Semiahmoo Hoop Stars Lee, Forsyth Ponder move from allies to rivals

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The centenarian star Dominic Parolin finds himself again for the next season after a virtual university trip

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Steve Ewen

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May 02, 2020 • • May 2, 2020 • • Read for 4 minutes LANGLEY, BC: March 2, 2019 - Semiahmoo Totems: # 13 Deja Lee got the ball Walnut Grove: # 7 Fania Taylor blocked The final of the BC Secondary Schools Girls Basketball Championships saw Walnut Grove play Semiahmoo.  Photo credit: Francis Georgian / Postmedia (Photo credit: Francis Georgian / Postmedia).  March 02, 2019., Langley, March 2, 2019. Reporters:, (Staff photo by Francis Georgian / PNG) (Prov / Sun News) 00056525A [PNG Merlin Archive]Deja Lee from the powerhouse Semiahmoo Totems takes a free throw. She plans to play for the University of California’s Irvine Anteaters once her high school basketball days are over. Photo by Francis Georgian /.Postmedia news files

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Semiahmoo Totems stars Deja Lee and Izzy Forsyth head in different directions when their high school careers end next spring, though they’ll end up nearby in the process.

Lee and Forsyth, who are back in the province for Semiahmoo’s third straight basketball title next season, have made an oral pledge for the university’s rivals for 2021-22.

Both will be participating in the Big West Conference programs in about 16 months, with Lee slated for the University of California’s Irvine Anteaters and Forsyth for the UC San Diego Tritons. They are expected to sign official letters of intent in November.

Tara Wallack, who is also part of the totem triumvirate that ran this run, has not yet made up her mind where to go after this season, but like Lee and Forsyth, made unofficial visits to various California schools last February.

“It will be very strange playing against Izzy first,” said Lee, a 5-9 point guard. “We started playing together in 5th grade. Outside of training, I can’t remember a time playing against them.

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“We talked about what we thought. When it all came together for both of us it was, ‘Hey, I think this means we’ll see each other for a while.’ ‘

Forsyth added, “It will be a little bit crazy to have to take action against them. I’ve been playing with Deja for as long as I can remember. “

Lee, 6-1 striker Forsyth and 6-2 striker Wallack saw important minutes for coach Allison McNeill in their ninth years with a Semiahmoo team that reached the Triple-A Province Final Four in 2018. In 10th grade, the trio led the Surrey-based totems to the Triple A title and Lee was named Most Valuable Player of the Tournament.

Last season, girls’ basketball kicked off the Quad-A league and the totems dominated, including the superiority of their opponents by a 431-215 lead in four games in the provincials held at the Langley Events Center. That ended with a 114-62 game against Port Coquitlam’s Terry Fox Ravens in the final. Wallack was named the tournament’s MVP.

There was a university that apparently pitched all three players. There were universities that made offers for two of them.

“We all have our individual needs and wishes. We all have programs we want for school, ”said Forsyth.

Lee said she was glad this was gotten out of the way before the start of her 12th grade, and mostly because there are “no guarantees” for the coming season, even due to the physical distancing measures introduced by the novel outbreak of the Coronavirus.

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“I was lucky enough to make an unofficial visit there,” said Lee. “You have a different feeling when you’re just there. It is a consolation. They can get an idea of ​​what things might possibly look like for you. There is nothing you can really do to emulate that you are actually physically going to school. “

Dominic Parolin understands that. The Centennial Centaurs’ standout center is slated to begin its first season this fall with the Lehigh Mountain Hawks, a Patriot League team from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It was only after COVID-19 was wiped out that he began working with Lehigh trainer Dr. Talking to Brett Reed about a scholarship a chance to travel.

Parolin visited virtually, and Dr. Reed’s wife, Kindra, was doing the camerawork when Reed reenacted a walk around campus.

“It’s not the same as actually being there, but it’s the best option we’ve had,” said Parolin.

The Patriot League, along with the Ivy League, is one of the NCAA Division 1 circuits known for its focus on education.

“I’ve spoken to a few schools. I’ve been seriously thinking about three or four. Lehigh had the best combination of basketball and academics. It’s a very good school. Even if we don’t have a season because of COVID-19, I’ll still have the academics, ”said Parolin.

A seat up front at Lehigh became open when James Karnik, a Surrey native who moved to Ontario to finish his high school ball at Orangeville Prep, announced he was moving to his senior season.

The 6-8 Parolin was one of the better 12th grade players in BC that season, averaging 28 points and 19 rebounds for a Coquitlam-based Centaur team that ranked number 1 for part of the year.

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“There are open minutes there,” Parolin said of attending Lehigh.

The Centaurs were # 2 in the provinces but were upset in the quarterfinals by the # 7 Handsworth Royals of north Vancouver between 70 and 67. They defeated the Oak Bay Bays 78-66 in the game for fifth and Parolin had 50 points and 21 rebounds in his last high school competition. He was named to the tournament’s first all-star team.

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