Jefferson Hagen / MacEwan Athletics
EDMONTON – Competitive, gritty and workmanlike, MacEwan's newest men's basketball addition has the potential to give the Griffins crucial minutes this season.
Ahead of the start of training camp next week, Griffins head coach Eric Magdanz announced Thursday that 6-foot-1 point guard Jesse Trussler will join five other newcomers on the squad this season.
The Regina product spent last season as a redshirt at William Penn University in Iowa.
"Jesse comes with a great deal of experience," said Magdanz. "He played for four years on the Saskatchewan provincial team and had an opportunity to go south for a year and play for a very good NAIA school that was nationally ranked.
"He had some family move to Edmonton and I don't think the opportunity to come to MacEwan was something he could pass up," he added. "It worked out in our favour that he chose to come back to Canada."
Trussler will be joining former Campbell Collegiate high school teammate Luke Harold on the Griffins – a familiarity that has already helped his transition.
"There has been instant chemistry between those two and that's an additional buffer to get him well acquainted into our team," said Magdanz. "He'll fit right in and I wouldn't be surprised if we see him on the court quickly."
While at Campbell Collegiate, Trussler was a provincial all-star, posting a top performance of 28 points in a contest. He was also on the honour roll throughout high school. Already at MacEwan, his work ethic has been on display as he gets ready for the Canada West season.
"Jesse is super competitive," noted Magdanz. "He's in the gym every day. He's going to be a tough, gritty guy for us. His leadership skills are evident right from the start.
"I think he's a guy who's going to fit in well with the culture we're trying to establish at MacEwan with working hard in everything we do. He's a really great student and will excel in our Psychology program."
The Griffins will kick off training camp on Aug. 27 as they prepare for the start of preseason on Oct. 12 at Thompson Rivers in Kamloops, B.C.
MacEwan's first regular season game is Oct. 25 at cross-town rival Alberta (8 p.m., Saville Centre), with their home opener set for Oct. 27 vs. Alberta (2 p.m., David Atkinson Gym).