FROM B.C. TO JAPAN, MARC TRASOLINI WELCOMES OPPORTUNITY WITH TEAM CANADA

HALIFAX, NS (November 24, 2017) - It didn't take long for Marc Trasolini to decide which college to attend coming out of high school.

Born and raised in Vancouver, B.C., the 6-foot-9 centre naturally grew up idolizing Steve Nash during the future Hall of Famer's rise to NBA prominence.

Interestingly enough, Trasolini and Nash share more than just an unwavering love for basketball, they've also trotted similar paths en route to their respective careers.

"I think definitely seeing Canadian success down there was a big thing," said Trasolini, in response to what fueled him to play for Santa Clara University, the same institution Nash attended 25-years ago. "Having a role model like Steve is huge. It was definitely just the right fit for me."

"The basketball [program] was up and coming and I knew I was going to play a lot. It was a beautiful campus and I was very excited about all of that," he said.

Trasolini's eagerness to play for the Broncos translated seamlessly to the basketball court. The big man went on to average 12.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks in 137 career games with Santa Clara, even vaulting Nash in the school's all-time scoring leaders list with 1,699 points.

"I came in kind of raw [out of] high school. I was an inside player, I dunked a lot and protected the paint. But once I got to college they really started developing me and just put in a lot of work [on me], and I just kept improving every year."

Since leaving Santa Clara in 2013, Trasolini has found similar success across the pond in both Europe and Asia.

Having played in Italy, France, and now in Japan with Levanga Hokkaido, the Canadian has shaped a solid career on international ground, something he hopes will benefit the national team moving forward.

"I think I'm dynamic. At the four and five position, I'm able to stretch the floor and play inside and outside," said the 27-year old, who currently averages 17.6 points and 6.8 rebounds for his Japan-based club. "I think that's different from some players and hopefully I'll be able to help in whatever way I can."

Though Trasolini does carry some national team experience, Friday's matchup against Bahamas marks the first time he'll play in front of Canadian fans and supporters since high school, and it's an opportunity he's plenty grateful to be a part of.

"It's a huge honour and I'm so excited to be able to represent my country, here at home, too," he said. "I last played for the junior national team a while ago and went to the world championship with them, and I just remember that being an amazing experience."

"Now it's all about getting to the World Cup and then eventually the Olympics. It's all about Canada Basketball and representing our country."