Noah Ozkaynak – Class of 2020

This is part of a series of articles on our graduating seniors in the class of 2020.
Micah Wilson and Dallen MacDougall are the other two members of this class.


We call him “Big Noah”.

He’s big and makes no apologies for it on the court. When he gets the ball on the low block he’s not coming at you with some fancy finesse move. Chances are he is taking one big power dribble, cracking you with “the ‘bow”, then finishing at the rim.

When people see him play for the first time they are always impressed with his soft touch and excellent footwork around the basket. When they hear that he is only in his third season of playing organized ball they are blown away.

Noah is just starting to realize his potential. His celing is still very high. All the work he has done to invest in his skills and to incease his fitness is paying off in a big way. Over the next few years, as he plays against better competition, his improvement is only going to excelerate.

Paul Vaughan, Head Coach, KVHS varisty boys basketball

Noah’s basketball career was almost derailed before it even started with a major injury to his arm. While other kids Noah’s age in the Kennebecasis Valley were playing on KVBA rep teams or their school teams, Noah was focused on rehabbing, just hoping to be able to do normal everyday activities again. Playing a contact sport like basketball was the furthest thing from his mind. But as luck would have it, the basketball gods had different plans.

Luckily one of Noah’s best friends, Micah Wilson, is a basketball junkie. He encouraged the big guy to come with him to the tryouts for the junior varsity team. Despite having virtually no playing experience Noah’s combination of size and athletism made it evident Noah had tremendous long term potential as a basketball player.

Noah made the JV team that season which seemed to sparked something in him. The following offseason Noah was a fixture at open gyms, often arriving well before the coaches did to work on his post moves in the dark gym all by himself. When the coaches would finally arrive Noah was in a full sweat, eager to work on something new.

That work ethic and dedication started paying dividends immediately. Suddenly Noah was an offensive threat and the other players took notice. When it came time to pick sides for scrimmages, Noah went from one of the last picks to everyone’s favourite big man. Not only did he set a good screen and rebound the ball, he now got easy buckets and his teams won more, which of course means more playing and less sitting at open gyms.

His grade 11 season was another big investment year for Noah. Playing time was difficult to come by as he had to play behind seniors Colin Loughery and Okyay Kepenek. The upside, however, he got to battle against these guys every day in practice. Noah followed up his grade 11 season with another summer committed to improving his skills and working towards his goal of becoming a starter in his senior year.

That goal was realized in the 2nd league game of the 2019-2020 season when Noad moved into the starting lineup. He would go on to start 22 games in total while averaging 14.3 mins/game. Noah improved in all categories, especially in scoring (4.2 ppg), rebounding (4.8 RPG) and shooting percentage (42% FG / 61% FT). The icing on the cake, however, happened in February when Noah received a verbal offer to play University basketball this fall.

In an era of sports specialization where kids start organized sports before they start school, Noah is a shining example that it is never too late to try something new and that if you have a passion for the things you do, good things will follow.