Kyle Impero is just looking forward to getting back on the basketball court this year in his first season with Whatcom Community College.
After red-shirting his first year out of high school with Western Washington University, Impero decided to transfer to Whatcom in hopes of eventually playing with a Division 1 school in a couple years.
But Impero knows that will take some work. Luckily for his coaches, Impero is no stranger to putting in the effort on and off the court.
"We get a lot done during practice, which I like a lot," Impero said in a phone interview. "It has been a lot of fun to get used to each other and build chemistry. It has also been kind of a struggle, but we get along really good. I'm excited to just play with these guys."
Impero has made his own personal goals for this season. He wants to finish high on the list in rebounds, a part of his game he said he could improve on, and have a good assist to turnover ratio, wanting to limit his turnovers to one or less a game.
"Kyle is one of those players that is always at practice early and always leaves late," Whatcom coach Chris Scrimsher said in a phone interview. "He is a special player with a lot of weapons and a really high ceiling. His best weapon though is his head and he is willing to put in the work to get him to that next level."
Scrimsher said he was surprised to be able to get a player of Impero's talent level on the team.
"He is a special player that you don't see every year and we are very fortunate to have him," Scrimsher said. "It will be fun to watch him progress as a player and see what his next achievements are."
Impero thinks his court vision and work ethic are what make him a good player. He also thinks his versatility is a bonus for his team and is more than willing to switch it up and play any position.
That leaves Scrimsher with options as he plans on using him as a point guard, shooting guard or small forward depending on the opponent.
But the team won't be without its struggles this year. After losing all five starters from last season, the Orcas are left with limited college experience on the roster. Adding to the lack of playing experience is a lack of team chemistry as a lot of the players are new this year.
"I think a lot of us have come from high schools where we were the main scorer," Impero said. "All of us can score, but the challenge is going to be getting our teammates involved and making the defense work."
Scrimsher hopes Impero and Alex Duncan, who transferred from another GNAC school, Northwest Nazarene, will lead the team on the court and be an extension of the coaching staff while playing.
The coaching staff has set goals of not only making the playoffs and finishing in the top four in the region, but smaller goals throughout the year to help them get there.
Scrimsher wants the team to hold their opponents to scoring less than 65 points per game.
"I know we are going to have some off nights offensively," Scrimsher said. "But we can always put in the work, both defensively and in effort. It will help take some of the pressure off offensively."
But even with the potential struggles, Scrimsher has high hopes for this team and said it was one of the most talented groups he has ever coached. He added that he was a little nervous about adding D2 players like Impero because they can sometimes be more difficult to coach, but that this wasn't the case with the guys he has.
"They have all really bought in to what we want to do," Scrimsher said. "They are hard working individuals and really represent that team atmosphere and that will be really valuable to our success."
No. Name YR HT Pos. High school
1 Tyler Clark Fr 6-0 G Concrete
2 Daniel Nielsen So 6-1 G Grandview
5 Alex Duncan Fr 6-2 G Boise (Idaho)
10 Greg Nelson Fr 5-10 G Burlington-Edison
11 Kyle Impero Fr 6-3 G Nooksack Valley
12 Nicholas Kussman Fr 6-0 G Kamiak
13 Neilan Pierce Fr 5-11 G Squalicum
20 Caleb Buchanan So 5-11 G Mount Baker
21 Brennan Hartnell So 6-3 PG Bellingham
24 Ian Tevis Fr 6-1 G Federal Way
25 Eric Fongue Fr 6-6 PF Kantonsschule (Switzerland)
33 Andrew Campbell Fr 6-9 PF Cedarcrest Duvall
40 Zach Stalin So 6-5 PF Mt Baker Deming
55 Chris Tanis So 6-7 PF Mt Baker Deming