Jasinsky, Vikings sail to GNAC title

CHS grad, WWU play Chico State in NCAA regional Friday, at noon

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Camas basketball player Trevor Jasinsky dribbles toward the key for the Western Washington Vikings March 3, at the Marcus Pavilion in Lacey. The Vikings beat St. Martin's and Western Oregon to become the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Champions for the first time in school history.

The time is now for Trevor Jasinsky and the Vikings.

Led by career scoring record breaker Jeffrey Parker and Player of the Year Taylor Stafford, the Western Washington University men’s basketball team won the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championship for the first time in school history.

Stafford became the tournament MVP after scoring a combined 64 points in the Vikings’ wins against St. Martin’s and Western Oregon.

Parker delivered 23 points March 3, to become the all-time leading scorer at WWU. He is up to 1,851.

“Those are the seniors you want to play for when you are a freshman,” Jasinsky said. “[Parker is] a huge mentor to me. He took me under his wing as soon as I came in.”

After graduating from Camas High School in 2015, Jasinsky spent his first season at WWU as a redshirt.

“I knew this was a huge opportunity to work on my game,” he said. “I was in the gym every day, working on drills and getting better.”

Jasinsky made his college debut Nov. 3, 2016, against the University of Washington.

“Teams like UW, WSU, U of O and OSU were always on TV. To open my college career against one of those schools is something I’ll never forget,” Jasinsky said. “I felt like I made it, but I have so much to work on. So many more places where basketball can take me.”

Jasinsky is one of the conference leaders with a .474 3-point percentage. The 6-foot-7, 220 pound forward has made 36 threes in 76 attempts.

“In high school, I was a good shooter, but I was inconsistent,” Jasinsky said. “I wanted to work on that hard, and it’s paying off.”

On top of becoming a more consistent threat from the outside, Jasinsky still gets above the rim when necessary.

“When I see an open lane, I’m going to attack the hole,” Jasinsky said. “That aggressiveness in high school and believing I can dunk on anyone has helped me out at the next level.”

Although he has found comfort in Bellingham, Jasinsky knows he can always come back home to Camas for home-cooked meals, friends and family.

“Camas is my childhood,” Jasinsky said. “It will always be home.”

In 2015, Jasinsky helped the Papermakers reach the state regional round for the first time in 51 years.

“My last season in Camas taught me so much,” Jasinsky said. “That team was special. Those guys will always be in my heart.”

After the Vikings won the conference title, Jasinsky received messages from his hometown.

“It’s cool people still follow me,” he said. “It says a lot about the community.”

Jasinsky is averaging 18.9 minutes a game as a freshman. In the meantime, he is a sponge absorbing as much information as he can from his teammates and coaches.

“About 90 percent of all college basketball players go through the same thing, when they realize every person in the room was the best player on their high school team,” Jasinsky said. “I’m a competitor. I’m always working on my game because I want to get better.

“I know my ceiling is higher than it is right now,” he added. “I’m willing to put in the time.”

The Vikings set sail into the West Regional round of the NCAA Division II tournament Western Washington (25-5) faces Chico State (27-3) Friday, at noon, in San Diego.

The Western Washington men’s basketball team won a national championship in 2012. Jasinsky believes this team has a good shot to make even more history.

“We have all the weapons, and we have the confidence,” Jasinsky said. “If we play hard every game, we give ourselves a chance to win every game that we play.”