The CMU Men's Basketball program has announced the commitment of Isaiah Araya for the 2023-24 MCAC and NIAC seasons. The former Miles Mac standout will add length to the guard positions for the Blazers this season.

A graduate of Miles Macdonell Collegiate in 2020, Araya has been studying at the University of Manitoba here in Winnipeg to start his post-secondary education, but the thought of playing college basketball has always been placed in the back of his mind, and he's now decided to come through on that dream.  Despite his relatively lengthy 6'3" height, Araya has slotted in as point guard or shooting guard throughout his high school and club career, possessing the ball-handling talent and game sense needed to control play from the outside.  In his senior year, Araya helped his high school Buckeyes to an undefeated record in the MHSAA "AAAA" KPAC division, taking home the division title during their incredible run, and would have entered the Provincial Championships as the 7th seed in Manitoba had the tournament not been cancelled due to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Araya brings with him plenty of big game experience, with his Buckeyes also having won the Sturgeon Heights Tournament in his final high school season, and played to finals appearances at the Winnipeg Invitational Tournament and the Miles Mac Tournament as the hosts.  He picked up all-star recognition at the Sturgeon and Winnipeg Invitationals en route to being named a KPAC all-star and MHSAA graduating all-star.

On the club side, Araya suited up for Mayhem basketball for most of his youth club career but later switched over to Magic for his grade 11 season, and then Gladiators for his grade 12 year.  He played on the same Mayhem team as another recent Blazer, and fellow Isaiah, Isaiah Cole, who joined the Blazers in 2019 who may have had some part in leading Araya to CMU.  Araya will join fellow 2020 graduates Ezra Leano and Matthew Brenton on the Blazers roster this season, all of whom faced off against each other regularly during their high school days playing in Winnipeg's KPAC division, with Leano coming out of Maples Collegiate, and Brenton from River East.

Having completed two years of business school at the University of Manitoba, Araya will transfer into CMU's Redekop School of Business for the fall of 2023 where he plans to continue his major in accounting.  Although there was some mutual interest in coming to CMU back in 2020 after graduating high school, Araya decided to focus on his studies to begin his post-secondary life, but now three years later found himself ready to get back into competitive basketball and Blazers head coach Scott Martin was thrilled to add him to the squad.  "Isaiah is a very intelligent wing player, and deceptively smooth for someone of his size on the outside," notes the Blazers head coach.  "He received quality high school coaching at Miles Mac from Jeff Shaddock and Jon Janzen, so to bring in a mature player from such a noted program is always valuable knowing he can pick up our systems quickly and easily."  Araya is excited to learn and develop under coach Martin, and is looking forward to playing on the same side of the ball as some of the Blazers' current talent who he played against but rarely with throughout his competitive high school and club careers.

Coming off an MCAC Provincial Championship Finals appearance this past February, the Blazers will soon start gearing up for next season in hopes of capturing the program's first provincial title since 2017.  The team plans to begin their exhibition schedule on Thanksgiving weekend when they'll face CCAA competition at Douglas College in New Westminster, BC, part of the greater Vancouver area.


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