just about the money … with your career, I wanted to make a change in the community,” Bassi said. “[With a] crim degree I can go into some sort of policing … something along the lines of criminal justice. I want to make a change.”



editor@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Brandon Bassi (front, centre) signs his official commitment to SFU alongside Huskies basketball coaches (from left) Gary Sandhu, Bill Edwards and Jesse Hundal on Feb. 13, 2018. (James Smith photo)

Brandon Bassi (front, centre) signs his official commitment to SFU alongside Huskies basketball coaches (from left) Gary Sandhu, Bill Edwards and Jesse Hundal on Feb. 13, 2018. (James Smith photo)

Just Posted

North Surrey Sport and Ice Complex. (Photo: larkgroup.com)
North Surrey rink, Newton playground earn B.C. excellence awards

Awards presented by BC Recreation and Parks Association

The George Massey Tunnel will be closed overnight May 28 and 29 to test the tunnel’s fire suppression system and overhead lane control signals. (Black Press Media file photo)
Overnight Massey Tunnel closures coming May 28, 29

Closure to allow safe testing of tunnel’s fire suppression system and overhead lane control signals

Missing Surrey man Bernard Grempel. (Photo: Surrey RCMP)
Surrey RCMP seeks help to find missing man

Bernard Grempel was reported missing on Sunday and hasn’t been seen since Friday

Members of Whalley Legion Junior Band at an event in the early 1980s. (Facebook photo)
SURREY NOW & THEN: When the city’s ‘official band’ marched with Whalley Legion title

A weekly look back at Surrey-area landmark sites, events and people

Members of Whalley Legion Junior Band at an event in the early 1980s. (Facebook photo)
SURREY NOW & THEN: When the city’s ‘official band’ marched with Whalley Legion title

A weekly look back at Surrey-area landmark sites, events and people

Reinhard “Bud” Loewen of Abbotsford has now been charged with 21 counts of sexual assault related to his massage business. (Facebook photo)
Former Abbotsford masseur now faces 21 counts of sexual assault

Bud Loewen of Bud’s Massage Therapy initally faced three charges

Over the years, police have worked with sketch artists to draw what the boys could have looked like at the times of their deaths. (Vancouver Police Department)
DNA breakthrough expected in cold case involving murdered Vancouver boys, 7 and 8

Forensic analysts are working to identify relatives of the children, whose bodies were found in Stanley Park in 1953

Livestock competitions have been part of the Pacific National Exhibiton for more than a century. (Maple Ridge News files)
B.C. provides $50 million to keep major tourist attractions going

Tour bus companies also eligible for latest COVID-19 aid

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Dr. Euiseok Kim is the medical director of the new Abbotsford post-COVID-19 recovery clinic. (Submitted)
Post-COVID-19 recovery clinic opens in Abbotsford

New facility following model of first clinic which opened in Surrey

Derek Descoteau with his trusty dog Harvey. (Photo submitted)
Friends provide continuing comfort for family in wake of unresolved senseless B.C. murder

Case remains before the courts five years after Derek Descoteau’s abrupt stabbing death in Chemainus

Two small dogs were also discovered by the officer, one had died, and the other was taken by animal control and sent for veterinary care with the BC SPCA. (File Photo)
Body discovered in parked van in Mission with 2 dogs, 1 dead

Remains in state of decomposure, surviving dog sent for veterinary care with BC SPCA

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Cat who chases away coyote asked to join Port Moody, Vancouver police 

Caught on camera Friday, the black cat jumps out from under a parked car and runs the wild animal out of a vacant lot

Most Read