We’d like to introduce you to Jesse Vissia! Jesse is an Arts and Environmental Sciences major at Okanagan College and also a key piece of the Coyotes men’s team. Working for the Village of Keremeos, where we grew up, Jesse was introduced to the water treatment cycle which sparked his interest. Immediately he found the systems incredibly interesting and the more he learned, the more vital he saw the operation as part of the functioning of the village. This hands on experience helped contribute from the move from UBCO down the road to Okanagan College after a year at the University.
Jesse found playing basketball at UBCO wasn’t how he saw his post-secondary basketball career playing out. There was no direct path at UBCO which created frustration and as a walk on, who tried out the for team, he didn’t see his growth progress at the speed it might elsewhere. Like many others, it was Dino who got Jesse interested in the OC Coyote program. Jesse had played for Dino before when playing with the Junior Heat back in grade school and had always saw him as a basketball guru. However, while knowledge of the game is a bonus, it was Dino’s coaching style that Jesse found matched his playing style which truly sealed the deal. As a key piece of this team, Jesse sees the opportunity for this group of players to mold the program, team and future teams, into what they want it to be. Jesse sees this inaugural PacWest season less as a pressure to perform but more of an opportunity to exceed expectations and set precedent.
Jesse attributes this mindset to his upbringing in Keremeos with his parents, two older brothers and younger sister. A sports family through and through, Jesse worked hard to keep up with his brothers and pushed himself to be a good role model for his sister. Having grown up playing A basketball, the Junior Heat was a jump in skill level. Despite the jump, Jesse was ready as his parents, while always supportive, always pushed complete commitment to something if you were going to do it. Jesse was able to play at that higher level by putting that advice into action leading up to those teams and working harder than everyone to be at the required level. While being a role model for his sister, her recruitment to girls team has Jesse looking to her a role model as well. He said her positive attitude and commitment to recover after a knee surgery has been admirable and made him incredibly proud.
Jesse and the rest of Coyotes head into the PacWest regular season November 2nd hoping to take advantage of the opportunity they’ve earned. Don’t be surprised to see Jesse leading by example on the floor this year as he says it was his highschool P.E. teacher, Mr. Wingam, who taught him how to communicate as a leader and made him understand that being a leader is a burden and a gift all in one. Jesse is looking forward to kicking things off just over a week from now and he, like everyone involved in the Coyotes program, hopes to see you out!