REGINA -- A Regina high school basketball player has committed to stay in the Queen City after a more-difficult-than-usual recruiting cycle.

Last week, Kaz Dornstauder from Martin LeBoldus High School decided to stay close to home, committing to play for the University of Regina Cougars. He joins six other Golden Suns alumni on the current roster.

Dornstauder said he has been watching Cougars games since he was young, but the COVID-19 pandemic also factored into his decision.

“I can’t actually get a visit in anywhere else right now,” said the basketball star, who was also considering provincial rivals, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies.

“I can only go by what other coaches are saying where as [in Regina], I have been here a long time and I know all the facilities.”

Cougars’ assistant coach Jamal Williams said the forward’s familiarity with the University of Regina program was key. Plus, it never hurts being six foot seven inches.

“He’s got a very sound fundamental skill set,” said Williams. “He can pass, he’s a good shooter for his size.”

Although the pandemic made the 2020 recruiting process unique, Dornstauder had some experienced family members mentoring him.

His two older sisters, Zayn and Quinn, both played NCAA Division one basketball. Quinn, a member of the Canadian Senior Women’s Basketball team, was supposed to participate at the Tokyo Olympics before they were postponed.

“They’ve always been advising me, I go and play pretty much in the park all the time with my sisters,” said Dornstauder. “I learn and pick up something new pretty much every single time.”

In the short term, Dornstauder’s basketball career is still hooped. Canada West says the basketball season is postponed until at least January. However, the 18 year old said he is still grateful for a chance to play.

“I mean I’m lucky to be one of the ones who continue to play basketball, where as some of my teammates are just done.”