Get to Know Your Coach: Slav Kornik

by | Jan 24, 2020 | Sports, Uncategorized

By Adrian St. Onge

Basketball Coach NAIT Ooks

Photo by Railene Hooper

The NAIT Ooks men’s basketball team is coming back from the winter break with an 8-6 record. Pushing to keep their playoff hopes alive, rookie head coach Slav Kornik looks to get the team trending towards winning ways.

“We have a good atmosphere. Obviously we haven’t performed to our full potential, but we have a great group of guys dedicated to the team’s success. They’ve taken it upon themselves to meet their expectations,” said Kornik.

Kornik, a NAIT Radio and Television program alumni, brings seven years of coaching experience to the team. Having coached for several years at the high school level, at Archbishop O’Leary High School and Strathcona High School, he then was brought on as an assistant coach for the University of Alberta Golden Bears. After finding success with the Golden Bears and in summer leagues, he jumped on the opportunity at a homecoming with NAIT.

“I’m a former NAIT Ook myself, [and] when the opportunity presented itself, I knew I had to jump on it. I thought long and hard about it, talked it over with my wife and decided that an opportunity like this doesn’t present itself every day,” said Kornik.

Kornik played starting point guard for the Ooks and was the team captain of the 2003 CCAA National Championship team, being named most valuable player of the tournament. Coach Kornik won two provincial championships as an Ook and retired as an All-Canadian Academic, and one of the most dominant backcourt players in recent ACAC history. He ranks second all-time in assists and third in overall scoring in the ACAC history books to this day.

“I was very eager to get started. I have a long history with NAIT and I feel like I can bring a lot to the table. There’s a very talented group of young academic athletes in that room and I feel like we can accomplish something special here,” said Kornik.

“Basketball is important, but we’re students first. Class performance is always the priority.”

Off the court, Kornik has since used his RTA skills in real world applications. His commitment to journalism and sports led him to stops in Lloydminster and Red Deer.

“I was a television sportscaster in Lloydminster and Red Deer for close to 15 years. I’m no stranger to being in front of the camera.,” Kornik said with a grin.

After his stints in Lloydminster and Red Deer, he made a pit stop at Global Edmonton doing online news and the morning show.

“Coaching is my passion and my priority,” said Kornik. “But I still do freelance for Global on the side. Had this position not been offered to me, I would’ve been more than happy to do television until I retired.”

Thankfully for the Ooks, Kornik has his focus on bringing the men’s basketball team back to the heights he experienced in his playing days. His career in journalism may just have to wait on the backburner until he has the story of how he brought the Ooks back to the top of CCAA basketball.

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