Shayok Gets UM Release

Marial Shayok received his release from Marquette on Friday, according to his father Makur Shayok.

Shayok, of Blairstown (N.J.) Blair Academy, was recruited and signed with Buzz Williams. He asked for his release following a meeting with new Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski.

“I got the news today,” Shayok told Scout.com. “Marquette released him.”

“He has some schools that he’s interested in,” he added. “We’ll find out more in the next couple of days.”

The elder Shayok said he started hearing from schools today.

“Right now I guess Virginia is after him and Notre Dame,” Shayok said. “There are more coming the next couple weeks. Indiana and Rutgers have called.”

“Right now he hasn’t pursued anyone,” he added. “I want to give it a week or two and see what it happens.”

Marial has high basketball IQ, strong fundamentals, and a versitile skill set. He brings a little bit of everything to the court without being an elite athlete.

Think Julius Hodge NC State days.

HHC Sources: Stauskas Has Chosen Agent

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Mississauga, ON’s Nik Stauskas will enter the 2014 NBA draft and choose Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports to represent him reliable sources have told Hoops Hype Canada.

Bartelstein is the father of recently-graduated former Michigan basketball captain Josh Bartelstein. Tim Hardaway Jr, a former Wolverine selected by the New York Knicks in the 2013 NBA draft is represented by Bartelstein. Also fellow Mississauga, Ontario native Andrew Nicholson and current Raptors reserve/veteran Steve Novak. He will be the second highly touted 2014 draft prospect under Priority Sports after Creighton’s Doug McDermott chose Bartelstein too.

Stauskas camp chose Bartlestein over Bill Duffy and Rob Pelinka (a teamste of the fab 5)

A shot at the 2014 NBA draft was the focal point of a rigourous training regime in the summer of 2013 for Nik. He made necessary changes to his body that paid mega dividends.

After gathering data from the NBA draft advisory board and circles Stauskas is projected between a middle to late first round draft pick. Maturity concerns whether Stauskas is ready for a NBA lifestyle is daid to be delaying the Big 10 player of the year from officially announcing his draft declaration a source told Hoops Hype Canada Wednesday evening,

“Why ruin his college time? The NBA isn’t going anywhere,” source said.

“Your four years in college can be the best four years of your life. When you get to the NBA, every single day, someone is trying to take your spot. You’ve got to perform and be ready when you’re number’s called. College is a great steppingstone for that.”

NBA Draft Express have Stauskus going 16th overall. NBAdraft.net have him slated for 14th meanwhile Basketball Insiders have Stauskas as high as 11th overall.

Stauskas honed his shooting skills in his Mississauga backyard with the rebounding help of his dad for years in preparation for this – a chance to contribute on a contending championship college team then a shot at potential future NBA career – Future for young Stauskus folks, has finally arrived!

Kabadyundi Sweepstakes 2.0

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NCAA March Madness Final Four weekend has similarities to the NFL Super Bowl. National atttention and all the media responsibilities that come with it. Almost every NCAA coach will be in North Texas to witness a 2014 National Champion crowned.

Morning after? Like the eve of free agency! Tuesday preparations for the 2014-15 season begin. Coaching staffs will be strategizing on how they can fill scholarship voids for the 2014 season — only five months away.

Montreal Quebec native 2014 7-1 C Link Kabadyundi (Alma Academy) has turned a strong senior season in to an overwhelming sweepstakes as of late.

Kabadyundi against Canadian high school competition including tournaments in the Greater Toronto Area stood out like David Robinson. Twice once in November and then again in March. Playing in front of a full house and several NCAA scouts at the 2014 National Prep School Invitational in Rhode Island Kabadyundi managed double digit rebound performances in Alma Acadmey’s two victories versus West Oaks Academy (FL) and Bridgton Academy (ME).

According to older brother Yannick, who began handling Link’s recruitment last June after returning home from abroad playing professional ball says that a large list of schools are showing serious interest now.

“We all thought at one point 2-3 months ago it was going to be all easy, we would pick up a couple schools and now were racking up close to 8 schools and all of them look very strong. We just have to take some time and re-evaluate. Let’s understand this is for Link, I’m just his facilitator here to guide him through” older brother Yannick elaborated.

One of the most popular voids to fill with window’s closing on any class are centers, big man, let alone seven footers that come around very few and far between.

Kabadyundi not only plays the position in demand, he has positioned himself to be a benefactor late in the game on the recruitment scene.

OFFICIAL VISITS

Nebraska Cornhuskers with proven program builder Head Coach Tim Miles officially hosted the Kabadyundi camp on the weekend of March 8th. The amped-up sellout crowd of 15, 998 at Pinnacle Bank Arena lived up to their reputation and the Cornhuskers knocked off the now Final Four bound Wisconsin Badgers.

“Link enjoyed the Nebraska visit. Their venue was arguably the best in college basketball last season. The hype was real.”
Yannick said who with Kabadyundi witnessed their faithful storm the court.

In his first season as an Assistant Coach at Nebraska is Kenya Hunter. Former Georgetown Hoyas coach of six seasons. He has an extensive development history working alongside NBA draft picks Roy Hibbert, Greg Monroe and most recent Otto Porter. Hunter is reportedly spearheading the Cornhuskers pursuit.

UNOFFICIAL

February 22nd former NBA coach now head coach at Oklahoma Lon Kruger hosted Kabadyundi on an unofficial. As an Oklahoma Sooner Link could join a fraternity with Clippers Blake Griffin a Sooner alumni.

DEVELOPMENT

Kabadyundi’s camp understand the learning curve can be steep in college, especially on the defensive end. Red shirting a year is a possibility but aggressive schools are willing to deal with Link’s freshman mistakes.

Days of standing in the lane in a high school game, daring opposition to come down the lane and blocking their shots are over. Kabadyundi has to worry about screening action, being screened, guarding pick-and-rolls, guarding big guys who shoot and being in the right spot. There’s a lot that goes into that.

HIGH INTEREST

#-1 ranked Final Four bound Florida Gators according to Yannick have expressed interest. A program led by a future hall of fame coach Billy Donovan where developing big man is their sweet spot.

“SEC is a very good conference. I would be thrilled to see Link play in that conference and develop. Florida have a good history developing big guys such as the Noah’s, Horford and those guys. They showed great interest and I think being at an institution like that for four years would definitely develop a good young man and definitely a good basketball player considering their history with big guys and how they are consistently playing in the post season, those are opportunities of a life time.” Yannick explained.

“After their finished their post season run assistant coach Burno from Florida said he was definitely interested in linking up and having us come in for an official visit ” Yannick explained.

NIT Championship finalists SMU coached by Hall of Famer Larry Brown is another program on the rise after Link. Coach Brown has a staff filled with NBA experience such as former Sixers George Lynch and Eric Snow also a 5-star recruit Emmanuel Mudiay headed their next September.

UNLV dealing with draft concerns surrounding fellow Montreal native Khem Birch and Roscoe Smith, have allready begun expecting the best and preparing for the worst. Rebels have reportedly identified Kabadyundi on their radar as a target to potentially replace Birch if indeed he decides to go pro.

TCU, Georgia, Fresno State, Indiana and UMASS have all expressed interest. Assistant coaches Kenny Johnson at Indiana and Shyrone Chapman from UMASS have both recently exchanged dialogue w/Links’s camp.

“We welcome all kinds of schools. Were open to it. We need to be able to compare something. In order for us to compare we need to be open to anything and every opportunity that’s out there. The race is not over yet, its wide open. Show us what you have set up. Academically primarily because we need him to have a good support system pushing for him to graduate. Link has got ways to go. Were trying to put him into a position to maximize his ability and we’ll go from there. “

From the beginning stages Buffalo University (losing senior Javon McCrea to graduation) and New Mexico State (set to lose 7’5″ Sim Bhulllar to 2014 NBA draft ) have been in the fold trying to fill a void at their center positions respectively. Tulane too established a relationship with Link early on in his recruitment process

“Buffalo we heard got a kid from North Carolina and things turned around with them but we haven’t heard back so we wont draw conclusions. I promised Tulane and New Mexico State we would visit there. I like to stand firm with my word. Those were the programs that came in early.” Yannick told Hoops Hype Canada.

Kabadyundi & co will weigh the the pros and cons of each programs particulars over the next couple weeks and that should separate the pretenders from contenders. Older brother Yannick did verify a time table, “Week of April 16th”.

MOUNT ROYAL TOWERS

Yannick and Link also have a younger brother Jordy Tshimanga who is a 6’11 sophomore at MacDuffie in Massachusetts. Together they are nicknamed the Mount Royal Towers after an infamous hill in the beautiful town of Montreal. Keep tabs on this brother duo from Montreal both flirting with high major potential.

Follow 2014 7’1″ Link Kabadyundi (Alma, QC) on Twitter

More on Link read Link Kabadyundi Sweeptakes 1.0 here

Follow 2016 6’11″ Jordy Tshimanga (MacDuffie, MA) on Twitter

More on Jordy check out: Oh My Jordy! 6’10″ Southpaw Surfaces

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Kaza Keane Sweepstakes

Illinois State sophomore Kaza Keane, who hails from Ajax, Ontario has verified he will transfer from the ISU Redbirds.

Keane was selected as a member of the Junior Men’s National Team that represented Canada at the 2013 U19 World Championships. Keane donning the red and white flirted with a triple-double in a game versus Iran after a 25 minutes played, 9 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assist performance.

Keane told American media he desired to find a school closer to home after not having played in front of his family for the last three years.

“The experience (at ISU) has been great, but not being able to see my family is a burden,” Keane told the Penatgraph.com.

The 6-1 point guard graduated high school from Ro Russell’s Christian Faith Center Academy in Creedmoor, N.C. He also played with Grassroots Canada on the AAU circuit. On both fronts for Coach Russell, Keane averaged 20 plus points per game and parlayed it into a D1 career.

In Keane’s freshman year he started 10 games averaging 18 minutes per game. After returning from the U19 Worlds (averaging only 17 minutes and shooting only 29 percent over nine games) Keane wasn’t really given the reigns at running an offense for ISU. As a sophomore Keane only averaged 12 minutes per contest and didn’t start a single game. His shooting percentage dropped from 35 percent to 30 from year one to two.

Kaza Keane in action for Illinois State

Despite defense’s sagging in on Keane for two years as evident by the low shooting percentages, going for him is still the fact he was among the top 5 across the MVC after his freshman year in the assist to turnover ratio category.  Perhaps the true point guard Keane pushed it too hard as a sophomore but now he officially wont have the opportunity to win his job back next season.

One NCAA scout told Hoop’s Hype Canada Tuesday, “Kaza will definitely be a D-I player. He is not a step to slow, he got in the lane plenty of times. Just too often he didn’t have a plan once he got there. That will improve with experience.”

Keane became the first Canadian in ISU program history when he joined the team two years ago. He chose Illinois State over Penn State.

Now let the Kaza Keane Sweepstakes begin.

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Tutu Stock Turning Up

2015 Munis Tutu (La Lumiere/Canada Elite) is the #1-ranked point guard in the Canadian 2015 class.

Munis Tutu (LaLumiere IN) the No.1-ranked point guard in the 2015 Canadian class will travel with the Canada Elite U17 squad scheduled to participate on the Under Armour AAU circuit this summer.

Fresh off a 22-2 campaign with La Lumiere the 6’0″ Tutu reiterated via telephone with Hoops Hype Canada staff that he hopes to let his Spring time performances to do his talking,

Really just talking to a lot of schools. Im not really going to foucs on all the schools until the summer time and AAU season.” When asked what his dream school growing up was the Windsor, Ontario native said something Hall of Famer and former UCONN head coach Jim Calhoun would love to hear, “I really like UCONN. Thats kind of a dream school I would love to go to”. said Tutu.

Kevin Ollie take notice!

Regarding the AAU season which is fast approaching Tutu verified reports of him participating with Toronto, Ontario based, Under Armour sponsored, Canada Elite. Tutu was being courted by Chicago’s Meanstreets and The Family from Detroit. CIA Bounce the Nike flagship program from Toronto, who do have a plethora of point guards in their ranks never reached out.

I would have liked to play at CIA Bounce but they never contacted me. I wanted to play for a Canadian team so I will play with Canada Elite this summer. I chose them because of the coaching staff. I’ve known a coach there since third grade. I also wanted to play with them because I feel I can play, lead and win with them. I hope we can attract coaches in the gym to watch us. With Canada Elite hopefully we can become one of Canada’s great AAU programs.” Tutu said.

Reportedly set to join him at Canada Elite is Mr. Toronto Basketball for 2013-14 Chase Vassell who scored 25+ points or more in 17 games this season playing for Pine Ridge in Toronto. Together Tutu and Vassell should wreak havoc south of the border, Solid starting back court pick ups for the Under Armour sponsored squad from Toronto.

What does his high school coach La Lumiere head Alan Huss think about his AAU decision for Tutu’s last hurrah,

“It was important he found a fit that’s comfortable for him. He had lots of options if he wanted to playing the EYBL he could have. He did last season with the Family in Detroit close to home. Its critical he has a strong showing this spring and he continues to build on a solid high school season” Coach Huss told Hoops Hype Canada.

“Munis maybe undersized at his position and because of that people like to see what he cant do. He’ll continue to prove himself this spring. Once one or two high level programs offer him I think a lot more stuff will pour in. He has some great programs on his list now, I don’t think he’s overly concerned with it. I know he’s going to be smart and pick a right fit. Just want him to get better and he’s going to be just fine.” Coach Huss said about his recruitment.

DICKS NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL PERFORMANCE

An under-the-radar point guard in the class of 2015, Munis Tutu is about to breakout in a big way. He’s a gifted passer in the half-court set, showing impeccable vision, and the ability to create high percentage looks for his teammates. He operates the pick & roll to perfection, displaying poise and composure, and consistently found an open teammate on the kick-out. Defensively, Tutu uses his lateral quickness to lockdown on the perimeter, and he did a good job of guarding Gonzaga signee Josh Perkins at the Dicks National High School Tournament, preventing Perkins from turning the corner, and forcing him to take contested looks from beyond the arc. Tutu’s height will always be the biggest detriment to his value as a prospect, but with his awareness, versatility and ability to lead an offense, he has earned his spot among the Top 150 players in his class.

That’s the type of dymanic player Munis Tutu is. Keep tabs on this recruitment. Its about to sizzle up for Tutu as the focal point on Canada Elite.

Follow 2015 PG Munis Tutu on Twitter by clicking here

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PG Munis Tutu (2015) – La Lumiere – 5’11” 160 Pounds a representing Windsor, Ontario.

 

Sim Bhullar & Raptors A Perfect Marriage

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Toronto’s 7-foot-5 native son Sim Bhullar, a New Mexico State sophmore will ‘prepare for the NBA draft’ over the next couple of months according to Hoops Hype Canada sources.

It was 2011 when Bhullar was featured in a New York Times Interview for drawing comparisons to former first overall pick Yao Ming. Yao and his monstrous presence in the NBA positively effected the popularizing Chinese basketball market in China. Many close to NBA circles feel Sim Bhullar could do the same for a nation like India. A country with a population well over a billion.

Experts in 2011 suggested that it would take two years at the very least for Bhullar to become a bonafide NBA draft prospect. His time has arrived. Back to back college seasons later and the young man now has back to back Western Athletic Conference Tournament MVP’s on his resume along with some sexy statistics.

Sim as a sophmore averaged 10.4 points and 7.8 boards in addidition to 3.4 blocks per game. Including 14 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in his final four games.

During his AAU career he rose to prominence after a 12-point, eight-rebound performance when he was matched against 76′ers Nerlens Noel.

Bhullar becoming an NBA player next season via the NBA entry draft is not far fetched,

“He could get drafted, because he is massive, but not sure he plays.” Basketball Insiders Steve Kyler told Hoops Hype Canada Saturday morning.

“65 FG% and better than 7 boards a game, he’s an interesting project for a big. I think he’s bigger than the listed 355lbs.” Kyler added.

For Sim Bhullar to forego his junior and senior seasons it means one of two things.

One, Bhullar is worried about his shelf life, for example Yao Ming also 7-foot-5 was drafted at age 21 and in July 2011, at 27 years old Yao announced his retirement from professional basketball due to a series of foot and ankle injuries which forced him to miss 250 games in his last six seasons.

Sim allready 21 years old will turn 22 in December.

In Las Cruces, New Mexico where Sim attends University a Men’s Basketball beat writer told Hoops Hype Canada Bhullar hasn’t declared for the draft but also didn’t deny the possibility despite adding some skepticism,

“Shelf life should be a factor. Injured two of three last year’s here. My opinion is he’s further away from even getting drafted” Sun News writer Jason Groves wrote via dialogue online.

“Yao was a lock. Sim would be a flyer” Groves added.

New Mexico State assistant coach Paul Weir also is a native of Toronto and last summer recruited Sim’s younger brother Tanveer to New Mexico State. At 7-foot-3 Tanveer is more of a face up big who enjoys knocking down twelve footers operating primarily in the high post contrary to older brother Sim who tends to dominate down low.

Weir in an interview with Hoops Hype Canada had this to say about Sim last August,

“Most exciting part about Sim is that so many of his abilities you can’t teach. Size, hands, IQ, passing and vision, etc. If he ever gets the things you can change down – stamina, speed, strength – he can be special” Coach Weir answered.

About Bhullar’s pending draft status Coach Weir like Sim also refrained from commenting on the situation. A situation similar to when younger brother Tanveer was expected to redshirt this past 2013-14 season (which he did), Weir with writing on the wall vehemently denied commenting on the obvious.

Second reason to leave Las Cruces before graduating would be if the Canadian back to the basket shot blocker has been rest assured that he will be drafted by an NBA franchise and their draft day brass.

“Raptors hold what looks like a pick at 58 – so real possible.” Steve Kyler concluded.

Could the Toronto Raptors who next season will celebrate their anniversary for twenty years of existence have giant plans?

Allready appointed the hosts of the 2016 All Star Game, the franchise recently appointed Hip Hop mogul Drake to be their ‘Global Ambassador’.

If all plans fall accordingly the 7-foot-5 Bhullar could not only become the second Canadian baller (Toronto, ON’s Jamal Magloire) to dress for the lone Canadian franchise but also its second Global Ambassador.

It’s time for the NBA to tap into the Indian market which has one of the globes largest population in the world. Sim Bhullar can be the first with Indian blood to do it based on feedback amongst NBA executives and word in Toronto is he is now ready to break the ice.

Over the weekend while in attendence at the Celtics-Raptors NBA game inside the Air Canada Center in Toronto, Hoops Hype Canada sources say Bhullar while exchanging pleasantries with a good friend, invited the friend to work out with him uptown during the upcoming summer. Bhullar reportedly mentioned ‘preparing for the NBA draft’ during the conversation.

Bhullar when reached online to confirm or deny reports declined comment.

Bhullar like Andrew Wiggins, Tyler Ennis and 2013 first overall NBA pick Anthony Bennett came up the ranks with a Brampton, Ontario based development program CIA Bounce. Representatives from the club when reached would not confirm nor deny the report. Pre mature was the consensus among the club directors that Hoops Hype Canada could reach over the weekend.

With the NBA draft under three months away things can change quickly in this process.

Bhullar has untill April 27th to declare for the 2014 NBA draft.

Before Drake was given court side seats with customized OVO seat covers within arm’s reach of Raptors head coach Dwane Casey, it was Raptors super fan and season ticket holder since day one Nav Bhattia who held the Raptors Spike Lee reputation in Toronto.

Despite Drake’s arrival Bhattia is still holding down his foldable court side seats under the Front Street net. Vince Carter invited Bhattia to his wedding, rookie Kelly Olynyk only 50 games into his career acknowledges Bhattia before every C’s game in Toronto. Even the volatile DeMarcus Cousins last January amidst a 30/20 performance complimented Bhattia on his wrist jewelry. Regarded as a face of the franchise Bhattia a Indo-Canadian like Bhullar is very well liked and respected across NBA circles including within the Toronto Raptor organization.

Masai Ujiri is an astute evaluator of talent and Super fan is close to the Bhullar’s”
Reliable sources told Hoops Hype Canada.

10% of Toronto’s population are East Indian. Over half a million people in Toronto total. Over a billion in India, Bhullar a Raptor could easily earn more from endorsements then he does from a second round salary

“With a budding 7-foot all star allready in place [Jonas Valanciunas] and a former all-star center in Jamal Magloire as part of the [Raptors] coaching staff is there really a better NBA landscape then Toronto, Canada to introduce Sim Bhullar to the world and develop him along the way?” Source added.

Sim’s last high school coach while playing in Canad was Paul Melnyk of the Father Henry Carr Crusaders. Melnyk has faith the former Crusader will eventually make the best decision,

“Sim is a tremendous big man. A very unique player. His family and support group will make an educated decision about the draft.” Melnyk mentioned via twitter direct messaging.

“I think if the Raptors could pick him it would be a great situation for Sim & the Raptors. I would hope Canada Basketball would have Sim in their plans as well.”

What does Sim’s last head coach in America think of the situation? Hoops Hype Canada reached out to Huntington Prep head coach Rob Fulford via text and Bhullar’s former coach, who also coached Andrew Wiggins responded,

“As long as he’s in shape and healthy, there’s no doubt he can help an NBA team” coach Fulford texted.

For now, it’s about just getting better and refining his game before the ultimate decision to declare or not.

Adding fuel to the fire is the fact CIA Bounce allready have arguably the top prospect overall (Wiggins) and top point guard prospect (Ennis) entering the upcoming 2014 draft. Except the CIA Bounce draft day party doesn’t stop there. Big 12 Conference Player Of The Year and Iowa State Cyclone senior Melvin Ejim and UNLV shot blocker junior Khem Birch, both CIA Bounce products, are also thought of as potential NBA prospects.

Wiggins, Ennis, Ejim, Birch & Bhullar.

Could CIA Bounce have a whopping five NBA draft picks? Why not?

It would be likely be a benchmark for developmental programs on both sides of the border and valuable for Canada basketball who allready on the rise flopped in their World Cup qualifiers last September.

Canada may set a record for NBA draft picks this June but NBA offices and the Toronto Raptors have a real thirst for one. Sim Bhullar.

Some call it tampering, others call it destiny. What we do know is arranged or not that the city and organization in Toronto, Sim Bhullar and the NBA would be a perfect marriage.

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Munis Tutu’s LaLu Lakers Update

Windsor, ON’s Munis Tutu (La Lumiere) many have pegged as the No.1-ranked point guard in the 2015 class.

It was an AAU game versus New Heights where Alan Huss, head coach of La Lumiere discovered the Windsor, Ontario point guard holding his own,

“Heard somebody knew a point guard from Windsor, when I heard Windsor it was intriguing to us being so close. From a geographical stand point we thought he would be a nice fit.” Huss told Hoops Hype Canada.

Two years later 2015 Munis Tutu next week will lead La Lumiere’s basketball team in to New York City to compete in the Dick’s Sporting Goods High School National Tournament. It marks the third consecutive season the Lakers will compete in the prestige tourney. This years Laker edition with two seniors who helped seal some deals were extremely skilled on the perimeter and guard play helped carry them to a top 10 finish in the nation.

This season along side starting point guard Tutu, LaLu is led by sharpshooter Jalen Coleman, and versatile forward Sam Logwood. Coleman is averaging 19 points per game, and shooting 51 percent from deep. Logwood averages almost 17 points per game, and shoots over 50 percent from the field.

DICKS NATIONALS

The Lakers will face Huntington Prep on April 3 at 10 a.m. EST on ESPNU. Huntington Prep is led by JaQuan Lyle, a top-25 prospect that’s headed to Oregon.

Last year, the Lakers lost to a St. Benedict’s Prep (New Jersey) team that featured Tyler Ennis (Syracuse) in the first round. In 2012, they fell to a loaded Montverde Academy squad that consisted of Joel Embiid (Kansas), Dakari Johnson (Kentucky), Michael Frazier and Kasey Hill (Florida).

Versus Huntington Prep: The programs met last year, with La Lumiere holding Huntington to 35 points and Andrew Wiggins to nine. Even though they don’t have a singular talent like Wiggins, Huntington are actually more balanced this season. Preventing 2014 JaQuan Lyle (17.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 5.7 apg, 4.2spg), a stat-stuffer and great all-around player and fellow Canadian 2015 Montaque Gill-Ceasar (16.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg) from going off will be a priority for Huss’ staff. La Lumiere will also need an answer for bruising big man Thomas Bryant (14.1 ppg, 13.1 rpg) who is well known for his physicality.

MONEY TIME FOR MUNIS & LAKERS

For Munis Tutu the National Tournament presents an opportunity for our top ranked point guard in the 2015 Canadian class to solidify his status as a top point guard in America. Being at the National tournament two times in a row, Last season as a back up, now this time a starter is a step in the right direction for Tutu.

Tutu who oozes potential along with La Lumiere must advance to really take that next step to where people really think of La Lumiere in the same breath as some of the other teams in the tournament. Lakers have made tremendous strides over the past two years to put themselves in the national rankings conversation. In 2012, La Lumiere handed Findlay Prep its only loss of the season. Last year, the Lakers had a big win over Oak Hill Academy, but they went into a tailspin to close the season. La Lumiere dropped four of its last five, including a setback to No. 2 St. Benedict’s in the quarterfinals of the NHSI.

The 6-foot Tutu is a crafty playmaker off the bounce who owns a body of work to be a steal at the mid-major level. Speaking with Tutu via telephone the Canadian guard touched on his LaLumiere tenure.

“Coming here [La Lumiere] was a great decision for me. Basketball in America is very different. La Lumiere and Coach Huss have really pushed me to be the great player I’m trying to become.”

Asked about any college or professional point guards Tutu models his game after, Munis said he likes watching Indiana University sophomore Yogi Ferrell and in the NBA he follows both Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo.

Shabe Heirman in his second season as Assistant Director of Athletics and Associate Head Basketball Coach at La Lumiere School has played a pivotal part in Tutu’s development. Coach Heirman played collegiate basketball at the University of Tulsa also as a point guard. He has been a mentor for Tutu Head coach Alan Huss told Hoops Hype Canada in late January,

” He [Heirman] has spent a lot of time, with D1 point guard experience by Munis’ side. I think he has done a really nice job helping Munis, Not so much the feel part of it which is very natural for Munis but more with just how to be a leader, how to play the position all the time. With a lot of kids the consistency of everything is something Munis had to learn, which he’s done a nice job getting better at here the last year.” said Huss.

HUSS NO STRANGER TO TORONTO

Munis is the fourth Canadian to attend La Lumiere since Huss took over four years ago. He follows Western Mustang Adam Djukic (Oakwood), JUCO talent Jake Hill (Eastern Commerce) and Missouri S&T’s Aaron Emmanuel (Henry Carr) who started two years for the Lakers. All three Huss inherited when he arrived on the job. Other names that nearly commited to La Lumiere were Canisius bound Cassidy Ryan & Marquette bound Marial Shayok. Both were very close calls.

Heavily linked with La Lumiere has been 2016 Nolan Narain. It is widely believed that if and when the 6’9″ member of Canada’s Cadet team takes his talents to America La Lumiere is high on his list and according to Coach Huss the feelings are mutual.

“We’ve been actively pursuing Nolan Narain for some time now. I really think Nolan has a chance to be something special if he really commits and wants to work at it.” Coach Huss shared.

As for Toronto talent very few coaches from America have a pulse on it like the former 6’9″ center from Creighton Alan Huss does,

“I’ve been going up there a long time, almost 10 years now. I really got to watch the progression of the different AAU programs like Grassroots who dominated for so many years. I know Ro [Russell] and have a lot of respect for them. Then watching Mike [George] and Tony [McIntyre] do their thing. Now some of the new guys like YAAACE coming up..Northern Kings, I got a good handle on the club scene and kind of know a lot of the high school coaches up there. I think I got a good idea what’s going on and try to always follow it. From a geographical stand point whether its the Greater Toronto Area or Windsor the geography makes sense. Munis can take a three and a half hour train ride home anytime he wants to go back. It just makes sense from a logistics stand point being close to Ontario kids and being in tuned with what’s going on there” Coach Huss explained.

Following is a look at Coach Huss’ tenure with La Lumiere. Very impressive stability and success under head coach Huss.

2013-14 (Alan Huss) 22-2 as of April 1st, 2014
2012-13 (Alan Huss) – 26-6, No. 7 final Academy Top 10 national ranking
2011-12 (Alan Huss) – 25-3, No. 7 final Academy Top 10 national ranking
2010-11 (Alan Huss) – 21-4
2009-10 (Delray Brooks) – 10-11
2008-09 (Delray Brooks) – 14-9

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25 Canadians In March Madness

Dyshawn Pierre – Dayton

Tyler Ennis – Syracuse

Andrew Wiggins – Kansas

Agunwa Okolie – Harvard

Melvin Ejim – Iowa State

Naz Long – Iowa State

Dylan Ennis – Villanova

Kenny Cherry – Baylor

Brady Heslip – Baylor

Jahenns Manigat – Creighton

Jason Caliste – Oregon

Nick Wiggins – Wichita State

Chadrack Lufile – Wichita State

Justin Edwards – Kansas State

Grandy Glaze – St Louis

Nik Stauskas – Michigan

Sim Bhullar – New Mexico State

Tanveer Bhullar – New Mexico State

Matthew Taylor – New Mexico State

Jalen Pennie – New Mexico State

Stefan Nastic – Stanford

Dwight Powell – Stanford

Kevin Pangos – Gonzaga

Kyle Wiltjer – Gonzaga

Jordan Bachinski – Arizona State

Olivier Hanlan Talks 2013-14

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Only way Canadians will be able to witness super sophmore Olivier Hanlan dancing next week during March Madness is if Hanlan and his Boston College squad win the ACC tourney. That said speculation of his future at BC and of leap frogging into the NBA continues to arise. Following are qoutes from Hanlan after his final regular season game last Saturday. Should
he stay or go?

Hanlan on entering NBA draft:

“I feel those are types of things I’m going to talk about after the ACC tournament,I don’t really like to focus my attention on that, because that sometimes can distract a lot of players, So I’ll take these next few days and focus on this tournament coming up and after that we’ll see what happens.’’

Hanlan on if his scoring prowess is necessary to win conference title:

Whenever I’m aggressive, and I don’t think the game too much, I feel like I play pretty good. I think we’ll have other guys step up, it’s a five-game tournament and anything can happen. We’ve seen a lot of upsets in the past week with top teams falling, so whoever shows up and whoever is making shots is going to win.’’

Hanlan overall thoughts on season and entering conference tournament:

It has been a tough year, a lot of ups and downs, a lot of close losses. Obviously, it’s not the season we were expecting, but we just have to look at this ACC tournament as a new season, It’s a five-game tournament and we just have to take it step by step and anything can happen, so we just have to stay positive.’’

Draft Express Olivier Hanlan profile

NBA Draft Net Olivier Hanlan profile

Murray’s Father On Michigan Visit

After a previous visit to Ann Arbor was postponed due to some car trouble, 2016 Jamal Murray (Athlete Institute) made it to Michigan’s final regular season game against Indiana on Saturday evening.

Coming along with Murray on the trip were both of his parents, they enjoyed watching Michigan celebrate a Big Ten regular season championship at Crisler Center.

Overall it was a great visit,” Murray’s father said. “It was a great facility. Their fans were really good. Their facilities (were the best part).

Standing 6’4″ Murray plays the role of point guard for his high school team but could project at either guard position at the next level. With the opportunity to watch Michigan’s guards and the Wolverines offensive system up close, the Murray’s came away impressed.

They have a good team and good rotation right now,” Murray’s father said. “Their communication is a strength even just looking at the bench.

Talking with his son following the visit, Murray says it was a positive experience.

His reaction was he enjoyed the game,” Murray’s father said. “It was really good. Michigan came back and hit a couple big shots. I think Jamal, he was happy to see it up close and see the facility as well. It was a good game. Overall it was a good experience.”

Once the Big Ten championship celebration came to a close following Michigan’s 84-80 win over Indiana, the Wolverines’ coaching staff had a chance to interact with the Murray’s, making a favorable impression.

“Everybody was great” Murray’s father said. “Again we’re going (on these visits) to try to see everything like the facilities but we got a good feel from it.”

“They’re really good people and they like what they do and it was nice of them to spend so much time walking around. It’s hard to get everything done in a couple hours though.”

Unable to get a better feel for the rest of what Michigan has to offer academically, the Murray’s plan to be back to find out more about the Wolverines.

Yeah,” Murray’s father said when asked if they’ll make a return trip. “We want to see more of the University. Overall, it was good.

Murray’s father adding, “We’ll go back and see (more). It was a good experience and great opportunity.”

For more information on the 2016 Jamal Murray Sweepstakes, tune in at HoopsHype.Ca

2016 Jamal Murray Sweepstakes 2.0
2016 Jamal Murray Sweepstakes 1.0

Montaque Gill-Caeser Sweepstakes 2.0

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Huntington Prep head coach Rob Fulford thinks that Vaughan Ontario native, Montaque Gill-Caeser is ready for college ,

“Teki can definitely make an impact [if he reclassifies to 2014] as a Freshman. The extent of it will be based on where he chooses to play, the fit and what role they need him in. He is a high level shooter and physical wing that can impose his will on other wings.” Texted Fulford to HHC counterparts.

With growing speculation that Montague reclassifies, it’s beggining to look more and more like a two way race.

Michigan State

Michigan State appears to be a frontrunner for “Teki” who is technically still a member of the 2015 class and it is widely believed that he’ll take the opportunity to reclassify to the 2014 class and enter college next fall.

Growing consensus is that he’ll pick MSU over Kentucky, Memphis, and the other suitors because of the golden opportunity of stepping in immediately for NBA-bound Gary Harris.

Kentucky

John Calipari is in hot pursuit & Gill-Caesar has also been rumored to be very high on Kentucky. Which would also include to reclassify for 2014.

Gill Caesar’s reclassifying time table will most likely depend on what happens with Kentucky’s current crop of freshman guards Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison and James Young. NBA executives are projecting perhaps both Harrison twins will remain behind after being so highly touted for the NBA lottery when the season started and now a days both are struggling to increase their stocks.

Coach Cal reportedly visited Huntington shows how serious UK is. Wildcats could put in a strong challenge for MSU.

We’ll probably know a lot more about the ‘Teki’ sweepstakes after the high school basketball season ends when it’s time for Gill-Caesar to decide on a spring visit schedule.

Right now I got nothing new. Might visit MSU but not exactly sure when. I have no date on when or if im reclassifying either.” The top-20 recruit in USA Gill-Caeser wrote via email.

Current Form

Gill Caeser a junior small forward at Huntington Prep in VA and on duty at the LG Big House Shootout in Charleston, W. Va. collected 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Irish in a walloping (137-60) of Wesley Christian and had five points against Riverside Christian.

Followed that up with what may have been his last home game at Huntington, WV if indeed he does reclassify.

Gill-Caesar finished with 27 points and nine rebounds to lead HPREP in a 71-61 win over Legacy Charter (S.C.) on Senior Day at Huntington St. Joe this past weekend.

“I just wanted to leave everything on the court really because it is possible my last game in this gym and in Huntington,” Gill-Caesar said. “This place has become a second home to me, so playing in this game, you don’t want to take it for granted.”

Also In Mix

Gill Caeser for the Class of 2014 has offers from Alabama, Baylor, Kansas, Memphis, Missouri, Providence and West Virginia.

For the Class of 2015 MGC also has offers from Illinois and Ohio State too.

Montaque Gill-Caeser Sweepstakes 1.0 click here

Follow ‘Teki’ on twitter by clicking here

5 Question Inbound With Diaper Dandy Danilo Djuricic

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18 teams and ninety starting jobs at the 2014 OFSAA championships being held March 3rd through 5th in Mississauga, Ontario. Only one starting freshman (grade 9 student) in the whole field. He is #1 seed St. Michael’s Blue Raider Danilo Djuricic. A 2018 talent standing 6’6″ tall who ‘rebounds and blocks shots above average for being so young’ according to CIA Bounce boss Tony McIntyre.

Before St. Michael’s College begins there quest for back-to-back OFSAA titles, HHC counterparts caught up with the promising young talent from Brampton, Ontario.

HHC: For your freshman season in high school you decided to take your talents to St. Michael’s College. Not only hockey but it’l is notorious for all sports. 2013 defending OFSAA champions & this years #1 seed. What separates SMC not only to become provincial contenders but also able to recruit top notch talent like yourself?

DD: The coaches especially coach Zownir are incredible coaches, they push you everyday in practice and are great to learn from. The discipline and structure that they have in basketball are great to have. Our reputation at this school was a great factor, being top for academics and athletics was a big factor in coming here. The academics at this school are a great prep for later on… there is lots of work to do. Also just looking at the SMC team the last couple years, they have been great, looking at the talent that they had, it just keeps going up. Now that I’m here I have great mentors from everyone on the team being the young boy. The coaches and seniors give me great advice and have been a huge help throughout the year, especially from Coach Zownir, and Godwin [Boahen], and Nelson [Kaputo] they took me under their wing and they’ve been my biggest mentors in my first year here.

HHC: About yourself. Earlier this season caught peoples attention for a willingness to rub shoulders in the paint with opposing front courts which is rare for a freshman, towards season end your outside shot is noticeably improving. Any players pro or collegiately you compare your game too? Which position or role do you vision yourself playing at the next level?

DD: I think my game models Chandler Parsons with a inside game and still working on my outside game. Even though it’s too early because I’m in grade 9 my goal is playing D1 university, and wherever that takes me, I mean it’s every ballers dream to go to the NBA, just school first then basketball, and you never know.

DIAPER DANDY: Danilo Djuricic with #1 seed St.Michael’s will be the only starting grade nine at the 2014 OFSAA basketball championships.

HHC: For those that don’t know your a Brampton, Ontario native, you also play AAU ball for Brampton based CIA Bounce. For folks across the country and coaches reading can you try to explain why Brampton has become such a hot bed for D1 talent?

DD: Brampton has been slept on a lot lately, if you look at the talent pool that has come out of Brampton the last couple years, Just to name a few, Tristan Thompson, Anthony Bennett, Tyler Ennis, just naming a few I know there are many more. These guys are guys that us kids in Brampton look up to knowing they’ve been in the same area, we’re just trying to make it like they are. And a club like CIA Bounce’s focus is nothing but development and is everything for us players. CIA Bounce gives us players a great opportunity to achieve our goals, it’s great playing for them.

HHC: About your CIA Bounce team… You look at what Grassroots (Tristan Thompson & Cory Joseph) did ath the 17U level, what CIA Bounce (Bennett, Wiggins, Ennis) 16U did, even what YAAACE 15U (Justin Jackson & co) accomplished last summer it seems like Canadian teams travelling AAU are finding more success now at earlier ages. When you talk to Canadian recruitment & scouting experts the consensus is that your 2018 class may be the best class ever when it’s all said and done. Allready the accolades are accumulating south of the border with your squad, any team mates we should keep an eye out for in terms of 2018 talent?

DD: Looking at the 2018 class there are lots of high caliber players. If you look at our 2018 Bounce team, everyone of us are top talent players, that’s why we are so successful together, everyone should keep an eye on our team, Simi, Jonathon, KeShaun, John, just to name a few, our whole team are top notch players.

HHC: Before AAU OFSAA 2014! Your Blue Raiders enter as the #1 seed and incredible feat considering your starting 5 are all underclassmen. What kind of basketball does St.Michaels hang their hat on and what will it take to become back to back provincial champions starting with #12 seed Mother Teresa Monday?

DD: Takes our determination, and our drive for the back to back. We have been working for the date of March 5th 8:00pm all year, we’ve had it down on our calendars all year, that will be the night. We just have to play together how we’ve been playing and that’s all that matters.

To follow Danilo Duricic on twitter click here

To follow St. Michael’s College Basketball on twitter click here

Jamal Murray Sweepstakes 2.0

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Recent sound bites coming from 2016 Jamal Murray’s camp are indicating he is now determined to be a point guard in college.

The Kitchener, Ontario native Murray who is unselfish and standing close to 6’5″ has great size at the point guard spot. For his high school team Athlete Institute (Orangeville, ON) it wasn’t always the case,

“Early in the year we had him off the ball and he was really scoring at the clip you got a chance to see on Friday night” Athlete Institute Head Coach Larry Blunt said. “We moved him back to the point guard which is his natural position and the position he would be.”

Some argue Murray at the one is not what grew his legacy. Murray made a name for himself for his flat out scoring mentality. Instead of becoming one dimensional, Murray feels he has the intangibles and poise to play point guard.

“From his perspective, he really wants to get his teammates involved and do what it takes to win. I think he’s continuing to grow and develop as a point guard and as he gets more comfortable I think you can see when he turns it on he’s special.” Coach Blunt told Scouts.com

Regardless where Murray is slotted in any line up, college coaches are beginning to line up for his post secondary services. He has allready attended a Syracuse game and others according to his high school coach.

“We may go back to Syracuse, the problem is right now for us in our first season we’ve traveled a ton. We’ve been to Georgetown, we’ve been down to NC State to see a game while we were on the road.”
Blunt concluded.

Colleges are already taking notice of the qualities Jamal Murray possesses, regularly hearing from Syracuse, Kansas State, Illinois, N.C. State, and Michigan, among others. His sweepstakes continues…

Jamal Murray Sweepstakes 1.0

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Open Court With Coach Mac

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Toronto based 16U AAU team YAAACE are currently #2 in pre season rankings including all of North America.

2nd overall to only a program that is funded and orchestrated by none other then two-time reigning NBA champion Lebron James.

What YAAACE accomplished on tour of duty travelling AAU last summer was ridiculous yet remarkable.

Founded in 2007, the Youth Association for Academics Athletics and Character Education (Y.A.A.A.C.E) was only a community organization that’s mandate was to engage children and youth from communities through programs and activities. Now their novice team seven years later is sitting #2 in all of North America.

YAAACE head coach Jordan McFarlane aka Coach Mac is regarded as one of the better player coaches in the Greater Toronto Area.

From novice leagues to #2 in North America. Coach Mac has even played a part in tutoring and developing a top-10 ranked talent in America 2016 Justin Jackson. A 6-8 point guard with potential in his viens who could be real special one day.

It was only right that HHC caught up with the 27-year-old YAAACE head coach and discuss some current situations and happenings with the YAAACE boys from Toronto with AAU around the corner, Enjoy!

HHC: You’ve been head coach of YAAACE since the 2016 group were 10 years old. For people that are unfamiliar how did you get the gig which you’ve done a remarkable job including your squad being ranked right now #2 in N.America, Only behind Lebron Janes AAU program.

Justin Jackson, Coach Mac & Oshae Brisette.

Justin Jackson, Coach Mac & Oshae Brisette.

JM: It all started with Devon Jones. Devon use to coach a novice team that consisted of many of the players that I coach to this day. I was just the bigger brother to one of the kids on that team. As their novice season came to an end. Devon Jones appointed me to be teams new head coach. This was way back in 06/07. I’ve been working with these young men ever since.

HHC: In Canada your not considered great untill America says your great. #2 in North America, deep runs in Indiana, Orlando & Las Vegas and a July live period record of 19-3. Are you expecting the same results in 2014?

JM: That record was a direct result of all the hard work and sacrifices these athletes made all year. They trained hard as individuals and even harder as a team. This just means we have more work to do. It’s nice to be #2 but it’s not #1.

HHC: #1 player in 2016 Canadian class Justin Jackson, perhaps the most publicized player on the squad. Took his talents down south in September. Your thoughts on his season, as expected or even better?

JM: I think Findlay is definitely a big stage to be on. Especially since the roster is loaded with d1 talent. I think Justin early on has had some difficulty figuring out where he belongs in the d1 factory we call Findlay Prep, but has still found ways to be a key contributor to his team. Some would say it was a mistake to send him there but I say that in order to be the best you have play with and against the best, and that’s what Action Jackson is doing everyday in Vegas.

HHC: In regards to Action Jackson, some people say he is a point guard, tweener at the 3/4 you’ve coached Justin since he was 10 years old. What is Coach Macs feelings on the position & type role for Justin Jackson?

Justin Jackson 2016

JM: Justin Jackson will be a PG at the pro level with out a doubt. He’s 6’8 with pg Handles and Magic Johnson like court vision. Defending the the pg position will be his greatest challenge to overcome. But from what I’ve seen so far from Justin this year is his defense has dramatically improved and will only continue to get better.

HHC: Recently YAAACE announced a merge with Triple Balance and formed a new moniker for AAU called Association Canada. Any reason for the merger and how will it benefit YAAACE moving forward?

JM: It was the perfect fit. Both organizations do life changing work in the community (Triple Balance/Malvern), (Yaaace/Jane&Finch). Plus together we arguably field the top 15 & 16u teams in Canada. I think this creates more opportunities for the young ones coming up in both programs. Plus the guys over at Triple Balance are great men. They are trust worthy and share the same passion we have for helping young men and women.

HHC: Reports surfacing about Association participating in the recently announced Under Armour AAU circuit and a partnership with Under Armour and Association. Can you confirm or deny rumored reports or still to pre mature?

JM: Yes The Association Canada Elite is officially a UA sponsored organization. Our 15, 16, & 17u teams will be participating in the UAA League this summer.

HHC: Back to the future. The other Pilot Oshae Brisette also at Findlay, relatively unknown in Toronto, what can you tell Canadian hoop heads about the young man?

JM: First of all Oshae Brissett is a class act. He’s a great student and an even better person. Oshae is a 6’8 wing with loads of talent and potential. We’ve thrown him into the fire at Findlay. He’s been going up against the likes of McDonalds All Americans Kelly Oubre and Rashad Vaughn everyday in practice. That environment will definitely help that potential blossom into greatness. Watch out for this kid in the future.

HHC: Toronto high school hoops scene have some of your guards going hard. Your main lead guard Godwin Boahen of St.Mikes, only 5’9″ but as a sophmore led his school to the most prestige provincial championship in the country. With the 2014 OFSAA kicking off next week he’s back as a Junior with the #1 seed. What makes that kid so special?

JM: He’s got the heart of a lion. He never quits. He’s never afraid to do the dirty work and lock down the opposing teams best player. Put it this way. If I had to coach against this kid I would be nervous.

HHC: High flyer Marcus Ottey. Showed signicant strides as a go to guy with JC Richardson. He was instrumental in their success and fell only 3 points short of The provincial championship in the LOSSA finals. Signs of becoming a complete player?

JM: Marcus Ottey is like a little brother to me. Because we both live in the Durham Region we often train together in the off season. He’s probably the most athletic baller I’ve ever met, so watching him defy gravity over the last couple of years doesn’t surprise me any more. What is most impressive about Marcus’s game is his much improved skill set. He’s worked at it and had a great summer circuit because of it. Great kid.

HHC: #3 seed at OFSAA features combo guard Keshon Montague. As a 2016 he led D’Youville to a 32-4 overall record as a starter in a battle tested schedule, what type of player is he?

JM: Keshon is a glue guy. He is great at facilitating an offense and running it at a tempo that best fits his team. He also had a great summer and was a key part of the success that the #2 team in the country achieved. He is now the franchise guy with his high school squad D’Youville. I wish him all the best at OFSAA.

HHC: Your thoughts on the 2016 Canadian class in general. 2 clubs ranked inside the top 25 in AAU pre season polls and Canada basketbal is selecting a chosen few to represent the U17 level at the World Championships for this summer. How do we we compare to the Americans and is a gold medal game is realistic?

JM: The 2016 class is deep. Arguably the deepest class we have right now. That top 25 ranking is a testament to that. The national program will have a lot of talent to pull from. In my humble opinion I think the selection criteria for the national team is a bit flawed. Too much focus on size and not enough actual skill and talent. Especially at the guard spot. Last year we had no true facilitator or defensive stopper at the pg spot. If a little guy can get the job then that’s who should be playing.

HHC: Final question, in 2007 when YAAACE was founded do you ever think how basketball was just another activity to engage youths and all of a sudden now 7 years later your group is in the home stretch of obtaining 4 year scholarships which value over CDN $250,000? Your thoughts?

JM: Your right. when I first started coaching I thought it was just going to be something fun to do for the kids. Something to keep them engaged. But the opportunities that have come as a result of these boys doing what they’ve done thus far are incredible. If everyone of my athletes could earn a free scholarship at the end of the day I would be the luckiest guy in the world. These kids are special. And they deserve every ounce of credit.

There you have it, keep an eye on the Association Canada AAU squad and their blossoming young talent.

Moving forward the question begs, can this crop do it again?

To follow Coach Mac on twitter click here

To follow the Association Canada Elite click here

To follow HoopsHypeCa click here

Michigan Chasing Murray With Coach Meyer

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Scheduled to visit Michigan this past Sunday for their win over Michigan State, car trouble forced the Murray’s and his team to take a detour but the plan is to be in Ann Arbor sooner than later, with stops to other schools on the docket as well.

“We definitely want to get back to Michigan,” Athlete Insitute HS head coach Larry Blunt said. “We appreciate them extending the opportunity and we’re going to get down before the season ends.”

Though early, the Wolverines, led by assistant coach Jeff Meyer, are already laying the groundwork for a positive recruiting experience with Murray.

“Coach Meyer, we’ve spoken with him a ton,” Blunt said. “For one Michigan is a great school and relatively speaking it’s close from a proximity standpoint so his parents could see him play.”

30 year old Blunt in his first year in charge in Orangeville, ON concluded,

“Michigan has been great, they’ve been consistent, they’ve been keeping tabs on him and they’ve done a really nice job early in the recruiting game of building a solid foundation with him.”

Per source coach Meyer photographed above was at the 2014 Caribana Classic NCAA camp last summer in Brampton, ON held by CIA Bounce. It is there where he came away impressed with Kitchener, Ontario native Murray.

Hoop Dreams: Puma Point Guard Jordan Henry

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Last month Hoops Hype Canada pronounced 2017 Nova Scotia native Lindell Wiggington as the #1-ranked point guard in the nation. Little did we know that residing in Toronto is someone who maybe in the same conversation.

Meet class of 2017 5’9″ Jordan Henry of the Pine Ridge Pumas. Since arriving on the scene last AAU live period in Florida, the point guard nick named ‘Rock’ by his peers has taken his game to a whole different level.

As a underclass men only in grade ten, Henry has quarter backed the Pumas to a stellar historic season while mastering his craft in the east end of Toronto. Pine Ridge based out of Pickering finished a flawless regular season 15-0, and 29-7 overall. When HHC correspondents connected with Pine Ridge head coach Trisha Biffin. Coach vouched for his teams facilatator both on and off the court.

“Academically Jordan has been a strong student with us at Pine Ridge and has performed well both on and off the court. He is well liked by all his teachers and peers and always has a pleasant disposition in the classroom and at practice.” adding ” He is a true leader and a threat to all of his opponents.”

Jordan Henry remains to be one of the only starting grade 10 point guards in the province playing at the senior level. In the LOSSA finals head to head with Canadian Cadet 2016 Marcus Ottey, Henry scored 25 points including 14 points alone in the fourth quarter. Think Sacramento Kings starting point guard Isaiah Thomas. Very small, very explosive, and quite the competitor who likes to get to the rim.

Asked about what separates Henry from other tenth graders and the Pickering, Ontario high school head coach explained,

He can not be shaken while on the court and does not let his emotions get the better of him. Alongside Chase Vassell he creates a plethora of scoring opportunities and we hope to create more chances with this duo at OFSAA.”

Ahead of the 2014 OFSAA ‘AAAA’ championships next week in Mississauga, Ontario HHC (Hoops Hype Canada) correspondents caught up with Jordan. Henry and his Puma’s will be the #7 seed.

HHC: Tell us about yourself. Your game, any professional players you draw inspiration from? Any athletes that you aspire to be?

JH: I like to view myself as a pass first guard who enjoys watching their teammates score. My ability to pass keeps the defense guessing because I’m always in a triple threat position which gives me multiple options. I draw inspiration from Steve Nash, Tony Parker and Chris Paul. They all played on winning teams and they don’t always rely on their athleticism to contribute. They are very crafty and use quickness and basketball iq to succeed. I draw inspiration from Lebron James and Chris Paul because their team players and other players love to play with them. They always make their teammates perform better.

HHC: When did you first get interested in Basketball? Any accolades along the way your most proud of?

JH: I started playing basketball in grade 4 and all the tournaments and championships over the years are my most valuable accolades.

HHC: Any challenges your experiencing as a student-athlete on & off the court? How is your support staff with teachers?

JH: No I have no problems with my academics and if I do have problems the teachers at Pine Ridge are 100% supportive and helpful. I’m close to all my teachers and I’m extremely close to my assistant coach/guidance counselor Mrs. Biffin. I’m extremely thankful to have her involved because she’s always there for me when I need her help.

HHC: About Pine Ridge. What your doing as a 2017 at the senior level is fantastic. Your thoughts on your teams season so far and potential of going the distance down the stretch?

JH: Well we have some good wins and some terrible losses. We need to work on our consistency and not play down to the level of our competition. If we play to our potential we can compete with anyone in the country because we have a great presence and rim protecter in Jay Williams, we have another shifty and quick guard in Dre mcintosh, and we have the best scorer in high school basketball in Chase Vassell who can you go for 40+ any given night! I’m blessed for these teammates and my job is to make sure I get everyone involved in and make sure everyone focused, and playing as 1 unit! Our #1 goal is to win OFSAA.

HHC: Back to you… any daily routines? As you prepare for D1? Anything new you’ve incorporated lately to help propel you to the next level?

JH: Yeah I’ve started to eat way more healthy, I’m also doing push-ups and other exercises to gain more strength. I’m in the gym everyday shooting different types of shots like floaters, pull ups and other off the dribble shots. My strength and my shooting are my 2 major weaknesses so I’m going to continue to work hard on them and make them strengths of my game. I watch a lot of college basketball because it helps me gain more basketball iq and I can improve the mental part of my game.

HHC: For AAU who will be travelling with? Also any dream schools across NCAA you grew up admiring?

JH: l will be traveling with The Associaton this summer. My dream schools are North Carolina, Baylor and Michigan.

After hearing his commitment to the Association Canada, the flagship AAU program for Under Armour, HHC reached out to head coach Shane James for some feedback. First question? What makes Henry a top candidate for top point guard in his class, coach James responded,

“I think Jordan Henry is at the top of his class not only as a PG but as a complete player. He’s a coaches dream. A player that has tremendous leadership skills, a superb athlete and can do anything you ask of him. The kid can flat out score in multiple different ways, break people down using dribble moves, create for teammates and guard the oppositions best player night in and night out. Jordan is also an academic kid. He works just as hard in the classroom as he does on the basketball court. Not only is it a pleasure to coach a kid like Jordan, he makes my job a lot easier”

So what is next for JH? Is it time to take his talents south of the border?

“That would be a decision for JH to make with his family. With that being said, he has been getting a lot of interest lately from some of the top high schools and preps down south. He will have some tough decision to make. I have to give a lot of credit to coach Cam Nekkers who is doing a great job running a first class program at Pineridge. Jordan enjoys playing at Pineridge. Did you see the student/staff support they had at the LOSSA Championships? It’s a great when your whole school gets behind you and supports school sports. It creates a great environment to play in.” Concluded coach James.

There you have it folks, the talent vault doesn’t stop north of the border no matter the position. Look out for his patterned spin move to the hoop and circle the name Jordan Henry. 5’9″ class of 2017. If you didn’t know now you know.

Pine Ridge Pumas Jordan Henry

2013-14 Pine Ridge Pumas @PineRidgeBball finished 29-7 overall with a 15-0 LOSSA record. They will enter the 2014 provincial championships as the #7 seed.

5 Question Inbound With 2016 PG Keshon Montague

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It’s no secret that Canada basketball overlooks smaller size point guards when it comes to international play. As evident when highly touted guards such as 2016 Keshon Montague, Godwin Boahen & Nelson Kaputo were omitted from the U16 FIBA Americas roster that finished with a bronze medal last summer in Uruguay. Yes European guards are long and tall but height at the point guard position size is irrelevant. Give us skill, leadership qualities and most importantly winners!

Ahead of the 2014 ROPSAA championship game between Brampton, Ontario rivals D’Youville Panthers & Notre Dame, HHC counterparts caught up with Panthers floor general who is known for his long range shooting, in your face defense, facilitating and WINNING on every level he’s played on. Recently the Brampton native was added to HoopTownGTA’s Fab 48 for Grade 11. Five question inbound with 2016 PG Keshon Montague, Enjoy!

HHC: You have played on grand stages before. Nationals gold game, back to back junior level ROPSAA championships, showcase/all star games, elite 8′s, final fours and championship games during AAU live periods. Where does tonight, your first Ropsaa championship game at the senior level rank? Big or just any other game?

KM: This is my third ROPSAA finals in the last three years but I still don’t take this opportunity for granted. Even though we already qualified for OFSAA It’s still a big game for me. A lot of players were vying to play in the finals but my teammates and I worked very hard to ensure our place in this game. We our also trying to win this game for our 5th year seniors Addy (Ogunye) and Jerome (Simpson).

HHC: D’Youville! Notorious in Brampton for being a basketball power house. For people that don’t know Tristan Thompson attended DY before going south. You’ve been a lead guard since you arrived, play nearly 50 games a year with tourneys, season and playoffs. In your opinion what separates DY from other peel regional schools?

KM: What separates DY from other schools in my opinion is the kids who go there and how willing they are to work each and everyday. The coaches sacrifice a lot of their time giving us an opportunity to work on our game everyday 5 days a week sometimes three times a day. They also give us the game experience we need with our 50 game schedule and help us reach our full potential.

Keshon Montague Yaaace

411 on 2016 PG Keshon Montague courtesy of HoopTownGTA

HHC: Many experts have labelled you the purest facilitating PG in the 2016 class. Any players pro or collegiately inspire you? Or you model your game after?

KM: There are four guards i really study and try to model my game after. Chris paul for his facilitating and court awareness. Kyrie Irving for his scoring ability and how he attacks the rim. Tyler Ennis for the way he reads the pick and roll and lastly Stephen curry for his shooting ability.

HHC: On court is there anything you have added to your training regime or incorporated into your development to help propel you to the next level?

KM: I’d have to say more focused workouts, working on one thing each day instead of doing 5 things and not doing them properly. I’m also incorporating boxing, it gives u stamina, focus and endurance for the big games like today.

HHC: Last but not least, You were a big part of YAACE’s remarkable 19-3 July record. Making deep runs in Indiana, Orlando & Las Vegas your thoughts on that experience? Any timetable for your decision on summer plans?

KM: That was a great experience for me , probably the best summer I’ve ever had ! Our team was very talented and we did a lot of damage down south ! Very thankful to Coach Jordan for that opportunity. I want to take care of the rest of the HS season then make my decision.

Support and track Keshon Montague’s journey to the next level by following him on Twitter by clicking HERE

Support and track D’Youvilles journey towards OFSAA by following on Twitter by clicking HERE

2016 Jamal Murray Sweepstakes 1.0

Jamal Murray

2016 Jamal Murray (Athlete Institute/CIA Bounce) recruiting sweepstakes has officially begun. Murray a member of the Cadet Men’s National Team who will participate in the 2014 U17 FIBA World Championship for Men has seen his legend grow by the game.

Currently ranked #37 by Scouts.com the 6’5″ 190lbs Murray is being recruited as a combo guard at the next level, while primarily playing point guard for his high school team Athlete Institute in Orangeville, Ontario. Murray last week cracked the Fox Sports Scouts.com national top 100 list which is a rare feat for a Canadian playing high school ball on Canadian soil. Justin Jackson (Findlay Prep/YAAACE) is the highest sitting Canadian at 21. Both Murray and Jackson have been arguably the top player in the highly touted 2016 Canadian class.

“Jamal Murray is a special player…He wants the ball in his hands at the end of the game.” In talking about Murray’s recruiting AI HS head coach Larry Blunt mentioned to American media in December ,“His recruitment is heavy. A lot of colleges on him already as a sophomore.”

One school that has been consistently keeping in contact with Murray’s coach is Michigan. Who already boast a Canadian product with Mississauga native Nik Stauskas whose enjoying a stellar sophomore season.

“They’re looking at him as a one or two,” Murray’s father Roger told Scout.com “A lot of people haven’t seen him yet though…Once they see him I know it’ll be different. “He’s a point guard but you can put him anywhere and he’ll produce, basically.”

“For Jamal, anywhere he is going we’re looking for him to play and not really to sit; his game is to play. We’re looking for somewhere where he can go in and play.” Father Roger Murray added.

In the United States for game action this weekend at La Lumiere (IN) School the Murray’s will swing through Ann Arbor to visit Michigan as they host Michigan State at Crisler Center Sunday afternoon.

“This was just kind of on the fly,” Murray said. “Coach told me to call them to get up for the game so this is just on the fly.”

“We want to see how the team is setup, how they run the plays, just seeing how it is there, just to see what the environment is like. I’m not the one playing, he’s playing so.”

Murray is also hearing from Illinois, Syracuse, and Louisville, among many others, growing and learning under the tutelage of his father.

“I trained him all his life,” Murray said. “I’d say he doesn’t have much weaknesses. He can get a little more hops probably but he’s just a floor general…He can control the floor, shoot from anywhere, pull up and do all the moves you could imagine, has a nice handle.”

Kitchener, Ont. native Jamal Murray played a key role for Team Canada capturing bronze at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Uruguay. Murray led the Cadet Men’s National Team (CMNT) in scoring in four of the team’s five contests. His best game of the tournament came against Puerto Rico, where he scored a game-high 24 points, while rounding out his night with seven rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals. The 6-3 guard was one of Canada’s more productive players, averaging 17 points on 46 per cent shooting, with averages of six rebounds, three assists and 2.4 steals in the tournament. Jamal and the CMNT will now set their sights on the 2014 U17 FIBA World Championship for Men later this summer.

2016 6’5″ Jamal Murray expected to lead  U17 Team Canada team into the U17 FIBA World Championships this summer in Dubai.

Jamal Murray Sweepstakes

Pole Position

- Syracuse
- Michigan

Roger Murray not one to divulge details but many close to the situation see Jamal Murray ending up close to home. Bordering American cities with Ontario make Syracuse & Michigan obvious favourites from the start.

In The Mix

- Florida
- Illinois
- Louisville

If your not based in Western New York or the state of Michigan it doesn’t mean you don’t stand a chance. However with ‘Cuse & ‘Blue allready rolling out the red carpet you better come aggressive. For example, circle the Athlete Institute HS showcase tournament this March 21-23rd, also add the 2014 Caribana NCAA camp to the agenda too.  Illinois’ has been fond off CIA Bounce talent dating back to losing out on Xavier Rathan Mayes on his decision day. Despite the Negus Webster Chan Louisville debacle, with it’s pedigree of reigning defending champs the Cardinals & Hall Of Fame coach Rick Pitino present a stage for Murray second to none. The same goes for the University of Florida who have been monitoring Murray since he took home the 2013 Jordan Brand MVP award.

#37 in America and climbing. The pride and joy of 519 hoops is on demand and the sweepstakes for his signature have officially begun! Stay tuned.

Michael Asemota “In My Eyes Were The Best Team In Canada”

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Since we first discovered Class of 2016 6’3″ SG Michael Asemota at a camp in Detroit no other 2016 guard has climbed up the rankings ladder quicker. Since then Asemota has won gold with Team Ontario at nationals last summer and parlayed that club success with high school success helping the Notre Dame Knights in Brampton, Ontario go 8-0 in the regular season including a season sweep of city rivals St. Edmund Campion.

Ahead of Thursdays ROPSAA quarter final match up versus who else Campion, Asemota caught up with HHC counterparts. Enjoy!

HHC: Tell us about yourself. Your game, any professional players you draw inspiration from? Any athletes that you aspire to be?

MA: Thank you for being able to share my story. An analyzation of my game would be an athletic scoring guard I draw inspiration and watch alot of Derrik Rose & Damian Lillard.

HHC: When did you first get interested in Basketball? Any accolades along the way your most proud of?

MA: First started playing basketball in grade 6-7 and I played on Team Ontario last summer which was a big honour. I got player of the game for the ROPSAA allstar game last year and a couple MVP’s along the way throughout my career.

HHC: Any challenges your experiencing as a student-athlete on & off the court? How is your support staff with teachers?

MA: Kind of, there are alot of pressures put on you being a student athlete but other people have done it so im confident i can also. My support staff with teachers is okay, if i need extra help my coaches will arrange help after schoool and help me get my grades up.

HHC: About Notre Dame’s Season. Your thoughts on your teams season so far and potential of going the distance down the stretch?

MA: I think our team has the talent and a chance to win ROPSAA and even OFSAA, were a very underated team with a lot of skilled players. Were an athletic and fast team that can shoot at a high level. In my eyes were the best team in Canada.

HHC: About you … Some say your the fatest rising 2016 in the Canadian class over the last 18 months. How have you been able to make such significant strides?

MA: I have just been working at my game. Coaches have been giving me constructive criticsm on my play and I’vs just been trying to implement it. I still have long long way to go though.

HHC: Any daily routines? As you prepare for D1? Anything new you’ve incorporated lately to help propel you to the next level?

MA: Im in the gym basically everyday with practice and games but ive been working on my defence and the mental aspect of the game, giving it my all in practice and games and also developing a killer mindset.

HHC: For AAU who will be travelling with? Also any dream schools in the NCAA you grew up admiring?

MA: Im not 100% sure right now but im practicing with Brampton Elite with Marcus Anderson and Eric Hackett. Its a strong team travelling to multiple high level tournaments in the states. I’ve always liked Memphis and Syracuse, I dont really know why ive just been attracted to those.

Chase Vassell Chasing OFSAA Medal & NCAA Offers

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TORONTO-  Playing with Pine Ridge Secondary School the class of 2014 6’3″ SG Chase Vassell has separated himself from the competition in 2013-14 by dropping an eye opening 17 games of 25+ points. In the process Vassel was also influential in a historic campaign that saw Pine Ridge, for the first time in school history, finish the regular season undefeated. A remarkable 12-0 record.

Pine Ridge Pumas have shown a knack for developing prolific scorers. Jamal Reynolds,  who will join Canisius in September via JUCO poured in more than 50 points three times and over 40 at least 10 times in 2012. He averaged 43 points a game in league play that season. Reynolds now passes the torch on to Chase Vassell.

Hoops Hype Canada caught up with Vassell this week and the Mr. GTAHoops candidate for 2014 discussed various basketball related questions, enjoy!

HHC: Tell us about your game, any professional players you draw inspiration from? Any athletes that you aspire to be?

CV: I am a natural born competitor, who doesn’t go down without a fight. I like to take pride in my defense, and stopping my man, I do a majority of my damage from behind the arc, in transition, and off of screens. I’ll do whatever it takes to help my team win.

Chase Vassell

I draw a lot of inspiration from Steph Curry because he made his dream a reality as he was against all odds. He only got one NCAA d1 scholarship offer out of high school to Davidson, as like me right now standing at 0 offers this gives me hope. Another player that inspires me is Kobe Bryant because of his incredible work ethic, and commitment he has made to the game over the years.

HHC: Any challenges your experiencing as a student-athlete on & off the court? How is your support staff with teachers?

CV: On the court I am willing to work hard and know that the competition is always right behind me. In order to achieve success I know I have to keep working on my weaknesses and continue learning and achieving. The growth process will never be over for me and I look forward to the hard work and exciting times that lie ahead.

Off the court, I have been getting better marks than I was earlier in my high school career finishing with a 72% average last semester.

The support staff with teacher at Pine Ridge is great. All of my current teachers work well with me and understand the goals I have set to reach for myself and want the best for me. One person in particular that helped me get on track, back in grade 10 when we met, was Mrs. Biffin. The Pine Ridge assistant coach and school teacher. She put helped me select all of the right courses I need to gain eligibility for the NCAA. A lot of people had doubts that I could do well in higher level courses but she always had hope in me and supported my decisions.

HHC: About Pine Ridge… Your thoughts on the teams season so far and potential of going the distance down the stretch?

CV: I think that my Pine Ridge team has fully exceeded any expectations we had for this season so far and we are only starting to peak, and at the right time with OFSAA right around the corner.

I think that our team has all of the right tools that a team has to have in order to win a championship. That being height, heart, great defense, great guard play, and players that can score inside and out, along with a strong bench.

Going down the stretch I believe that we have great potential to win our league, LOSSA, and then go on to medal at OFSAA.

HHC: Seventeen 25+ point games this season is outstanding, what do you credit for this season where you have demonstrated such significant strides?

CV: I credit my hard work put in almost every day last summer. This school season I wanted to come in and prove myself as a top Canadian scorer and that I belong.

Also gotta give some of the credit to my great PGs Jordan Henry and Dre Mcintosh. Playing with them really opens up a lot of different scoring opportunities. In the end my individual points do not matter as much as playing as a team and getting the win.

HHC: Any daily routines as you prepare for the next level? Anything new that you have incorporated lately in your training regimes that could help you propel to the next level?

CV: I do extra training 4-5 times a week with my trainer Cedric Carter and Galaxy Training.

HHC: Last but not least, any dream schools growing up?

CV: Two absolute dream schools I had growing up always included Syracuse, and Baylor.

Support Pine Ridge during their LOSAA & OFSAA quests by following @PineRidgeBBall on twitter.

Support Chase Vassell’s journey to D1 basketball by following him on twitter @ChaseBIL

For more round-the-clock coverage on Canadian High School Hoops follow @HoopsHypeCA on twitter.

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HoopTownGTA summarizes the sensational season of Chase Vassell in Toronto with Pine Ridge Puma’s.

Coach Miles Talks Campion Core

Campion tookj home the 2014 Sheridan Cup last weekend.

The Campion Bears knocked off the two-time reigning champions d’Youville Panthers with a 55-45 decision to win the 2014 Sheridan Cup.

St. Edmund Campion are rolling. Since the turn of the new year Coach Miles and company have knocked off both #1 at the time Oakwood 60-52 @ the St. Mike’s Invitational on Jan 12th and #3 at the time d’Youville 55-45 @ the Sherdian Cup on Feb 1st.

Hoops Hype sent staff to Sheridan College last weekend and caught up with head coach of Campion Omar Miles. Celebrating his birthday with a double header, in between group stage games Coach Miles briefly discussed some Campion basketball.

Campion Coach Miles photographed from his playing days at the University of Wilfred Laurier in Waterloo, Ontario.

The former Wilfred Laurier point guard now head coach provides Canadian basketball fans with some in depth intel on a team that is currently firing on all cylinders at the right time of the season. After earning their third tournament title this season it means one thing, St. Edmund Campion are ready for OFSAA TODAY! Read up:

HHC: Group of death here at Sheridan Cup. 8AM versus Ascension then back at it for 1PM facing Xavier. Nice Birthday gift from tournament organizers. Your thoughts on the circumstances?

Omar Miles: Our guys get up for class and we start at 8:12AM  so if we have a game that starts at 8 we should be ready to play a good team like Ascension. Plus I’ve had my guys practicing the last two mornings at 6:30 to prep them for an 8 o clock game.

HHC: Ascension, a couple big wins this year, always tough year in year out, hard working bunch any keys to that success?

Omar Miles: If I had to play them in the playoffs I would have a sleepless night trying to prep for them. Super athletic, long and they get after it. They have to have the same type of attitude as their coach Freddy. He gets them going I told our guys you just have to be more discipline then they are, play smarter and not try to play the up and down game but also control the tempo which I like.

HHC: Xavier deciding game in the group next any scouting reports on them?

Omar Miles: I remember they have a big guy that’s pretty good I coached against him in Junior. I should have a guy to match him in Andrew Anderson if not maybe another guard. We all hang our hats on our defense.

HHC: Now let’s talk Campion roster. The next level guys like Marcus Anderson and Keshaun Saunders get a lot of the hype for Campion, but with a guard like Curwin Elvis, you can kind of fill that void if Marcus sits. Talk to us about 2015 6’6″ Andrew Anderson it looks like this kid is irreplaceable on your team, thoughts?

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Heart and Soul: Andrew Anderson turned down Athlete Institute offers to return to Campion. A leader by example makes him almost irreplaceable.

Omar Miles: Love his motor and I call him my JYD. Same type of attitude, no quit and always getting after it. He may have a bad first half but probably the only player I can chew out and it’s a yes coach I understand. I’ll get it, you don’t have to worry and I love that attitude… Certain guys you have to motivate differently, he has his own motor and own motivation. I have to pull him back a little, calm him down, which is a good thing, he goes, goes, goes and sometimes you got to bring him in but I don’t ever have to motivate him he’s a good self motivator and it’s perfect for us.

HHC: How about 2015 6’3″ CJ Bennett what does he bring to the table?

Omar Miles: Very talented, right now lacking that motor that we talk about in Andrew Anderson. I got to light the fire under his butt and he is always responsive but I need him to be a bit more of a motor and motivating himself to get after it.

HHC: 2016 6’5″ Dylan Gregory had a solid game this morning what does he bring to the table, kind of epitomises your depth right?

Omar Miles: He’s only been playing basketball for three years. Talented, trying to get him to go both ways meaning going right or left. He is really lefty dominant but he has the size and the physical ability. Now he just has to put it all together. Again he’s learning the game, he hasn’t played enough games. He’s trained but not enough basketball games at the elite level. So this year he’s playing for Brampton Elite outside of our basketball so this will be really be back to back basketball seasons that he will be playing at a high level.

HHC: Now the guys who get a lot of hype as far as next level goes and deservingly so. Canada Basketball was high on 2015 6’2 Marcus Anderson can you elaborate what makes him special?

Omar Miles: He has to be the best guard defender in the country. He just harasses and harasses guards. I just tell him keep your aggressiveness till the second half and we just punish guys that way. Offensively he’s still trying to learn the point guard position and for me being a point guard and now coaching I want him to be the coach on the floor and that’s a transition that he’s just going through. Going from two guard and playing rep ball with a guy like Keshon Montague from D’Youville and other guards in Brampton now he has to become that lead point guard if he wants to play at the next level. You know what he was the last cut for the Canadian Cadet team and he was close. I’m sure you know what, they could have used him.

HHC: 2018 6’4″ Keshaun Saunders the household name on both sides of the border and special because he is so young. Called up to the senior team this weekeded, is that something you took into consideration maybe earlier in the season?

Omar Miles: I always want to give kids opportunities. It was difficult to have him on our senior team because we do have a lot of depth. Each of our guys play rep ball or club basketball so I didn’t have enough minutes for him. He also needs to learn how to become a leader, because he plays on a really, really good Bounce grade 9 basketball team and they have guards and the leadership is what is going to take him to the next level, he has the talent, he is very coachable and thats what I love. He had some big plays in the morning game and he is playing against seniors that are 3-4 years older. Future is bright and if he doesn’t stay at Campion at least I can say we got a good one or two years out of a Keshaun Saunders which build the profile of our basketball program but also there is going to be more kids coming up.

Game Report vs Ascension CLICK HERE

Game Report vs Xavier CLICK HERE

Game Report vs D’Youville CLICK HERE

Campion’s basketball history began in the year 2004. In its short history, Campion has made a name for itself in Peel basketball and the rest of Ontario. To Support Campion Basketball on Twitter Follow @CampionBball

 

Game Report Campion vs D’Youville

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When the 2014 Sheridan Cup draw was released, most projected a championship game between Brampton city rivals D’Youville and Campion. Saturday night on campus at Sheridan College Brampton hoop fans in the 905 got their wish.

sherioan Cup

DamiAnn Prehay came out of the gates a man possessed. Knocking down a three ball to open up scoring and bulldozing his way to the FT line for an early 6-0 lead. Keshon Montague’s buzzer beater three ball at the end of the first period gave his Panthers a 12-9 lead after 1. Panthers reserves Christian Gould & Norville Clayton helped stretched DY’s lead to its largest of the night 16-9 early in the second quarter. Campion’s reserve Kean Lopez then stretched the floor re-igniting his Bears for a 13-6 run to even things up at the intermission 22-22.

To open up the second half Marcus Anderson’s bucket gave Campion its first lead of the night 24-22. Back to back blocks from Campion’s Andrew Anderson & DY’s Addy Ogunye got the crowd buzzing. Entering the final frame, led by 5th year Curwin Elvis 8 third quarter points, Campion held a narrow 39-35 lead.

DY’s demise came early in the fourth quarter. After reducing its deficit to 4 points after three quarters, Campion opened up the fourth quarter with a 7-1 run. Midway through the fourth another Kean Lopez deuce gave Campion it’s largest lead of the night 50-39 with under 4 minutes to play. Both squads exchanged points down the stretch and for the Campion Bears who all weekend fired on all cylinders earned their third tournament title of the campaign with a convincing 55-45 total team effort.

TOP PERFORMERS

Campion:

Curwin Elvis a game high 18 points in the Sheridan Cup Championship game.

Curwin Elvis a game high 18 points in the Sheridan Cup Championship game.

2014 6’0” Curwin Elvis 18 points - Skinny frame and a long wingspan for his size. Fast guard with a scorer’s mentality. Corner threes & his constant threats taking the ball coast to coast in transition DY had no answer for.

2016 6’3” Devonte Daniels 13 points – quiet but potent do-it-all performance. Got his touches on post ups, rolls to the hoop, basket cuts showing good decision making skills. Also put the ball on the floor from time to time. Big frame and fundamentally sound.

2014 5’10” Kean Lopes 9 pointsContinues to prove himself as one of the most efficient spot up shooters in all of  Canadian high school basketball. Tremendous outside shot. Textbook form. Money behind the arc.


D’Youville:

2015 6’5” DamiAnn Prehay 12 pointsMotor on 5th gear was a menace attacking the paint showing he can get to the FT line at will, with a more sense of urgency earning trips to the line and more consistent FT shooting (3-for-7) sky is the limit for Prehay

2016 6’0” Keshon Montague 11 points – lead guard & sound defender held Marcus Anderson to 5 points. Crafty moves created offense for himself, using hesitation moves and a strong crossover. Showed flashes of stopping on a dime after creating his own shot and elevating for his smooth looking jumper.

2015 6’4” Norville Clayton 5 pointslimited minutes but threw down two EMPHATIC dunks. Size and length underutilized all season long and no different Saturday. Too good of a rebounder to only be seldom used, a testament to his excellent physical tools.

Game Report: Campion vs Xavier

logoBRAMPTON- In a battle between Peel regional foes St. Edmund Campion and St. Francis Xavier went head to head with a final four berth in the Sheridan Cup at stake. Early on Campion’s defense was stifling. Midway through the first half the Bears held a 16- 7 advantage. Playing their 2nd game of the day the Bears depth was on full display. Diaper dandy Keshaun Saunders on senior duty demonstrated why he’s been so highly touted. Baby jumpers, drawing contact the south paw’s penetration in both half court and in transition had the crowd buzzing and that seem to spark his teammates resulting in a 15 point half time lead 41-26.

In the 2nd half it was Junior Marcus Anderson leading the way for Campion. Hitting three balls, finishing at the rim with a dunk and showing his coast to coast capabilities as floor general.  He had a game high 15 and invited everybody to the party.  CJ Bennett & Kean Lopez connected three balls meanwhile Quinton Hamilton and Andrew Anderson gave the crowd their money’s worth with a vicious slam dunk each. When the dust settled the score board at the final buzzer was 70-47 Campion.

Campion the winners of the Campion Classic and the George Brown X-Mas bash seem to have bounced back from an early dismissal at the 2013 RimRocker. Next up a semi finals date in the Sheridan Cup Saturday afternoon.

Top Performers

Campion

2016 6’1” PG Marcus Anderson 15 pointsMoves off the ball intelligently and seems to have all the attributes needed to play within a system, as he’s a serious, competitive player who seems to know his limitations and puts a good effort in on most possessions.

2018 6’5’ G Keshaun Saunders 11 points- Ultra-aggressive scorer with huge upswing. Can simply rise up on a dime and elevate over defenders. perimeter shooting is getting more and more consistent as time goes on.

Xavier

2016 6’4’ G/F Emanuel Ansay 9 points – Extremely unique prospect due to his combination of size, strength, scoring instincts and ball-handling skills. Has work to do, on the defensive end in particular, but he’s clearly a top-notch prospect for D1

 

 

 

 

Game Report: Campion vs Ascension

 

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BRAMPTON- In Friday mornings match-up between peel regional rivals, the St. Edward Campion Bears held off the Ascension Eagles 45-41 for victory in their Sheridan Cup opening game. After an 8:00AM tip off the Bears from Brampton broke a deadlock tie at 13-13 with a strong finish right before halftime. Dylon Gregory poured in 8 first half points and was Campion’s catalyst during a 13-4  run that gave Campion a 26-17 lead at the intermission.

Some 2nd half precison shooting behind the arc (3-for-3) from Deshawn Tyrell erased the Eagles defecit with a 23-12 run of their own. All tied up at 40-40 late Campion came out on top. Clutch at the charity stripe for Campion was Curwin Elvis who 4 for 4 shooting FT’s in the final two minutes.

Final Score: Campion 45 Ascension 41

Top Scorers:

Campion

2016 6’5 Dylon Gregory- 11 points in various ways. Off the dribble and in transition.
2015 6’3 CJ Bennett -  9 points & a good effort in both defensively and on the glass.
2015 6’6 Andrew Anderson- 7 points including some man among boys emphatic dunks.
2015 6’0″ Curwin Elvis- 7 points all coming in the 2nd half including clutch FT’s late.

Ascension

2014 6’6 Chris Williams 12 points and several swats.
Deshawn Tyrell 9 points all from behind the arc.

 

Hoop Dreams: Lindell Wiggington

2017 PG 6'1 Lindell Wiggington

2017 PG 6’1 Lindell Wiggington

For his age he’s one of the best point guards in his province and some argue maybe the entire country.

There is no position deeper in Canada right now than point guard. The country has a bevy of stars competing to be the best, but for 2017 talent you’d have a tough time finding a more complete point guard than Lindell ‘Wiggy’ Wiggington. Younger brother of JuCo Standout & champion Rodell Wiggington.

Late summer nights in Nova Scotia. Lindell and big brother Rodell getting shots up at 2AM

Late summer nights in Nova Scotia. Lindell and big brother Rodell getting shots up at 2AM

“Lindell is the best 2017 PG in the country. He will be the first Canadian to attend Oak Hill in the Fall. 6’1 athletic, highly skilled with a motor.” Reliable sources told Hoops Hype Canada. Also warning folks to monitor the Scotian’s height as he grows older.

He will grow to at least 6’4 like both his brother (including 6’5 Rodell).”

Oak Hill Academy in Virginia is of one Americas most reputable basketball schools with alumni’s such as Carmelo Anthony, Brandon Jennings and were American national champions four times in the last 9 seasons. Head coach Steve Smith enters his 30th season in charge next September. He will have to fill in a void left by 8 of 12 players on his 2013-14 team that will graduate this June. Wiggington taking his talents to play at Oak Hill could very well be the case.

Recently Hoops Hype Canada caught up with the the talented Ocean Playground point guard. Writing back to us from the 902 listen to what Lindell had to say about his road to the next level so far,

HHC: Tell us about yourself. Your game, any professional players you draw inspiration from? Any athletes that you aspire to be?

LW: My game is like a D.Rose and Westbrook’s type, athletic and explosive. I finish a lot like Rose and real explosive like Westbrook. I kinda try to model my game like a Damian Lillard though, I go at  a guy don’t care who they are and my handle’s are a lot like Lillard.

HHC: When did you first get interested in Basketball? Any accolades along the way?

LW: I first got interested around the age of 4 just growing up watching my brothers made me love the game and I broke my Jr. high school team record last year for points with 54.

HHC: How is the season going so far. Any highlights or exciting moments you can take us back through?

LW: An exciting game I had was against Auburn high school where I had my first dunk in a game 2 hands off 2 feet. Another game was when we played them in our tournament’s championship game. I crossed a guy over bad and hit a mid range jumper and the gym went crazy. It just set us off and we won in the championship against Auburn the number 1 team in the province.

HHC: Any challenges your experiencing as a student-athlete on & off the court? How is your support staff with teachers?

LW: My school supports me all the way. I came to school a couple weeks late because of some prep confusion and was struggling with math but these last couple months school staff has supported me 100 percent in getting my grade up. It’s hard because ball is there but academics is first. It’s so important finding time to get your work done when your off the court.

HHC: How about any routines? As you prepare for D1? Anything new?

LW: I’m in the gym training everyday, handles shooting finishing, coming off the screen reading the defense and I’m even starting to get in the weight room a little bit working on my legs and things like that. Still doing pushups at night.

Last season was kind of a challenge for me because I was trying to get exposure and at the same time get wins on the AAU circuit but it was only my first year and it was everything I expected. This year I’m on a whole other level.

HHC: Last but not least, any Team Canada thoughts or AAU? Who can coaches catch you playing with this summer?

LW: Im with the Roots (Grassroots Elite) I was looking for the right AAU team where I’m gonna play my role and there gonna let me do me and the u17 canada team is definitely a goal for me I’m just gonna come in to the tryouts do me and hopefully that’s what they like and I’ll be the youngest player to contribute on the team.

Lindell was invited to the U16 try out for the national team that participated at the 2013 FIBA Americas. A year younger then most at try-outs Wiggington made it difficult on the selection committee and the end result was being one of the last players who didn’t crack the 12 man roster.

20140201-063320.jpgWhat makes Wiggington good is that he’s obviously got the skills, the shooting, the dribbling, the passing and the quickness, which are all necessary to be a good point guard. Then (he has) the other intangibles like knowledge of the game, toughness, leadership and wanting to have the ball in his hands — those kinds of things near complete his package.

Lindell Wiggington class of 2017. 6’1 and 165 pounds out of Prince Andrew High School in Nova Scotia. Wiggington has no dream school but he does have hoop dreams to play at a high major. Hoops Hype Canada signing off warning you all…do not bet against it!

You can follow and support Lindell on Twitter at @Lwiggington6

7’1″ Link Kabadyundi Sweeptakes 1.0

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2014 Canadian 7-footer Link Kabadyundi’s (Alma Academy) stock is on the rise. After a 2013 Nike Global Games invite last summer the towering young Montreal center has followed it up that with some fine form travelling on an American circuit with Alma Academy (QC).

Basketball runs deep in the Kabadyundi family. He has a father who played for Zaire (Rep.Dem. of Congo), an older brother who played D1 & now professionally abroad, a sister that just received a 2015 scholarship to Providence and little brother Jordy who is playing high school ball in New England poised to be a top 10 ranked 2016 talent by summer’s end.

When Link was reached by email and asked about who he models his game after the Montreal big man was willing to share his thoughts,

Link Kabadyundi

2014 7’1″ Link Kabadyundi native of Montreal, QC.

“When I think of the great big man in the game one of the players that I look up to is Andrew Bogut because not only he uses his size well but brings much to his team offensively and defensively which I find important playing both ends. He is also a great facilitator for his team. Also I like Kevin Garnett, like KG I’m trying to integrate the jumper into my offensive game alongside my post moves.” Link Kabadyundi wrote.

The seven footers stock started to rise after older brother Yannick began handling his recruiting. Yannick is a Boston native while his younger siblings reside in Montreal, Quebec.

“I’m in the loop now as far as where he can go and what he can do, I just want to be very clear and make sure things are done the right way…In this business, word can get spread around what is good or bad so quickly before you can catch it.”  Yannick told Hoops Hype Canada.

Link’s play has helped garner serious interest among the likes of  Buffalo, Minnesota, New Mexico State and Providence who’ve all been linked with Link’s recruiting sources told Hoops Hype Canada. Yannick would not confirm or deny reports.

Asked about why Link hasn’t regularly played for Team Canada and Yannick responded,

 “How come Canada isn’t talking with me about Link? I strongly believe after I’m done putting together this whole school package for Link, to have him in the right program and develop him as a big guy, Canada’s going to regret overlooking him.”  Yannick explained.

“I’m kind of disappointed what Canada as a whole has brought to the table. When I have Canadian AAU programs call me am I supposed to just jump and run to them because my brothers are Canadian? I have no disrespect to the folks in Canada but I have reason to question their ability to get the job done.” Added Yannick.

Link Kabadyundi

Kabadyundi in action for Alma

Despite skepticism from Yannick about Link’s development north of the border, Link did earn a Nike Global Games invite. Nike Representitives saw Link play in Montreal with Alma and with Canada in search for a big after Trey Lyles pulled out, Global Challenge staff discussed the possibility of Kabadyuni filling the roster and Link was given his shot.

Reviews from DC that weekend were that Link was a legit 7-footer who ran the floor well but struggled with foul trouble all weekend and played limited minutes as a result. Despite the honour to be invited older brother Yannick likes to look at the bigger picture,

Even though it’s pretty big to be there, kids get better when they get developed. I’m always into developing the kids. You don’t want to throw him out with the wolves without developing him. I feel Canada as a whole basketball community failed to maximize Link’s ability to develop. Nobody cared to find out who Link’s father was, because his Dad would’ve said ‘Hey, I got my son down there in the States. You guys need to contact him about this basketball situation’.

Elaborating on Link, older brother Yannik shot down any health concerns too,

“Let’s set the record straight, Link does not have any health problem. It’s all 100%. Only thing with Link is to continue developing and growing as a player. Now that I have him under my wing, our primary goal is to get him to a good Academic and athletic program. And after 4years of playing D1 ball, I believe Link will have enough tools to play Pro.

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Yannick is concerned about Canadian basketball development but at the same token the thought of Link Kabadyundi the Olympian he is all for too,

“I would love for my brother to play for the National team. It would be an honor. Brazil 2016, he’ll be ready to earn it”  Yannick reiterated.

At the next level, with added strength Link should be able to establish deep post position with ease. If he develops a consistent mid-range jumper, he’ll be an above-average NCAA center who can impact the game on both sides of the ball.  Length and athleticism are in ABUNDANCE. With no shortage of bulk and shot blocking ability look out for Link Kabadyundi. The big man is a late-bloomer, but his combination of shot-blocking and offensive skills makes him an intriguing option for any coach south of the border.

FREE THROWS

‘Leaders Of Canadian Hoops’ North Pole Hoops a national recruiting service in Canada has Link rated 66th in Canada amongst his 2014 class. After Trey Lyles, Chris Egi & Jabari Carig we couldnt think of any other big fellas even in the same conversation.

Follow Link Kabadyundi on his journey on twitter at @Kabadyundi

Follow Hoops Hype Canada on twitter at @HoopsHypeCa

 

Montague Gill-Caeser Sweepstakes 1.0

Former OFSAA champion with Vaughan Secondary in Toronto, Montague Gil-Caeser is in high demand for his post secondary services.

Speaking at the 2014 Spalding Hoop Hall Classic this past weekend, the 6’6″ small forward for Huntington Prep discussed his recruiting.

Currently ranked as a top 25 player in the class of 2015, he played a very balanced and steady floor game according to Yahoo’s Recruit Scoop,

“He hit jumpers from mid-range out to the three-point line and hit a huge three late in the fourth quarter to help give Huntington some breathing room. Gill-Caesar also played good defense and was very active on the glass while scoring a team-high 13 points and corralling nine rebounds.”

After his stellar performance the student-athlete also known as ‘Teki’ summarized the schools that are showing him interest.

  • Michigan State
  • West Virginia
  • Kansas
  • Missouri
  • Florida State
  • Alabama
  • Memphis
  • Kentucky
Montague Gill-Caeser

2015 6’6″ Montague Gill-Caeser

He has been to West Virginia and Kentucky unofficially and Gill-Caeser still has to decide whether or not he would stay in the class of 2015 or make the move to 2014. A similar move his fellow AAU teammate at Montverde (FL) Chris Egi did recently as he committed to Harvard.

Michigan State and Memphis are also possible visit destinations Teki hinted at.

“It’s a possibility right now,” said Gill-Caesar when asked if he could make his class decision at the same time as he makes his college choice. “It’s just going to be a game-time decision right now, I don’t really know. I’m just not sure.”

 

POLE POSITION

Coach John Calapari and Kentucky in hot pursuit for MGC

Experts are convinced he is being encouraged by his high school coach at Huntington Prep Rob Fulford to make a move from Huntington to Kentucky. Coach is on record commenting that the Canadian is more then ready. That and a luxury to play alongside fellow 2014 Kentucky commits Canadian Trey Lyles and 7-foot Dominican Karl Towns puts John Calapari and his Wildcats in pole position.

As for many folks back home the consensus is why not return to America for another year and make a run at a McDonalds All-American selection, the prestigous accolade in American high school basketball.

One source also suggests a return back to Canada is also an option. With Athlete Institute now up and running in Orangeville, Ontario, known to be heavilly affiliated with his AAU program CIA Bounce and it’s commitment to play a tough North American schedule, Gill-Caeser could still play against high caliber competition and improve his stock as a focal point of Athlete Institute. Only time will tell as the Montague Gill-Caeser sweepstakes grows.

STATUS: As we first reported news of Kentucky interest in August the consensus over here is that Montague Gill-Caeser is Kentucky’s to lose. One thing for sure, he will be very physically mature for a frosh and could possibly compete for playing time the moment he steps foot on campus.

Follow Montague Gill-Caeser on Twitter through his journey to the next level.

Egi: ‘Can Be Better, Will Be Better’


SPRINGFIELD, MA- Martin Luther King Jr. Day was a great day for Cliff Alexander [Curie (IL)] and for the reputation of Chicago basketball.

Kansas class of 2014 commit, Chicago native 6’9-240-pound Alexander was sensational in Curie’s 73-69 stunner of previously unbeaten Montverde (Fla.). A loss that ended a impressive two-year, 23-game winning streak for Montverde.

Alexander showed the nation he can shoot free throws (8-for-8) and pass out of double-teams while scoring 30 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and blocking five shots. He scored 13 points in the final five minutes and even made two clinching free throws with 17 seconds remaining.

Curie trailed by 12 points in the fourth quarter and still beat the nation’s No. 1 team. Condors came from behind with a 15-0 run after trailing 59-47 early in the fourth quarter.

Chris Egi vs Cliff Alexander

Among insiders entering this battle it was always a ‘David vs Goliath’ match up for Montverde’s lone Canadian Chris Egi. Markham, Ontario native Egi only scored 2 points despite being a double digit scoring threat all season long.

For example, Cliff Alexander entering Mondays showcase was a top-5 2014 class talent in America.

Egi was the 100th-best prospect and 11th-best center in the 2015 class. Recently Egi chose to reclassify into the class of 2014 and made himself eligible to play next season after commiting to Harvard.

In 2013-14 Egi has played well transitioning schools from north to south of the border. Coach Kevin Boyle recently mentioned Egi as the most improved player on his squad. One that consists of a collection of all-stars ranked No. 1 nationally by USA Today.

Chris Egi Montverde

Montverde Academy head coach Kevin Boyle giving Chris Egi instructions.

 

About the Monday performance, Egi told Hoops Hype Canada reporters via text,

“Yeah it was a tough one he [Cliff Alexander] played great (and) we didn’t I didn’t” Egi admitted.

Also reiterating nothing to be concerned about,

“I can be better I will be better.”

 

 

Rematch Different Story?

Do you think Curie would of beaten Montverde, or perhaps Egi and his Eagles would’ve had a better performance if they didnt play 4 games in the same weekend?

Chris Egi Canada Montverde

Egi protecting the Canadian rim vs Team USA at the 2013 U19 World Championships.

Some food for thought…

Montverde did play 4 games in 5 days and had to travel from Missouri (Bass Pro Shop Championships) to Massachusetts (Spalding Hoop Hall Classic). Fresh off lifting a crown, 36 hours they went down to the wire in a showcase game on national television.

NCAA scout on the specific Egi vs Alexander matchup,

You put him [Chris Egi] up against Cliff (Alexander) in different circumstances I don’t think Alexander would of dominted like he did.”

Adding “One thing ill say about Egi he is a great defender and is one of the reasons Montverde has been great all year, yesterday was not him.”

Hmmm

The Marathon continues for Montverde & Egi.

Follow Chris Egi on twitter during his  journey to Harvard and beyond.

Follow Montverde Basketball on twitter on their quest to a national championship.

Follow Hoops Hype Canada on twitter for round-the-clock coverage of Canadian hoops.

Lyles Lock For Nike Summit, Egi & Zabo In Mix

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On Monday morning USA basketball announced its team for the 2014 Nike Hoop Summit. Selection of the pending World Team is stil being finallised.

Saskatchewan born Trey Lyles (Arsenal Tech, IN) is highly projected to represent Canada on the World Team.

Gatineau, QC’s Kevin Zabo (Brewster Academy) and Markham, ON’s Chris Egi (Montverde Academy) are also potential Canadians in the mix to represent the maple leaf later this season in Portland.

Recently mother of the Canadian Kentucky basketball signee Lyles shared with the Central Kentucky News how she’s always been involved in Trey’s career,

Jasenka Lyles and Trey Lyles

“I keep our school stats. Tom coaches. It is exciting. We of course want them to always win. Most of all we want them to play together as a team. They have each others’ backs. I have been the team mom ever since he has been playing, even through high school. AAU days, everything. I have boxes and boxes of stats. We have always been very involved in Trey’s basketball and education. We are a very close-knit family. Tom has been his only trainer. He is assistant coach. We are all very well connected.”  Treys mother Jasenka Lyles mentioned.

The Nike Hoop Summit has a tradition of featuring the world’s upcoming basketball talent. This annual basketball game is played under international rules and features the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Select Team, comprised of the top high school boy senior players, playing against a World Select Team, comprised of top players 19-years-old or younger from around the world.

The 2014 Hoop Summit will be played Saturday April 12th, at 4:30pm in Portland, Oregon at the Moda Center.

For a Complete List of all World Team Participants CLICK HERE

Brooks Represents ‘Bounce’ At Findlay

Another Canadian talent that you have to admire for his ambition is former Henry Carr Crusader phenom 2015 6’6″ Dillon Brooks.

Instead of staying home in the Toronto, ON area, the CIA Bounce athlete decided to take his talents to Findlay Prep.

Adding to a long list of Peel Region talent and former CIA Bounce athletes to have worn the Findlay shirt in the past (Tristan Thompson, Anthony Bennett, Naz Long, Madray etc).

He now rubs shoulders with the best high school talent in America. Traveling, tossing it up on one of the most difficult high school circuits in North America. Full well knowing nothing was guaranteed and nobody owed him anything Brooks still admirably accepted the challenge to attend high school in Las Vegas.

After joining an entire new team (9 new players at Findlay), a new head coach (Jerome Williams hired in Summer of 2013) Hoops Hype Canada caught up with the Mississauga, Ontario native and talked about his Findlay Prep experience.

“All I got to do is stay focused through out and kill. The team is great they accepted me as one of there brothers. Had a lot of bumps but we are good” Brooks explained through email.

Brooks spent his Canadian high school career with Canadian powerhouse Father Henry Carr. He touched on his improvements since departing Canada in August. Crusader coach Paul Melnyk told HHC last summer his “jump out of your seat” athletcism would be missed. Brooks arrived on campus in Nevada fresh off a 38-2 campaign last year with FHC.

“I’m more confident with the ball in my hand dribbling and more determined but overall I feel I’ve gotten better.” Said Brooks about his personal improvements this season.

Findlay Prep play on national television across America as they participate in the marquee 2014 Spalding Hoop Hall Classic on Martin Luther King Monday.

Later in the year Findlay prep will travel to Toronto the weekend of March 2nd for a match versus Bill Crothers. The showcase game is scheduled to take place on the Toronto Raptors home floor and 2 hours prior to the Golden State Warriors & Toronto Raptors scheduled NBA game. The home coming and opportunity to play in front of family and friends is something Brooks is looking forward to.

“It’s going to be great playing there. I have never played there and it will be fun & good to be back in my city. Canadian love.” the 17 year old prospect wrote.

Dillon Brooks

Brooks photographed at Findlay Prep practice earlier this fall.

At Findlay Brooks is under the tutelage of former Raptor and NBA professional Jerome Williams. Coach JYD the first year head coach of the Pilots also shared his thoughts on Brooks since his arrival in Vegas,

“Dillon “Bounce” Brooks has truly matured as a player this year. His defense at the beginning of the year wasn’t where it needed to be for the next level of competition and he has made a conscious effort to put the work in to improve that facet of his game.” Williams said of Dillon’s defence.

“Offensively, [Dillon Brooks] Bounce can score the basketball. He will only become more polished with time and attention to detail. He has been a joy to coach & mentor.” Coach Williams concluded.

Great news from Findlay on one our own. Energy, intensity, offense, defense, and ton of emotion…that’s the winner that Dillon Brooks is and Findlay Prep received.

McKnight Drops 13 Points At Hoop Hall

Admire his ambition.  Or at the very least his competitive juices.

Kamar McKnight

2015 6’3″ Southpaw Kamar McKnight in his St.Bens digs

2015 6’3” Kamar McKnight of St. Benedict’s is pissed off for greatness and with a new found home in Newark, New Jersey he’s ready to make himself a household name back in Canada.  Just ask Gray Bee’s assistant Art Pierson.

“Spirit wise he’s a high motor type of guy for us. Were very excited to have him and the most important part about Kamar to us at St. Benedicts is he is only a junior. We’re going to do some real good things with Kamar.” Said Coach Pierson in preparation for the Hoop Hall Classic.

Not even ranked by the so called ‘Leader of Canadian Basektball” North Pole Hoops, the Toronto native is looking beyond national rankings back home. Such as high school success that will take him to the next level. So far so good, after a eye opening AAU circuit, and a transition from St. Patrick’s to St. Benedict’s the Canadian southpaw is showing significant strides south of the border.

“ Combo guard and he’s a lefty. Defensively he knows where his rotations are. I guess when he came back from St. Patrick’s they did some good work with him. His defense on the ball is very, very impressive. Strong rebounder too ” Coach shared when asked to describe the play of Kamar McKnight.

Kamar McKnight with Gray Bee’s alumni New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith

With a game like James Harden standing 6’3’ sky is the limit. Only thing holding him back is optimal health. Something that is bound to some slowly but surely.

“He is coming back from the pre season injury so sometimes he get’s winded. He’s a solid young man. With that and missing the pre season because of injury he’s a bit behind and could be a bit step slower than usual. But thats the only downside to his game,” admitted Pierson.

At the 2014 Spalding Hoop Hall Classic McKnight and his Gray Bee’s went up against Arlington Country Day of Jacksonville, Florida who (ACD) boasts four senior commits. What does the caliber of competition and platform mean to Kamar? Hoops Hype Canada caught up with the south paw for a respsonse,

“Its great participating in such a great event where many great players have played in” “ Mcknight makes aware of the greats that have participated in the past (Durant, Irving etc).

2014 HoopHall Classic. St. Bens vs ACD.

After dropping 13 points in a tight loss to Arlington Country Day, an NCAA certfied scout watching Kamar told Hoops Hype Canada they approved of his ‘effective game, using his body to create space and draw contact in the lane.’

On the 2013-14 season, the Toronto native is gaining confident as each game passes,

Kamar McKnight

Class of 2015 6’3″ Kamar McKnight pictured playing for Grassroots Canada this summer.

“With our season I see us getting better everytime we step on the floor. Individually I feel I’m becoming a great leader and scoring the ball great to help the team. Also happy to be shooting 80%+ from the line which is a big improvement for me”  the well spoken and motivated McKnight shared.

Entering Sunday’s fixture St. Benedict’s were 12-2. Not bad for team who lost four starters and only had one returning player. With players like Kamar arriving on the season and making contributions early and often he has fit quite nicely for the Gray Bee’s.

“I think that with Kamar’s work ethic and the way that his leadership skills are, his qualities and the way he shoots the ball were going to be fine against Arlington Country Day.” Said a confident coach.

“Were just happy, happy with our guys the way they’re coming around and understanding what Coach Taylor is demanding, and they’re starting to execute and were having fun.”

When asked if Kamar McKnight regularly starts Coach Pierson hesitated to say so but did give the notion that McKnight plays a large part to their success,

“All depends on our matchups, and how we prepared the last couple of days. But a player like Kamar  lfor example if he doesn’t start a lot of times, he still ends up at the end of the day leading our team in scoring. So not pre mature to say that he will be in our top six rotation”

Already on the table as a junior are offers from both VCU and Colorado. Two programs who’ve been in the Top 25 polls allready in 2013-14. The calibre of college programs knocking on Kamar’s door reflects the rise in his stock since he took his talents south. Keep an eye on man with a plan. You heard it here first. Kamar McKnight.

2017 Jerome Desrosiers Sweepstakes 1.0

2017 6’7″ SF Jerome Desrosiers of Northfield Mount Hermon (MA) has offers from BC, Illinois & Baylor. Interest from Ohio State, UCLA & Purdue he told media @ the 2014 Spalding Hoop Hall Classic.

Class of 2017 6’7″ SF Jerome Desrosiers the pride and joy of Saint-Hyacinthe, QC.

Playing infront of several college coaches, Kevin Ollie of UCONN & company Desroiers and Northfield Mount Hermon defeated Kimball Union 80-51. Most likely due to seniority the Canadian member of the class 2017 played limited minutes.

A native of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Desrosiers took his talents to Massachusettes in September. Word on Desrosiers is spreading that he possesses great court awareness, plays through contact and has great upside.

Desrosiers the freshman at Northfield Mount Hermon was one of twelve class of 2016 Canadians thar was selected for the cadet squad which participated at the 2013 U16 FIBA Americas in Uruguay last summer. Canada finished 3rd place and qualified for this summers FIBA U17 Worlds going down in Dubai this August. If healthy Desrosiers seems destined for Dubai.

 

World Class Ergas Explosiveness

2015 6’3″ Jamar Ergas showed his crazy bounce at the 2014 Flyin To The Hoop event in Dayton, Ohio Saturdaty. The 2015 prospect from Canada has been known as a high flyer since 8th grade and he continues to wow fans with his explosiveness. Currently ranked 17th by North Pole Hoops all though most experts in Canada have him pencilled top 10.

After dealing with a early season injury, Ergas came back in December. The high flyer from Canada made his return to the court in style with not one, but two highlight reel dunks against visiting Prominence Prep (NC)

Follow @HoopsHypeCa for your round the clock coverage on Canadian hoops and our friends at @ScarberryMedia for the latest highlights in American high school basketball.

St. Bens Assistant: Ennis A Lottery Pick

No secret in grassroots basketball that St Benedict Prep produces top basketball talent. Located in Newark, New Jersey Head coach Mark Taylor, assistant coach Bob Farell and Art Pierson, have done another masterful coaching job at St. Benedict Prep.

Hoops Hype Canada casught up with Art Pierson the assistant at St.Benedicts who is ranked the # 1 prep basketball team in New York State and was  # 2 in the country in 2012-13.

Last year led by none other then Brampton, Ontario point guard Tyler Ennis. Who was accompanied by fellow Canadians Isaiah Watkins, Denzell Taylor and Tyrell Bellot Green. So is Pierson suprised with Ennis?  A freshman for Syracuse who facilitates the current 17-0 Orangemen ranked at the top of the NCAA ranks.

Syracuse Orangemen diper dandy Tyler Ennis

Tyler to me looks the same way at Syracuse like he did at St.Benedicts. What I mean by that, you go from playing in a gym at St. Benedict’s in front of 50-100 people then to a gym with twenty thousand and he doesn’t get rattled. That’s Tyler. He’s a special, special young man and we are very, very proud of him.” Art Pierson shared via telephone.

The Toronto Star recently wrote a piece with a story Mark Taylor shared. It was two years ago, in Ennis’s junior year at St. Benedict’s preparatory school in Newark, N.J.. An opposing player stripped Ennis of the ball and scored. On his way back up court, the player clapped in Ennis’s face.

Ennis didn’t say a word — didn’t even react — his former coach recalled.

“Tyler speaks for himself, what he’s doing at Syracuse is no surprise to us. I spent alot of time with Tyler and it was a joy. Academically he was sound, athletically he was sound, and his demeanour on the floor has not changed.” Pierson added.

Ennis here as senior at St.Benedicts

When asked to compare Ennis to past point guards Pierson has coached, including Duke’s Jayson Williams the New York native assisstant to Mark Taylor offered this,

“2 different games.  But Tyler will definitely be a lottery pick. Maybe even this year and so was Jayson Williams.” 

Ennis was the first Canadian Pierson had the privilage to coach, then came Isaiah Watkins, Tyrell Bellot Green, Denzell Taylor and now this year Kamar McKnight. Asked for what the Canadian ballers all have in common and Pierson responded,

“I met Tyler two years ago, we had Denzell Taylor (ODU) Isaiah  Watkins (Duquense) Tyrell Bellot Green (Juco),  and now Kamar McKnight. For the five that we’ve had were very very pleased with. They come over and they’re willing to work. To do whatever it needs and takes.” sounds like some tunnel vision for the next level. Canadians playing competitive New York high school basketball and recieving compliments. You gotta love it.

Tyronn King Sweepstakes 1.0

2015 6’1″ Tyronn King is a combo guard at Arlington Country Day in Jacksonville, Florida. Currently ranked 21st overall in the North Pole Rankings.

Former West Hill Collegiate Institute student from Scarborough, Ontario spoke with HHC about his transition this past year at Arlington,

“As a team we have had a few losses that shouldn’t have happened but we are just looking to move forward from them” King said about his teams success.

As for individual success, “I’m on a roster loaded with all seniors and 4 current commits (all gaurds ). I try to come off the bench and impact the game any way I can” King in his junior season admitted.

Tyronn King is another in the long line of Canadian hoop stars playing the U.S. The 6’1 170 lbs. PG prospect says “It would be great to play at the college level with my fellow Canadian highflyer Jamar Ergas, we’ve been playing together for a number of years now and know each other’s game like the back of our hands.”

Tyronn King is another in the long line of Canadian hoop stars playing in the U.S.

LSU, Eastern Kentucky, and DePaul have shown strong interest Tyronn says. King maintains that “Of those main 3, LSU stands out.”

No visits have been set yet for Tyronn but he says “Some will be planned soon though.” 

What does the privilege of participating in a prestige event like the 2014 Spalding Hoop Hall Classic mean to him?

It is great to be able to participate in an event filled with the best teams & players in the country” King commented.

Last but not least where can we expect to see Tyronn toss it up for AAU?

“I’m currently not sure 100 %, going to find the best fit come spring… weather it’s a Southern based team or a Canadian based team.”

King as a youth in Toronto broke the TDSB record for most points in an elementary school game with 79.

Sunday @ 2:30 PM Arlington Country Day will draw St.Benedicts Prep in Springfield, MA. It will mark the first head to head match at the 2014 Spalding Hoop Hall Classic. 2015 Kamar McKnight will be on the other side representing his Gray Bees of St.Bens.

Teki 13 & 9 vs Prime Prep

In a showdown of two top 25 teams in American HS basketball #24 Prime Prep (TX) & #25 Huntington Prep (WV), it was the boys from West Virginia who were victorious Saturday night in Springfield, MA.

Collage of Huntington Prep photos. Montague Gill Caeser photographed in the middle. Vaughan native is a Kentucky target for the class of 2014.

Tossing it up at the 2014 Spalding Hoop Hall Of Fame Classic, one of the marquee High School Basketball events in America, Huntington Prep knocked off Prime Prep 52-48. Prime Prep the only team from Texas to be ranked nationally in the top 25 is owned by Deion Sanders the former NFL/MLB star nicknamed Prime Time. They also boast one of the best guards in America. Emmanuel Mudiay the Southern Methodist Mustangs commit who will be coached next year by hall of fame coach Larry Brown.

“Was great team effort on defense. Mudiay best guard in the country and it took everyone to make it difficult on him tonight.” Head coach Rob Fulford told HHC about the big win on a big stage.”  Emmanuel Mudiay finished with 20 points, for Prime Prep.

Huntington got a strong contribution from Vaughan, Ontario’s 2015 6’6″ SF Montague Gill Caeser who led Huntington with an efficient 13 points on 5-for-10 shooting in addition to 9 rebounds. Enhancing his reputation as an elite small forward in his class.

Huntington (W.Va.) Montaque Gill-Caesar doesn’t mind the comparisons to teammate Andrew Wiggins, but he has aspirations of being even better. / RD Phifer

“He played very well. Was great on the glass and on defense. Made open shots. He was solid as usual.” Coach Fulford added.

According to the Phenoms Hoops Report Gill Ceasar aka displayed a strong build to go along with his perimeter skill set. He made shots, mostly in the mid range and rebounded his position very well. Also appointing him MVP

Prime Prep (Tx) 48

Huntington Prep (WV) 52

Prime Prep Scoring
Emmanuel Mudiay 20, Terrence Ferguson 13, Micah Seaborn 11, Paul Washington 4

Huntington Prep Scoring
Montaque Gill-Caesar 13, JaQuan Lyle 11, Thomas Bryant 11, Miles Bridges 10, Josh Perkins 4, Jalen Lindsey

VIDEO Huntington Prep vs. Prime Prep highlights from HoopHall Classic 2014 

Next up for Huntington Prep they head to Dayton, Ohio, for a Monday matchup at Flyin’ To The Hoop against Cleveland Central Catholic. On January 25, the Irish play in the Dunk4Diabetes event at Walsh University in Canton, Ohio, against Cleveland Shaker Heights.

Chris Egi Lift’s Crown: MVA 18-0

The Montverde Academy (Fla.) Eagles were not going to lose in the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions title game two years in a row.

After losing to Paul VI 69-67 in an overtime thriller last year, the Eagles returned to Springfield in 2014 and left with the Tournament of Champions crown.

Chris Egi

Chris Egi pictured in the semi final slamming it down. Photo Courtesy of Ozone.

Chris Egi and his Montverde Eagles extended their unbeaten record to 18-0 by adding another trophy to their allready loaded trophy case. MVA took down Memphis (Tenn.) White Station 73-60 in the T of C title game Saturday night, a matchup of two teams ranked in the top 15 nationally by MaxPreps.

10,065 fans were on hand at JQH Arena for the championship game. The 3-day total was around 25,000, according to Springfield Publics School athletics director and T of C director Mark Fisher.

Canadian Chris Egi collected 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting. Egi is that type of big man that beats everybody up the floor. Perfect on both ends of a press. 6’9″ athlete whose athleticism can handle the full court press fantasticly. His athleticism makes his switches, constant guarding and staying in front of his man on defense easy and as a end result a luxury for his team.

Head coach Kevin Boyle recently told American media he is proud of the 17 year old that transferred to Montverde Academy from St. Andrews College in the greater Toronto area.

Montverde Academy head coach Kevin Boyle talks with Chris Egi.

Since arriving in Florida late last August, Coach Boyle has recently mentioned the Markham, Ontario native as the most improved player on his team.

News of a quick learning curve is music to the ears of Canadian supporters and the Harvard basketball brass. Harvard is where Egi will make contributions for the Crimson starting in September of 2014. Next stop for Egi and his Eagles is the 2014 HoopHall Classic.

The nations top ranked team has an early flight on Sunday to Springfield, MA where on Monday on ESPNU it will face no.6 Curie and its Mr.Basketball USA candidate center Cliff Alexander.

Montverde is great in transition but underneath doesn’t have the brute power defensively it did last season so it will be interesting to see how the Eagles slow down Alexander. Bets are Chris Egi will be instrumental. Either way they’ll also be playing against their second top 10 nationally ranked team in less then 36 hours half way across the country Has the makings of a intersting Monday.

Montverde 73, White Station 60

MV 19 13 17 24 — 73

WS 18 12 11 19 — 60

Zabo, Egi Represent 2014′s In Springfield

Only 2 of 10 Canadians participatong at the 2014 Spalding Hoop Hall Classic are 2014`s and both are committed to D1 schools next September. Ironiclly both are alumni’s and ambassadors for the Canadian power house AAU program CIA Bounce.

Meet Kevin Zabo & Chris Egi:

Name: Kevin Zabo aka General Of Gatineau
Ht: 
6’2″ Position:
 Point Guard AAU: CIA Bounce
Hometown: Gatineau, QC
High School: Brewster Academy
Interested Colleges: Committed to San Diego State

 ”It’s always an honour to be invited to one of the best tournaments in the nation like Hoop Hall. This will be my third year going so i’ll have a little bit more experience and I know what to expect in terms of the level of competition.” Kevin Zabo on Hoop Hall.

According to Rivals.com, Zabo committed to the Aztecs over offers from West Virginia, Iowa State, Illinois and George Washington and with high interest from Uconn and Villanova

“My season is going well so far. We are playong really well as a group. As for me I’ve been playing good. I’m mainly focusing on getting ready for college next year so there`s not a day where I dont work hard so I can be ready for the next level.” -Kevin Zabo on 2013-14 season 

Name: Chris Egi aka The Valedictorian
Ht: 6’9″ Position: Forward/Center
AAU: CIA Bounce
Hometown: Markham, ON
High School: Montverde Academy
Interested Colleges: Committed to Harvard

“Ì think its a blessing to be able to participate. Just to have a chance to go up against top notch talent from around the country. That competition is what the games all about and I love it. For me that`s fun.” Chris Egi on Hoop Hall.

17 year old Chris Egi chose the Crimson of Harvard for college. Perfect match for his 4.53 GPA and 97% average.

“We are having a great season as a team being number 1 in America and undefeated and we hope to continue that, Individually I just want to help win games!“ Chris Egi on 2013-14

Before Egi arrives in Hoops City he will have some business in Springfield, MO. Home of the Bass Pro Championships. The most attended tourment in high school basketball. Games wrap up on Saturday night.

Follow  Hoops Hype CA on twitter to be kept posted on how these two studs do.

Sunday 6:30 – Wilbarham & Monson vs Brewster Academy

followed by

Monday 3:30 – Curie vs Montverde Academy

Dozen Canadians Present At Hoop Hall

11 Canadians will have the privelage to particpiate in the 2014 Hoop Hall Classic held at the home of the Basketball Hall Of Fame in Springfield, ON.

Class of 2014:

6’2″ PG Kevin Zabo, Brewster
6’9″ C Chris Egi, Montverde
6’7″ F Connor Gilmore, Cushing Academy

Class of 2015:

6’6″ SF Montague Gill Caeser, Huntington Prep
6’3″ CG Kamar McKnight, St.Benedicts Prep
6’6″ SF Dillon Brooks, Findlay Prep
6’2″ PG Tyronn King, Arlington Country Day
6`0`PG Munis Tutu, La Lumiere

Class of 2016:

6’7″ G/F Justin Jackson, Findlay
6’2″ PG Nate Darling, DeMatha

Class of 2017:

6’6″ F Jerome Desrosiers, Northfield Mount Hermon
6’6″ F Oshae Brissett, Findlay

In 2012 , seven alumni of the high school invitational put on by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame were selected in the first round of the NBA draft. In 2013? Nine former Hoophall ballers were drafted in the first round, including the first and second picks.

No. 1 overall Anthony Bennett was injured and did not participate as a junior or senior when Findlay College Prep was present.

Like last year, the year before and the previous nine years before that, the 2014 Hoophall Classic, to be held Jan. 16-20, will feature many of the top teams and players in the country.

In a nutshell some top schools headed to the Hoophall Classic include Montverde Academy (Fla.), Findlay Prep (Nev.), Oak Hill (Va.), Prime Prep Academy (Texas), Mater Dei (Calif.) and St. Anthony (N.J.).

SCHEDULE

Saturday
12:00 – Putnam vs Woodstock Academy
1:30 – Springfield Central vs Albany Academy
3:00 – Bishop O’Connell vs Rainier Beach
4:30 – Lincoln vs Yates
6:00 – St. Frances Academy vs St. John Bosco
8:00 – Huntington Prep vs Prime Prep

Sunday
11:00 – Kimball Union vs Northfield Mount Hermon
12:30 – Cushing Academy vs Worcester Academy
2:00 – St. Benedict’s vs Arlington Country Day
3:30 – Our Savior New American vs LaLumiere School
5:00 – DeMatha vs St. Joseph
6:30 – Wilbarham & Monson vs Brewster Academy

Monday *ESPNU will broadcast four games on Monday from the Hoophall Classic*
9:45 – St. Anthony vs Paul VI
11:30 – Wesleyan Christian vs Findlay Prep
1:30 – Oak Hill vs Whitney Young
3:30 – Curie vs Montverde Academy 
5:30 – St. John Neumann-Maria Goretti vs Mater Dei

Quality Hoop Hall Reads:

Oh My Jordy! 6’10″ Southpaw Surfaces

Oh My Jordy. A 2016 southpaw has surfaced.

Born in November of 1996 and nicknamed “La Foudre”, French for thunder, a certain Canadian big man is earning praise from all kinds of American analysts. Some have even called him Baby Z-Bo. Nicknamed after his left hand and similar back to the basket game as Memphis Grizzlies Zach Randolph. Born & raised in Montreal, QC, currently listed as a 2016 6’10 center, Jordy Tshimanga attends MacDuffie in Granby Massachusetts. In 6 weeks he has landed SPLASHED on top of the 2016 Canadian class rankings.

20140117-121148.jpg

6’10″ Jordy Tshimanga (Montreal/MacDuffie HS) has made a splash in American HS hoops.

“Chance to be top big man in his grade (2016). Soft hands, solid jump hook, good footwork, high motor and big body” the reputable Alex Klien from the Recruit Scoops has written.

Hoop Dream Magazine got a glimpse of Tshimanga and offered the following on the big Canadian, “He showed better touch around the rim today and worked harder to get position in the post as well. Physically he looks like a high-major priority, and his skill set is starting to come around as well.” the HDM website shared after watching him toss it up last weekend in their very own Hoop Dream Magazine showcase.

Still not convinced? Adam Finklestein from the New England Recruiting Report, “He’s got a lot of tools and looks to have a chance to be very good if he can improve his conditioning and be able to keep up with the pace of the game.” Finklestein offered. Head coach @ MacDuffie Jerry McCullough told Hoops Hype CA counterparts,

Jordy Tshimanga Macduffie

Southpaw with size and strength that is shown here demonstrated at MacDuffie practice.

“Basically over here when he first arrived…We took a chance on him I mean that size why not. Now he’s just a young player opening eyes. Legit 6’10 south paw 280lbs” McCullough the head coach at MacDuffie admitted.

Thrilled to welcome a diaper dandy like Tshimanga but coach McCullough said it’s been bittersweet  because since a injury to Quinnipiac bound MacDuffie senior guard Dimitri Floras (injured wrist) occurred, it has has taken a toll on the teams win loss record. Floras was one of eight nominated players from Massachusetts to the McDonalds All American game. The 6-foot-2 guard in his first season at MacDuffie picked Quinnipiac over other scholarship offers from Canisius, Hofstra, LIU-Brooklyn, New Hampshire and Manhattan.

Minus Floras, Tshimanga continues to be one of the quickest stock risers in not only Canada’s 2016 class but should soon be among the top in America’s national rankings by the time AAU season ends. Especially if this keeps up. McCullough admits that with Tshimanga’s rapid rise of production its expected not only NCAA programs but also big wigs of HS basketball in America (Oak Hill’s, Findlays & Montverdes) to soon start making their pitches. A sentiment that Canadian born principal at MacDuffie Steve Griffin can understand.

“Oh yea come down the line. But to our credit we compete as a member of the strong Class AA of the NEPSAC (New England Prep School Athletic Council) one of the top leagues in the states” Griffin says along with their circuit he claims confidence in his head coach as well. “Under Jerry McCullough’s guidance, our varsity basketball program has played a competitive schedule that in the past few seasons student athletes have earned attention and interests from many college scouts.” Griffin believes MacDuffie School is still one of the elite programs in the New England area for academics and basketball development.

As for the principle’s take on the thunderous Tshimanga? “He is mountain of a young man, great student & personality thats fitting in real well in our community”

20140117-123548.jpg

CANADA WE HAVE A BIG MAN: 6’10′ Joel Tshimanga a rare traditional back to the basket big man in the Canadian ranks.

Can he be that good? Good enough that he averaged 20 points per game at the St . Andrews Classic. A tourney where young Jordy @JordyBallHard33 more then stood his own against Goodluck Okonoboh (Monson Academy, MA) a local Massachusettes star, ranked 21st on ESPN’s Top 100 Class of 2014 and who will also be attending UNLV.

Already seeing double and triple teams looks like the Great White North has a big import storming up the rankings. Keep an eye out for Jordy Tshimanga!

Tweet us your thoughts on perhaps the future center for Canada on the international scene @HoopsHypeCA

Triano: I was Miserable in TO

Current Canadian Senior Mens National Team head coach Jay Triano, now an assistant with Portland recently opened up about his tenure in Toronto. More specifically time spent as head coach. In a feature posted on Blazers.com Triano told Casey Holdhal the Blazers beat writer “Right now I am at one of the happiest moments in my life,” said Triano. “I love Portland, I love my role here, I love this team, I love the people I work with. And when I look back to being a head coach, I didn’t feel like this. I love coming in here every single day. I know in Toronto it was a little bit of a different situation and I had been there for 10 years in different capacities. I look back and I was miserable as a head coach. A lot of it has to do with the pressure but a lot of it has to do with the fact that, when you’re a head coach, there’s a lot less basketball. That was the biggest difference. I did less basketball as a head coach than I do as an assistant.”

Jay Triano all smiles as assistant coach in Portland.

Makes you wonder how he feels about controlling the sideline with Team Canada. The Raptors have long struggled to shake off the ‘losing’ label that’s haunted them since Vince Carter departed in 2004. In other words nobody expects the Raptors to win a championship, 50 games let alone clinch a top 4 seed in the East. But Canada? Different story.

Last Summer in Venezuela Canada failed to secure a ticket to the 2014 World Cup this September in Spain. A major set back for a nation who’s growing basketball prowess was starting to garner global attention. The failures at the FIBA Americas was devestating for supporters but is still salvageable if Canada can claim 1 of 4 wild card spots allocated in March later this year. A shady system FIBA uses that most experts think with a Andrew Wiggins verbal agreement to participate Canada is all but assured at this point to be taking their talents to Spain this September.

Coach Triano has decisions to make both in the front court and back court.

Up front Tristan Thompson and Andrew Nicholson patrolled the post in Venezuela. In addition to Anthony Bennett and Kelly Olynyk added to the mix now are:

In the back court the call get’s even tougher. Highly doubt Corey Joseph has the same back up corps as last summer. Pick your Phillip Scrubb & Junior Cadougan replacements.

At the wing spot is where Canada was critiscised most last summer. A position many back home thought belonged to Michigan sophmore Nik Stauskus. Consensus around basketball circles was Stauskus turned down the opportunity in early summer time to join Canada’s University squad that travelled to Russia. Stauskus wanted to meet personal goals of adding strength to his frame in order to improve his case as an NBA prospect but had the senior team stint a personal goal also. Triano following the last game in Venezuela said the non invite to participate with Team Canada late in the summer was something Michigan head coach Jim Beiliene and Triano agreeed on mutually and the late summer snub was not related at all to Stauskus’ personal decison to skip the  early summer tour of duty for the Canucks,

“Nik is part of our program. He was at our camp last year (2012). This year he had a couple of health things that he needed to take care of to get ready for his year at Michigan thats why he didnt participate on the student team that went to Russia or the team that went to China earlier this summer. He is definately in our plans and a guy we definately think can be part of this program.” reiterated Triano. When directly asked if he was invited to the Senior camp in August Triano spoke candid, “No he was not invited in August, he made it clear at the begginning of the summer that he would be staying the summer working with the coaches in Michigan. I had a great chance to speak with his coach John Beiliene who was coaching as an assitant for the U.S. team while we were in Russia. We spent alot of time talking about Nik and his future with the Canadian program. We both agreed this summer wasn’t a good summer for Nik as far as taking care of his bodyso he could play a injury free season next year at the University of Michigan.” 

Considering how scoring was an issue that plagued the programs success it was suprising that Stauskus was not invited. Moving forward Canadians can be optimistic and hopeful Stauskus and freshman phenom Andrew Wiggins can fill the scoring void on the international level at the wing.

Teki & H-Prep All Set For HHClassic

Huntington Prep head coach Rob Fulford returned to the sidelines Tuesday night after missing two games to be with his wife, Stephanie, in preparation for the birth of their daughter, Brooklyn.

In Fulford’s return to the bench Huntington Prep continued it’s winning ways at home by defeating Alice Lloyd College JV team 116-63.

Montageu Gill-Caeser Teki

2015 6’6″ F Montague Gill Caeser (Huntington Prep) also plays on the AAU circuit for CIA Bounce.

Undeclared Canadian 2015 6’6″ F Montague Gill Caeser aka Teki from Vaughn, Ontario registered 18 points 10 rebounds. meanwhile his counterpart a top five 2014 class point guard Josh Perkins collected 10 points and 15 assists.

Coach Fulford approved Gill Caeser’s performance, “He was good, Missed some in the paint not going through contact but overall played very well.” head coach of Huntington told Hoops Hype Canada.

Up next the Irish head to the Spalding Hoop Hall Classic, played at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

Huntington Prep will meet up with Prime Prep (Texas). Last season the teams met at the Cancer Research Classic in Wheeling and Prime Prep’s 59-46 victory knocked the then-No. 1 team nationally from the unbeaten ranks.

In the latest XCellent 25 released by MaxPreps, Prime Prep is No. 24 while Huntington Prep is No. 25.

“We are both in the same situation,” Fulford told the Herald Dispatch during preparation “We’ve both had tough schedules and have dropped some games. This becomes a huge game.” Coach Fulford also reiterated his squad remembered last years defeat “And there’s no question it’s a revenge game for us. It’s a different season and different group, but we don’t get to create rivalries very often because of the nature of showcases and scheduling. This one had that type of feel last year with all the talk surrounding it.”

As for the Gill Caeser the Kentucky Wildcat target whom John Calapari has encouraged to reclassify for next fall (2014) has also drawn Duke’s interest according to his head coach. That said he will participate in his second consecutive Hoop Hall Classic with his Huntington squad and its something he cherishes.

“I’m excited to play in it for the second year in a row.” The Vaughan, Ontario native shared Tuesday night with HHC “The Hoop Hall tourney is really fun. All the best talent in high school is there so it makes it a very competitive atmosphere which is what you need as a player”  explained Teki.

Gill-Caesar’s spotlight last summer grew because of stellar play. For example he was named International Co-MVP at the 2013 Nike Global Challenge, sharing the honors with fellow Canadian Chris Egi. Gill-Caesar went for 18 points and 11 rebounds in the fifth-place game against Pan Africa.

As for his current 16-4-0 campaign in West Virginia, Teki talks candidly. “Our season is going well just a few losses that we could’ve taken care of. Individually its going well…I’m getting the shots that I want and am playing better defense”. said the former Vaughan Secondary School OFSAA champion.

Scouting Report on Montague Gill Caeser:

Gill-Caesar is a big wing guard that cam finish on the break and knock down open shots with three point range. He rebounds well for a perimeter player and does a good job on the defensive end with his ability to defend both wing positions given his good size. -ESPN

Consensus on College:

Gill-Caeser will likely attempt to reclassify to 2014 and join fellow Canadian Trey Lyles and the likes of 7 footer Karl Towns making up the 2014 Wildcats recruiting class or return back to the Canada. Speculation in September was he seriously contemplated a return home and the opportunity to play with the revamped Athlete Institute Prep program in Orangeville, Ontario. -HoopsHypeCA

 

Nicholson And Novak Continue To Compete

Sophmore Andrew Nicholson was raised in Mississauga, ON.

Irreconcilable differences in Orlando? If there was any, one of the most respected advisors in the game won’t admit it.

Andrew Nicholson‘s agent Mark Bartlestein of Priority Sport gave HoopsHypeCA his expert analysis on how the Orlando Magic have mishandled Nicholson’s minutes recently. if any cause for concern exists with Nicholson’s future in Orlando after going from consistent minutes to cameo appearences as of late.

Were on top of that. Rob Hennigan (Magic GM) and I talk all the time, things change very quickly in this business. Minutes change all the time. Andrew’s just got to keep competing all the time to get more & more minutes.” Bartelstien mentioned via telephone.

After averaging nearly 16 points per game, shooting 53% from the field and a whopping 45% from behind the arc or Team Canada last summer at the FIBA Americas,  who saw this coming?

Nicholson recently told Magic media
“It’s easy to be negative,” concluding with ‘It’s a lot harder to stay positive.” Clearly a young man trying to stay up beat despite his shrinking role.

Nicholson is not your typical 20 years young sophmore. After having spent his full four years at St.Bonaventure the young 2nd year Magic forward will be 25 years old in 2014.

Consensus amongst Orlando media is that it’s no big deal. Just a case of the Magic’s bench players such as Nicholson must learn to stay ready under coach Jacque Vaughn.

Twitter moderators @MagicNationBaby who would like to be kept anonymous even took jabs at Andrew’s two way game when asked to explain what gives.

Number dont lie. Nicholson is in a dog house so far in 2014.

Number dont lie. Nicholson is in a dog house so far in 2014.

Two words.. Glen Davis, He wont see any PT while he’s still around, plus Andrew can’t defend for his life..” When asked to elaborate, he explained “It’s mainly the coach, Jacque Vaughn is a defense first coach in my opinion, which is why Oladipo, and Afflalo get so many minutes…Nicholson is all offense, that’s what got him in the league and thats what will keep him here, he cant guard anyone for his life!” Later adding what he thinks will happen moving forward.

“If I was Jacque, I would play Glen over Nicholson too, but hopefully not for long.. I would try to ship Glen off at the deadline In order for Nicholson to develop”  he concluded.

Standing 6-foot-9 and weihing 250 pounds Nicholson has gone from playing 38 minutes in one game early December (against Philadelphia) to not getting in a game at all in early January (against Detroit).

“Like any player, he wants to play. Andrew’s worked really hard at it. He’ll continue to work hard at it. He will compete everyday to earn as many minutes as he can that’s all you could do. At the end of the day it’s Jacque’s (Vaughn) decision on the minutes. All he (Andrew Nicholson) can do is prepare himself & work a hard as possible and he’s doing that every day” Bartelstein explained.

Change of Scenery?

Maybe time for a change. Look at what a change of scenery has done for the Raptors Patrick Patterson. It’s all about fit in basketball especially at the NBA level. Perhaps it’s time for Nicholson who is a similar ‘stretch 4′  like Patterson to take his talents to a place where his hard work & talent can be utilized.

No excuses for only 7 minutes of playing time such was the case last night in Dallas. To add insult to injury, Magic starter Nik Vucevic did not even dress. Keep an eye on this Magic mess.

FREE THROWS

Mark Bartelstein also represents another ‘stretch 4′ on Toronto and that is veteran Steve Novak. The 5 year veteran earns $3.8 million that is guaranteed untill 2015-16. Since the Rudy Gay trade the Raptors are 12-5 and have compiled the best record in the Eastern Conference Meanwhile Novak has saw limited action. Something the former second round pick (32nd overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft by Rockets) isn’t really bothered by according to his agent. “Team is winning and in the meantime I know he is happy with the team’s success. Like Andrew, he’s another player that will continue competing” Bartestein said.

Steve Novak poses for press photos during the pre season.

With a potential playoff series brewing in Toronto this April it maybe in Toronto’s best interest to keep Novak around. Think back to the 2008 Magic/Raptors playoff match up. Jason Kapono seldomly used found himself on the bench for much of the regular season, then by series end Kapono was the most consistent Raptor in the series.

Plus not many outstanding shooters with good size (6’10) who are excellent from the three-point line growing on trees these days.

Trade Nicholson? Trade Novak? Tweet us your thoughts @hoopshypeca

Battle Of Future Canada PG’s

BOSTON- Tonight marks a highly anticipated point guard battle between two Canadian floor generals. QC’s Olivier Hanlan and his Boston College Eagles challenge ON’s Tyler Ennis & his undefeated Syracuse Orangemen.

Not only has Syracuse not dropped a decision in 16 games this season, but it has also made quite an entrance into the ACC with a 3-0 league ledger, after stifling traditional power North Carolina for a 57-45 win on Saturday. This is just the third true road test of the season for the Orange, who return to the comforts of the Carrier Dome next to take on Pittsburgh.

Boston College will be trying to build upon a 62-59 road triumph over Virginia Tech from this past Saturday. The victory ended a four-game losing streak for the Eagles, who are just 5-14 overall.

Olivier Hanlan (left) vs Tyler Ennis (right) Round 1 tonight. Round 2 at Syracuse is Feb.19

Olivier Hanlan (left) vs Tyler Ennis (right) Round 1 tonight. Round 2 at Syracuse is Feb.19

Tyler Ennis (11.6 ppg, 5.7 apg, 2.6 spg) leads the ACC in steals while ranking third in assists.

Normally, Olivier Hanlan (19.5 ppg) is the player pushing the pace for Boston College, as the sophomore guard ranks second in the ACC in scoring, and after netting 14 points against Virginia Tech, has scored in double figures in all but one game this season

Tonight’s Hanlan – Ennis showdown is a reflection of point guard excellence Canadians continue to produce.

Last summer’s point guard crop for Team Canada was Spurs PG Cory Joseph, Carelton University’s Phill Scrubb & Marquette graduate now playing in Europe Junior Cadougan.

Left to Right: Cory Joseph, Phillip Scrubb, Junior Cadougan.

Left to Right: Cory Joseph, Phillip Scrubb, Junior Cadougan.

Left to Right: Kenny Chery, Kevin Pangos, Kevin Zabo

Left to Right: Kenny Chery, Kevin Pangos, Kevin Zabo

If Canada can claim a Wildcard for the 2014 World Cup hosted by Spain this September many have both Hanlan & Ennis arguably 2nd & 3rd on the depth charts. Not far behind chomping the bid are Baylor’s Kenny Chery (10.9 ppg, 5.6 apg), Gonzaga’s Kevin Pangos (17.2 ppg, 4 apg) & San Diego State bound/ CIA Bounce stand out Kevin Zabo. It’s safe to say that the Canadian PG situation is looking very bright.

2016 6’8″ F/C Derek Ogbeide Sweepstakes 1.0

Hoops Hype Canada has learned Toronto, ON’s Derek Ogbeide, a 6-foot-8, 260-pound big man playing ball @ Pebblebrook HS in Mabelton, Georgia has been offered a full ride from the Kennesaw State Owls.

Georgia based KSU is only 35 km’s from where Ogbeide attends post secondary (Pebblebrook HS). The Owls are in the midst of a disappointing season that finds them 4-13 overall and 1-3 in Atlantic Sun conference play. This following a conference record from last year that saw them finish 0-18 in the A-Sun Conference. To make matters worst the  Owls head coach Lewis Preston who recognized & recruited Ogbeide on a sad note is taking a temporary leave of absence as coach of the Kennesaw State team “due to medical and personal reasons,” the school announced last week.

Preston joined Kennesaw State following 13 years as an assistant NCAA coach, including three as a member of Ed DeChellis’ staff at Penn State. Prior to Penn State he had a pit stop for two years as assistant coach on Billy Donovan’s staff in Florida and before that six seasons under Mike Brey at Notre Dame.

In Preston’s two seasons at Florida he was an integral part of Florida’s recruiting, scouting, game preparation and on-court teaching, the Gators produced a 59-17 (.776) overall record, captured the 2007 Southeastern Conference (SEC) championship and went on to win its second of back-to-back national titles.

2016 Derek Ogbeide attended Monsignor Percy Johnson in Toronto during 2012-13. At MPJ he developed a reputation for being a physical specimen possessing some rare size & strength tough to find in Canada. His interior presence and stand out performances in JR level tournaments including a final four finish at the 2013 Xavier RimRocker earned praises amongst experts. Like many Canadian big men that are hidden gems Ogbeide is is fairly new to organized basketball and that’s what makes this KSU offer interesting. If Ogbeide is ‘raw’ and still learning the fundamental side of things, exploiting an opportunity to work with Lewis Preston is not a bad idea. Preston’s past with NBA talent big men is proof he may be the head owl, but also a wise owl.

Check it: Preston worked with 2007 first-round NBA draft picks Joakim Noah, Al Horford and Corey Brewer and second-round selection Taurean Green while at Florida. All four earned All-American honors while under his tutelage. While at Notre Dame, Preston also worked with Troy Murphy (2001) and Ryan Humphrey (2002) who were first-round NBA picks in back-to-back years, as well as NBA players Matt Carroll and Chris Quinn.

Another Canadian prospect ready to punch his ticket to the next level.  Circle the name…6’8″ 260 lbs Derek Ogbeide is definately D1 bound! Bigger question moving forward is will Canada basketball recognize his talents and send him to Dubai this summer with the U17 Canadian National Team participating in the FIBA World championships? Or at least a try out invitation.

Too much size is better then not enough.

Let’s hope they do.

Ennis Brothers Collide

Special to Hoops Hype Canada by Adam Zagoria.

Tony McIntyre still remembers the day that his 7-year-old son, Dylan Ennis, was winning a blowout basketball game for the Brampton (Ontario) Blue Devils and one of the officials jokingly suggested they “put the little kid in.”

The “little kid” was 5-year-old Tyler Ennis.

“We put him in and he subbed into the game and kind of watched and played along,” recalled McIntyre, the boys’ father and longtime coach with the CIA Bounce AAU program. “It started out as a joke and then it was like, ‘Hey, he can actually play here.’”

The Ennis boys’ basketball careers have now progressed to the point where each will play for an undefeated team on Saturday at 2 p.m. when Dylan and No. 8 Villanova (11-0) visit Tyler and No. 2 Syracuse (11-0). That game will precede No. 6 Louisville visiting No. 18 Kentucky at 4 p.m. Both games are on CBS.

“They never played each other, so this is the first time,” McIntyre said with a laugh of the Tyler vs. Dylan showdown.

So how does it feel to be the father of two sons who are a combined 22-0 with the calendar about to turn to 2014?

“It’s amazing,” he said. “It’s just a testament to those teams’ hard work and those guys’ ability to fit into what their teams expect of them.”

McIntyre said so many family and friends were interested in attending that game that he would have to somehow score 30-50 tickets.

And those folks won’t be seeing benchwarmers, either.

A 19-year-old freshman point guard, Tyler is averaging 12.1 points, 5.4 assists and 3.3 rebounds for the No. 2 Orange.

A sophomore guard, Dylan, who turns 22 on Thursday, is averaging 9.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists for the No. 8 Wildcats.

Each has been a major reason for his team’s success.

After Tyler went for 21 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds in Syracuse’s 68-63 win over St. John’s last Sunday, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said:

“He’s a very, very smart player. As a freshman point guard, he’s playing better than anybody I’ve ever had and I’ve had just a few pretty good freshman point guards [Pearl Washington, Adrian Autry, Jason Hart and Gerry McNamara].

“He’s really been unbelievable. If he played like a normal freshman, we’d be about 7-3 probably right now.”

Dylan, meantime, averaged 12 points when Villanova won the Battle 4 Atlantis, knocking off Kansas and Andrew Wiggins, Tyler’s former CIA Bounce teammate, and Iowa en route to the title.

“Dylan gives us more of the type of guard that we had in the past,” Wildcats coach Jay Wright told Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com. “He’s quick, bouncy, and jet-like. It’s not that the other guys we have aren’t good. Dylan’s just a little different, and more in the mold of what we’ve had here before.”

The Ennis brothers are part of a larger wave of ascendant Canadian talent that includes Tristan Thompson, the No. 4 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft and a former Brampton Blue Devils teammate of the Ennis brothers.

“It was kind of a three-headed approach with those guys where each of them brought something different,” McIntyre said.

Of course, the Canadian wave also includes Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Wiggins, the potential No. 1 pick in 2014, Gonzaga junior guard Kevin Pangos, Boston College sophomore guard Olivier Hanlan, UNLV junior forward Khem Birch and others.

“It’s just amazing that they’re able to work on their game here and develop and then be able to walk in and be able to be major contributors at these top universities down in the States,” McIntyre said.

Dylan and Tyler are home in Canada this week for Christmas — and unavailable to the media until later this week.

Still, the brothers are living, eating and training together this week. When they attended the CIA Bounce holiday party Monday night at a banquet center in Toronto, McIntyre said there were a lot of questions for the brothers.

“Basically everyone’s just asking them, ‘Who’s gonna win? Who’s got the better team? Are you guys gonna guard each other? How are you gonna guard each other?” he said.

As for the breakfast and dinner conversation around the household this week, the Ennis brothers each have a message for the other.

“They’re each telling the other it’s unfortunate you’re going to lose,” McIntyre said.

As for their father, he can’t lose. No matter who wins the Syracuse-Villanova game, the family comes out on top.

“Hey, I’m in a situation where I’m just proud of them for getting to where they are and proud of the teams that they both play for,” McIntyre said. “I’m just going to sit there and enjoy it.”

2013 Mark Walton Wrap, FHC 16-1 Lift Crown

An Elite Canadian high school basketball tourney took place in Hamilton at Cathedral High School this past weekend. Eight of the provinces best programs battled for supremacy. What we learned at the Mark Walton Invitational followed by a detailed results summary…

Hamilton Loves Hoops

Refreshing to see so many people from the Steel Town community that came out to enjoy the Mark Walton Invitational. Strong support anticipates this tourney annually and majority love to talk basketball.

Gaels Gymnasium

Cathedral Gymnasium. Designed by Mark Walton in the mid 90′s.

A dying breed of a basketball venue in Ontario. You must see it to believe it. Especially at near capacity. Whether your just there as a spectator, photographer, press duties or playing it’s both a privelage and a pleasure to put in work inside the vintage Cathedral gymnasium.

Officiating

Level of officiating in Hamilton compared to the GTA in 2013-14 is night & day. Crew who worked the Mark Walton may not reflect all the referees in the Hamilton region but on opening day (aside from maybe the final minutes of FHC & CC) officials let the boys hoop.  If your guy is going to the charity stripe he FELT contact. No freebies, no whistle happy zebras. They even excused a player who hit a three ball then triggered a couple gun shots in the air.

Mark Walton

The man, the myth, the legendary coach in Canadian HS hoops. Walton’s resume includes both playing and coaching with Cathedral. It’s not easy to win a OFSAA. Let alone 4 (1 as player, 3 as coach). Walton has been the driving force at Cathedral since they moved campuses to Wellington Street back in the mid 90′s. Of Coach Waltons four provincial championships, ALL were undefeated campaigns.

Amazing Feat. 1 OFSAA as player. 3 OFSAA’s as coach. Mark Walton the legend.

University Coaches

3 of the top 5 teams in the GTA and the reigning ‘AAA’ champs from Windsor were present. This talented 8 team tourney brought out a handful of Canadian University coaches.

List included Algonquin Assistant Coach Jim Langis, Brock head coach Charles Kissi , Carelton head coach Dave Smart, Nippising’s head coach Chris Cheng, Toronto’s head coach Chris Cambell, & Windsor’s head coach Chris Oliver.

Cathedral Hospitality

Last year some HHC staff had the privilege to witness St Edward Campion open up their tournament in a similar fashion vs Gonzaga. The scene Friday morning minus a PA announcer was comparable to the 2012 Campion Showdown. From on point gonvenors in their customized Mark Walton Invitational hoodies to the pride in the stands for a 9:30AM tip … ‘first class’ is an understatement. Not only did they engage the student body to fill up the place, tournament organizers scheduled Eastern Commerce for the showcase game. In return they knocked off the #4 ranked team in GTA and did it behind some stingy D in front of Mark Walton and the Gaels faithful.

Windsor Got Talent

Arriving in Steel town one week after losing to St.Mike’s in the Freeds final (injured and depleted) Catholic Central showed serious flashes of promise. They outplayed Cardinal Newman with what CN does best, defense. Then exchanged punches with Father Henry Carr right to the final buzzer. The pride & joy of Windsor, Ontario flexed its muscles and showed that the ‘AAA’ OFSAA champs with no returning starters could also be a contender for the ‘AAAA’ crown if they choose. Coach Cusamano well decide their future in January.

Panthers Prowling

Henry Carr & D’Youville tip off in the Championship game.

Panthers are rolling. Looking like a team thats finally buying in to their coaches philosophy on offence with ball movement. DamIann Prehay game in game out offers a motor 2nd to none. 2016 Splash brothers Montague & Gould can bury you beyond the arc, 2015′s Agunye & Clayton are crucial when both attack and are willing rebounders, throw in X-factor (5th year) Jerome Simpson and DY have all the tools. If the Panthers can click together for four quarters, nail free throws & minimize turnovers, DY have the talent to be provincial champions or at the very least serious contenders.

Champion Crusaders

Champion Crusaders above. Champion hardware below.

Marcus Bonnick & Ty Stewart Nelson may not have the height or athleticism as alumni’s Jalen Poyser & Dillon Brooks did, but both have an intensity that you just can’t teach.

Marcus Bonnick continues to have stretches where he goes BANANAS! In the third quarter alone of the semi finals he had 12 points including 3 splashes from downtown and if he missed any of his 3P FGA’s he was chasing down his own rebounds. Growing up his nick name was M.Dollar. So far this fall with his NBA shooting range Bonnick has been worth more then dollars to FHC, he’s been priceless.

Ty Stewart-Nelson is also an unsung hero for Henry Carr. TSN is as poised and composed of an athlete that you can find in Canadian high school hoops. For example, Carr allowed Catholic Central to go on a 17-4 run late in the fourth quarter. Trailing by 1 after a worthy game winning 3 ball from CC — TSN sitting on 14 points on the game (none in the fourth) –hits a floater with 5 seconds left on the game clock. Absolutely clutch!

Both Bonnick and Stewart-Nelson possess a passion & demonstrate leadership skills coaches drool over. Toss in 2017′s Anthony McNish & Grant Audu on the court with them and the four are a FORCE to be reckoned with.

Tournament  Summary Special by: Larry Moko

For the second consecutive year, Father Henry Carr Crusaders of Etobicoke have captured the overall championship at the Mark Walton Invitational senior boys’ high school basketball tournament held by Hamilton’s Cathedral High School.

Anthony McNish sinks a basket in a tight championship match with d’Youville on Saturday. (Photo: Gerry Graham)

The Crusaders defeated Brampton’s St. Marguerite d’Youville Panthers 50-49 on Saturday (Dec. 7) at the Cathedral gym to take top honours among the eight entries.

Third-place went to last year’s provincial high school Triple A gold-medal winners, Windsor’s Catholic Central Comets, who got past the host Cathedral Gaels, 71-67. The consolation title went to Toronto’s Eastern Commerce Saints. They edged Cardinal Newman Cardinals, 63-59. Oakville’s Holy Trinity Titans downed St. Thomas More Knights, 56-49, to take seventh spot.

“It’s very tough to win this tournament,” said Carr coach Paul Melnik. “These are probably eight of the top teams in the province. To come back this year, with half my team gone, and win again …. We’re really happy. We just want to work hard. The young guys are stepping up.”

Overall this season, the Crusaders are 16-1.

Carr led 7-6, 23-16 and 34-30 at the end of the quarters. Addy Ogunye’s three-point basket at the buzzer for the Panthers completed the scoring.

Guard Marcus Bonnick of the Crusaders was selected the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. He netted 21 points in the finale and teammate Anthony McNish added eight. For the Panthers, Ogunye and DamiAnn Prehay were the leading scorers with 15 and 13 points, respectively.

The Father Henry Carr Crusaders (R to L: Marcus Bonnick, Ty Stewart Nelson, Brendon Chevannes) are presented with their trophy. (Photo: Gerry Graham)

Melnik praised the efforts of Bonnick: “He worked so hard in the off season to improve his conditioning and skill level. And with the improvement in both, his confidence has gone through the roof. He’s earned a leadership role. So when the game is on the line, we’re going to put the ball in his hands.”

Mark Walton, whom the tournament is named after, coached Cathedral squads to three Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations boys’ championships before stepping down as head coach in 1998. As a player, he also won a provincial title with the Gaels. Those accomplishments were brought up by Melnik during the awards ceremony.

“Mark Walton was an elite player and coach,” Melnik said. “I coached against him way back when. He’s not my mentor, but he’s like my mentor.”

Ogunye was selected a first team all-star along with Prehay. Other all-stars were Ty Stewart-Nelson and Anthony McNish of the Crusaders along with Isaiah Familia of Catholic Central. The second-team all-star choices were: Daniel Dzierzawski of Cathedral, Ignas Brazdeikis of Holy Trinity, Narcisse Ambanza of Eastern Commerce, Nyong James of the Catholic Central, and David McCulloch of Cardinal Newman.

SATURDAY RESULTS

Seventh-place game: Holy Trinity 56 (Shamiel Stevenson 22, Ignas Brazdeikis 17) St. Thomas More 49 (Joel Clarke 11, Osayi Ignivan 11)

Consolation championship: Eastern Commerce 63 (Trayvon Ross 14, Narcisse Ambanza 16) Cardinal Newman 59 (Josh Nardini 18, David McCulloch 11, Tyler Brown 10)

Third-place game: Catholic Central 71 (Isaiah Familia 21, Eriq Jenkins 15, Nyong James 14) Cathedral 67 (Daniel Dzierzawski 30, Kareem Kollins 13, Shemar Mensah 11).

Overall championship: Father Henry Carr 50, St. Marguerite d’Youville 49.

Wednesday the staff at Hoops Hype Canada in attendance at the 2013 Mark Walton Invitational take a in depth look at the stand out performers from the two day tourney. Wide range of talent from 2014′s to 2017′s whose performances did not go unnoticed and will be recognized. Stay tuned…

Hello America: My Name is Kenny

Friday night in Dallas, Montreal native and Baylor Bears starting point guard Kenny Chery enjoyed a coming out party on national television across the United States.

Kenny Chery led his Baylor Bears to a resounding victory over the Kentucky Wildcats

Aired on ESPN Chery was DOMINANT, especially when it mattered most, late in the fourth quarter.

Chery scored 18 points, including six late as No. 20 Baylor bullied No. 3 Kentucky 67-62 on Friday evening in the same arena where the Final Four will be played in April. Baylor outscored Kentucky in the paint 38-26 and out rebounded the Wildcats 41-25. Bears are 8-1 for the 6th time in the last 7 years. 4-0 this season in games decided by 5 points or less, some significant strides from 2012-13 where the Bears went 2-8 in that same scenario.

Chery (18) reached double figures for the 6th time in his first 9 games with the program. It marked the third time this season that Chery has led the Bears in scoring, and Baylor is 3-0 in those games.

A former Juco star who transferred last minute to Baylor in August also added 5 assists. On the year he is averaging 11.6 points and 4.9 assists. Along side Chery is fellow Canadian and SMNT member Brady Heslip. Heslip is averaging 11.6 but finished with a goose egg in 21 minutes shooting 0-for-2.

More important then individual stats, so far this fall Baylor has become a force to be reckoned with. Resume now includes W’s over previously ranked programs Colorado, Dayton, & Kentucky. Only Bears defeat was a 7 point loss to Syracuse. Not bad for early December.

“I just wanted to make sure that no body was turning the ball over. I was going to be a point guard, just be a general … put guys in the right position so they are able to put the ball inside and put the ball outside. We just stayed focused as a team and we didn’t have as many turnovers today as we did against Syracuse, and that’s why we ended up with the win.”
Chery explained when asked about him stepping up and taking control.

Fridays game was a part of the inaugural Big 12-SEC Challenge, and it marks the third-straight year that UK and BU have met up. Prior to last nights game, Kentucky won an Elite Eight matchup March 25, 2012, and Baylor snapped the Wildcats 55 game home win streak at Rupp Arena Dec. 1, 2012.

It was a great night for Canada basketball even despite foolish tweets from some Francophone media. For example RDS self proclaimed insider Pete Yannopoulos spoken like a true separatist (Quebec folks nearly voted to separate from Canada in 1995) wanted folks to know Chery was a francophone instead of simply being content for yet another Canadian baller making noise in the NCAA.

We love Canadian basketball on just about our everything. If your putting in work your going to get recognized. For example if Hernst Laroche can get himself out of Ukraine into a more elite league you bet Hoops Hype Canada will spread the word.

Brady Heslip Kenny Chery

Baylor Bears huddle in dying stages of Friday evenings victory.

Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver who cares? Even a hoop head from Nunuvat. Hopefully one day Pete will realize were all in this together.

Athlete Institute HS Makes Drive Down 410

Athlete Institute HS have scheduled a trio of tilts versus three highly touted Greater Toronto Area High Schools. Games will be played at the Powerade Ceneer in Brampton, Ontario. Tip off will take place at 4pm EST just hours prior to regularly scheduled Brampton A’s NBL home games.

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Sir Allan MacNab vs Athlete Institute HS 4:00PM

Mississauga Power vs Brampton A’s 7:00PM

Monday November 18th, 2013

Father Henry Carr Crusaders vs Athlete Institute HS @ 4PM

London Lightning vs Brampton A’s @ 7PM

Monday November 25th, 2013 

St.Marguerette D’Youville Panthers vs Athlete Institute HS @ 4PM

Windsor Express vs Brampton A’s @ 7 PM

 

 

SHOWTIME: Athlete Institute HS vs St. Bens Prep

Athlete Institute HS have taken their talents to the Garden State. The Canadian based prep program out of Orangeville, Ontario, rebuilt last summer now boasts formidable HS & Post Grad teams. Both will participate in a competitive international schedule for 2013-14.

ACTS Athlete Institiute in Orangeville, Ontario.

On the high school front AI hired 29 year old Larry Blunt. An associate coach with the CIA Bounce 16U Nike Elite Youth Basketball team. EYBL is a high level amatuer basketball circuit that is notorious for producing NBA lottery players.

Photo above demonstrates the caliber of talent that partivipates in the Nike EYBL.

Coach Blunt takes over the nations top Canadian prep team on paper but on the hardwood a target comes with the territory as evident in their pre season.

In a warm up tournament hosted by the Athlete Institute, AI high school finished 3-2. Fellow Canadian prep school Bill Crothers Colts convincingly defeated them in pool play 85-67 and the following morning they bowed out in the quarter finals to their Athlete Institute Post Grad team 67-45.

Blounts group features a strong contingent from his AAU powerhouse program CIA Bounce.

Star power starts with 2016 6’5 Kitchener native G Jamal Murray. He was named MVP of the Jordan Brand International Game this past April in Brooklyn.

2013 Jordan Brand International Game MVP. Scored 16 of his game high 24 points in the 2nd half.

Murray’s upside makes most feel that he may have the biggest upside of the players in the group.

“He reminds me a lot of former Knick Allan Houston. A terrific scorer, outstanding shooter with a sweet jumper. He has some clutch genes like Houston but prolly a better passer.” Hoops Hype Canada’s Recruiting Analyst Mark Bairos offered.

As for the latest on Murrays college recruiting, “Syracuse assistant Adrian Autry has done a lot with Murray” Coach Blunt told Adam Zagoria the head of a recruiting tabloid in America.

As a matter of fact both Murray and fellow team mate 2015 6’4 G/F Jalen Poyser both visited Syracuse for Midnight Madness in the middle of October.

Poyser who attended Toronto power house Father Henry Carr before a one and done experience at Findlay Prep returned to Canada this fall. A move that gave Athlete Institute instant credibility. Not often do Canadians return home from a south of the border experience, especially from a program with the pedigree of Findlay Prep. Poyser recently explained the switch to Sports Net Magazine,

Jalen Poyser Athlete Institute

Jalen Poyser photographed in SportsNet Magazine

“Findlay was a positive. It helped me as a player, but that’s in the past now. I don’t want to be moving around any more, I’m getting my grades, getting my minutes” Said Poyser.

Later adding how he would embrace the thought of becoming a pioneer in obtaining a scholarship while remaining in Canada.

“I want to show kids that you can stay here and get to D-1 & the pros. I’m here till I graduate” Poyser added.

In terms of Poyser’s playing style Bairos says “Classic 1996 Jalen Rose with the Pacers. Can be instrumental on a championship team because Poyser is so versatile that he can easily play the 1, 2 and 3. Crafty with court vision makes him a treat to watch as floor general too even though some feel he is most effective on the wing.”

Also returning from a highly touted prep program in America is Nova Scotia native Nevell Provo. 2015 6’0 PG arrived at Athlete Institute via Andrew Wiggins former prep school Huntington Prep. Provo a more then decent back up point guard with offers allready from Marshall and Iowa will start most games at point guard for AI and looks to increase his stock value with a increase in minutes compared to last season,

“Basically I sat down with my family and weighed my options… we decided this was the best move for me. Huntington is a great program with lots of exposure, competitiveness in practice, and all the perks of a high profile prep school. However, Orangeville was better for me because Im able to gain that in-game experience, and become a leader of a team; something I need to take my game to the next level” Provo told Hoops Hype Canada this past summer,.

As for his scouting report Bairos offered, “great handles and a jump shot that vastly improves every time I watch. Almost automatic from mid range. Orangeville is a perfect fit for for him to demonstrate playmaking skills on a full time basis.”

Surrounding the big three Murray, Poyser, & Provo most notably is 6’8″ Kyle Alexander whose sister [Kayla Alexander] played at Syracuse and plays in the WNBA now. Also unheralded is glue guy 2015 6’6″ F Jelani Mofford. Mofford is also a member with the big three on the 16U CIA Bounce EYBL team and is as fundamentally sound of a prospect as they come.

Mofford arrived at Athlete Institute from REDA Academy. Former REDA head coach Fred Grannum now head coach of the Mississauga Power explained why Mofford may be overlooked,

“Very quiet young man, doesn’t talk a lot and keeps to himself is probably why. He’s very deceptive in his game, meaning he doesn’t look like he can do it but when he steps on the court he has this hidden monster that comes out every once in a while. He had some 31,30 point games for me last year” Grannum shared. Including a game high in points for REDA as a fifteen year old when they knocked off the Chinese National Jr Team in Montreal last December. Later the following summer Mofford then drew rave reviews from his AAU performances in Atlantic City.

2016 6’6 Jelani Mofford had a game high as a fifteen year old versus the Chinese Jr National Team

“Classic Bruce Bowen, Shane Battier guy. Blue collar, high IQ, does the little things every team needs and is capable of big. Jelani could maybe be more flamboyant but he’s still athletic, can dunk the ball and play above the rim. I don’t think America has seen that yet.” Coach Grannum concluded.

As for Moffords role with Athlete Institute analyst Mark Bairos says AI could utilize Moffords intangibles, especially up front.

“Their player pool at the 4 & 5 is thin, in my opinion Mofford possesses the most advanced skill set” Adding “if you run a good set for him, and you can give him the ball, he can do amazing things. Put him in a system and he can pay large dividends.” Bairos explained.

Athlete Institute will face St.Benedicts Prep tonight and then their post grad team Saturday. On the opposite bench for the Gray Bees tonight will be Toronto native 2015 6’4 G Kamar McKnight. McKnight a Colorado University target visited VCU last weekend with 2014 VCU commit Jonathan Williams. Williams is also his back court mate at St. Benedict’s.

“It was great, real crazy atmosphere. Coach Smart and Coach Rhodes reached out. They will be coming to a couple of games and are really close to offering…Went back to the locker room with the team it was just great.” Canadian south paw McKnight told Hoops Hype Canada.

When we reached out to the St.Benedicts coaching staff only assistant coach Art Pierson responded “Kamar is a welcome addition to our team. His work ethic, an leadership will show strong dividend for our season” asked to elaborate Coach Pierson only offered, “ I have no further comment regarding Kamar until we our in season – thanks for your request”

Meanwhile McKnight talked more about his transition from St.Patricks NJ last year to St.Benedicts NJ this past summer “It’s been great easy transition just coming in making plays” St.Benedicts is the same prep program New York Knick JR.Smith attended. Recently Smith attended a Gray Bees exhibition game and even offered advice to Kamar and his teammates,

Kamar McKnight

St.Benedicts Gray Bees: Kamar McKnight (Left) NYK JR Smith (Right)

“He just told us to continue to use our teammates and when it’s not our night scoring to keep our composure.”

For St.Benedicts Friday night marks the beggining of their 2013-14 campaign. For their lone Canadian to play against a Canadian program in his home opener it definately hits home.

“I get excited for every game I play in. Especially since it’s the season opener I’ve been waiting for this season since I was in my boot with the foot injury. I’m looking forward to tossing it up with Jalen Poyser because of our YAAACE & Brampton rivalry that goes all the way back to when we were 13. Last time I went up against anyone on that team was grade 8 so it should be fun”McKnight made known.

Following are the rosters for tonight’s tilt.

St. Benedict’s Prep Roster

1. Jon Williams 2014 5’11 185

2. Trevon Duval 2017 6’2 185

3. Michael Runcie 2016 6’3 180

4. Kamar McKnight 2015 6’4 195

5. Carl Brown 2015 6’4 180

6. Brandon Alston 2015 6’4 195

7. Shakaris Laney 2014 6’4 195

8. Elijah Cain 2015 6’5 185

9. Lyndon Ewing 2015 6’5 200

10. Nick Washington 2016 6’7 215

11. Gerald Blount 2016 6’7 210

12. Martynas Pacecieus 2016 6’8 205

13. Arnaldo Toro 2016 6’8 225

14. Domantas Pavlovskis 2015 6’10 215

15. Norbertas Giga 2014 6’10 245

AI High School Team

Name Number Height Position Hometown
Josiah Riley 6’3″ SG Brampton, ON
Jelani Mofford  6’5″ F Brampton, ON
 Nevell Provo 5’11″ PG North Preston, NS
 Jalen Poyser  6’4″ G/F Malton, ON
Alonzo Walker 6’6″ F Brampton, ON
Jamal Murray  6’5″  F Kitchener, ON
Dantai St. Louis 6’7″ F Brampton, ON
 Kyle Alexander 6’8″ F Milton, ON
Connor LaRonde 6’2″ G Barrie, ON
Justin Levesque 5’11″  PG Orangeville, ON
Spencer Thomas 6’2″  G/F

To stay posted on the results follow @HoopsHypeCA

 

Let the 2013-14 season begin!

Ray Kasongo Sweepstakes: OREGON

After decomitting from the Oregon Ducks a morning after giving head coach Dana Altman a verbal, Friday night Montreal born, Toronto native Ray Kasongo re pledged his allegiance to the Ducks of Oregon.

A student athlete at Phase 1 AZ the highly touted Canadian said the real reason he decommitted from Oregon October 2nd, causing national recruiting shockwaves, was simple,

“First time I decommited it was just like a big rush. I was just unsure of a few things. I just needed more time for my family and my high school coach to you know really talk and settle things down.” Ray Kasongo told Hoops Hype Canada Friday evening from Phoenix, Arizona.

20131025-201509.jpg
“Once I did that it seemed like Oregon had the most to offer… my relationship with the coach is really great. I just really felt Oregon was the best fit for me and I’m happy to commit there.”

Many media members south of the border speculated a possibility the program from Eugene, Oregon “temporary” pulled their scholarship offer following a towel tossed in by the finalist UCONN Huskies. However Kasongo reiterated his relationship with the Ducks coaching staff is not a concern, especially with head coach Dana Altman.

20131025-202014.jpg

“He’s (Dana Altman) really happy to have me back. When I first decommited he was kind of disappointed a little but I explained to him I needed a bit more time, he understood and gave me all the time that I needed. Then yesterday when this was a sure thing I gave him a call and he was happy to hear me so were back on track. Our relationship has always been good but where ready to move forward now.”

20131025-202331.jpg
When asked what’s most exciting about Eugene and his future prospects the Canadian power forward mentioned a sophmore point guard,

“I’m looking forward to playing with Dominic Artis next year. From what I hear he should be back next year and I’m really looking forward to playing with him he’s a very good guard who has pro potential and it something special to play with a player like that” Artis a Findlay prep alumni averaged 8.5 points and 3.5 assists as freshman in 2012-13.

Last but not least Kasongo touched on the topic of education.

“Everything at PHASE 1 is going great. I’m getting along with the coaches just fine and the coaches are just here always having my back and always trying to help me and looking out for what’s best for me. It’s just a real blessing to be here with all these people that willing to help me just to see me succeed” Kasongo acknowledged.

Kasongo, a 6-foot-8, 235-pound senior, dropped 24 points, 15 rebounds and 7 blocks vs Americas #1 player in his class Jahlil Okafor and teammate #4 ranked Cliff Alexander. All this on AAU duty in Vegas this past August. Kasongo is the latest name of a long list of power forwards cooking in Canada. Tristan Thompson, Andrew Nicholson, Anthony Bennett, Kelly Olynyk, Trey Lyles and the tradition continues with Raynold Kasongo.

Marial Shayok Sweepstakes: Marquette

 

2014 Ottawa native Marial Shayok recently announced via his personal twitter account that next fall he plans on taking his talents to Milwaukee Wisconsin to embark on his collegiate career with the Marquette Golden Eagles. 

You name it Shayok has been there… done that!

NBA sponsored camps, check!

FIBA’s? FIBA U17 world championships, he helped lead Canada to a 5th place finish, averaging an impressive 12 points and 6 rebounds on a balanced Canadian team. Check!

AAU success? Shayok continued to improve his stock over that summer, and caught the attention of a couple big names school when he more than held his own against 2014 guard Rashad Vaughn playing with CIA Bounce at the Boo Williams Nike EYBL event. Check!

Has Super Marial rubbed shoulders with some of Americas stiffest HS competition? Check that off too. Shayok helped lead Blair HS to the finals of the New Jersey Prep A tournament, scoring 21 points in the team’s 64-45 semifinal win over Lawrenceville Academy.  Blair fell in the title game to St. Benedict’s Prep, which at the time featured Tyler Ennis (now a freshman at Syracuse) and Isaiah Briscoe (one of the top players in the 2015 class)

His high school head coach can even testify.

“Last year they (St.Benedicts) lost in a difficult HS nat’l championship at the buzzer and they were as good of a high school team at a talent standpoint last year as we’ve played against in my 15 years @ Blair.”  Blair Head coach Joe Montegna elaborated,

“Marial is one of the most versatile and efficient guards in American high school basketball today… After visiting UVA, Providence and Marquette, Marial had to make a very difficult decision between three very fine schools and basketball programs. I am not sure he could have made a bad decision. Our coaching staff and his teammates are very happy for him and ready to get on with the season without any recruiting distractions.” Said Montegna.

Despite several signature moments spread out across special stages in both grassroots and prep basketball, the buzz on Shayok seemed to have cooled off from last summer. Montegna calls the humble and hungry Canadian “underrated’.  As Shayok’s sweepstakes came down to the wire Montegna spoke about his prep stars lack of recognition reflected by media recruit rankings south of the border.

Charlie V & Loul Deng attended Blair Academy

“Not enough people really take into the consideration the mental makeup of a guy and how competitive he is and what he’s willing to do to win. This is one of the most  competitive, tough kids I’ve ever been around…I’ve had 3 NBA guys, 30+ division 1 scholarship guys and I mean the kids makeup is of a champion, I think that’s where he gets a little underrated” Montegna told HHC.

Shayok who averaged 17 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists this past season at Blair held offers from Boston College, Seton Hall, Villanova, Kansas State, Georgia, Texas A&M and even interest from Illinois, Texas, UConn, Northwestern, Michigan and Duke, among others Mantegna said before narrowing his choices to Marquette, Providence and Virginia.

“He hasn’t really played the politics game, he didn’t do a whole lot with [CIA] Bounce this summer, he didn’t choose to play with Team Canada because he was little nicked up and he’s been a kid that instead of winning the twitter wars and instead of trying to go to every single event that will get him out there on the internet he’s been here working on his game and he was home in Ottawa this summer working on his game… he’s a kid that’s been putting the hours in and he’s not really trying to chase the rankings and all that.” explained his coach.

Marial Shayok of Blair Academy has committed to play for Marquette University.

Coach Montegna  wouldn’t be surprised if that by the time Shayok is a sophomore in college, if Marial’s not better then tons of colleagues that are ranked ahead of him at the moment.

“He’s a kid that is going to continue to get better, out compete and out work people in practice. That is gonna show dividends at Blair this year and continue to show dividends. People are recruiting him to be a part of their high major programs as a freshman and I think he will be”  Montegna mentioned.

Wasting no time flashing his development during a recent off season tourney, Coach Montegna said Shayok perhaps played some of his best basketball since arriving in Blairstown, NJ this summer,

“In July we won a 64 team national summer tournament and he was unbelievable the best I’ve ever seen him play.” 

MARQUETTE

Buzz Williams may be be one of the more under appreciated coaches in all of college basketball. In turn, The Marquette Golden Eagles are possibly the most always under-the-radar programs in the entire nation.  Like the student athlete Shayok, Williams and essentially everything related to Marquette hoops is unappreciated.

Only Duke spends more than Marquette each season on the sport. And that is because Coach K is the most successful coach in the history of the game, earns about $4.7 million a year.

But Marquette spends more per scholarship basketball athlete than any school in America. Per year, Marquette invests about $286,000 in each of its basketball players.

The Golden Eagles practice facility, the Al McGuire Center, is among the finest in the country. The team plays in an NBA facility and, as a member of the new Big East, is about to reap the benefits of a long-term Fox TV contract that will pay the conference $500 million.

Head coach Buzz Williams, at 40, is also one of the most interesting self made coaches in a profession in which he takes a backseat to only a select few.

Although he did not play college basketball and attended a junior college, Williams in five years has built Marquette into an elite program. It is one of only four schools – the others are Florida, Kansas and Ohio State – to have made the Sweet 16 in each of the past three seasons.

Marquette’s academic standards are high and the school cannot be moved away from Midwestern winters, but Williams, given some of the challenges, has managed to recruit and develop players as well as any coach in the country and that bodes well for one of our nation capital’s top basketball talents.

Former Marquette players under Buzz Williams like Wesley Matthews, Jerel McNeal, Lazar Hayward, Jimmy Butler, Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom have all had varying degrees of success in the NBA, but many of them defied their initial pro expectations to forge an identity on their NBA team.

Some teams preach their culture and have a different identity every single season, or quickly lose focus of their culture within a season and unravel. But after five consecutive NCAA Tournament bids and multiple former players defying initial NBA expectations, it’s no doubt that Buzz Williams culture for Marquette men’s basketball is working.

Marquettes culture will be a big reason and now responsible for Shayoks continued success at the college level. With Blair Academy’s Head Coach Joe Montegna‘s body of work in producing d1 players it’s not far fetched Shayok could be prepared to contribute immediately as a freshman. Something Shayok feels is feasible,

“Yes, especially  since my game is very versatile.. I can play multiple positions but definitely coming in I hope to play a lot of minutes as a freshman…im working on all aspects of my game to produce at the next level.” Marial mentioned during a media conference call the following morning.

Shayok explained his excitement to move forward,

“Feels great. Now I can focus on school and Blair.  Just get better every day, I’m really excited about my decision, I can’t wait” a ecstatic Shayok shared.

FREE THROWS

Couretsy of Blair Academy, Marial was made available via a media conference call. So on behalf of the Canadian basketball family HHC took advantage of the opportunity to toss it up with Shayok. He began high school at St. Patrick’s in Ottawa, then spent the past couple of years at Blair Academy in New Jersey and is scheduled to graduate next spring.

Experience on Prep in Blairstown NJ?:  -“really enjoyed the last past two years, I wouldn’t pick a different school. My game got a lot better. I feel that most players going across the border is good to an extent, just don’t rush it but I really feel that I picked a great school”

Any position preferred?: “Not really, I’m very versatile…I can play anywhere. playing basketball is it for me”

Relationship with Marquette coach Jamie McNielly? He was coaching me when I was 15 years old, so we built a relationship over the years. I knew if I went there he’d be sorta there to look over me and have my back… he was a big part too.

Raptors fan? Or favourite players growing up? I’m always been repping the Raptors, really hope they do well each year…im Raptors fan… I really liked Vince Carter obviously just really liked his game. I also liked Penny Hardaway and Michael Jordan.

Playing style reputation… Team Canada desire? Im gonna play hard, get better each year and play to win… Im honoured to play for my country and im gonna play hard and represent them well on and off the court.

Any shout outs back home? All my friends back home at St.Pats and Coach Matt hit me up there all really excited and proud of me and it’s an honour to do them proud.

AND 1

His older brother, Shayok Shayok, recently announced a transfer to the University of Missouri-Kansas City after spending two years on the basketball team at Bradley University in Illinois. Their sister, Yar Shayok, played for the University of Detroit-Mercy before graduating last spring.

 

Athlete Institute Invitational Draw

 

ATHLETE INSTITUTE INVITATIONAL FRI OCT 25th- SUN OCT 27th 2013

POOLS A & B
1 AI HS Alma Prep
2 Alma HS AI Prep
3 Bill Crothers Clarkson Secondary
4 SJK Thornlea S.S.
5 Outaouais Griffons Alma (3)
Time Court 1 Court 2
Friday 25th
4:30 PM Clarkson Secondary vs AI Prep Bill Crothers vs SJK
6:15 PM AI HS vs Alma HS Alma (3) vs Thornlea S.S.
8:00 PM AI prep vs Alma Prep Bill Crothers vs Outaouais
Saturday 26th
9:00 Alma HS vs Outaouais AI HS vs SJK
10:45 Alma Prep vs Clarkson Secondary AI prep vs Thornlea S.S.
12:30 Bill Crothers vs Alma HS AI Prep vs Alma (3)
2:15 Clarkson Secondary vs Thornlea S.S. AI HS vs Outaouais
4:00 Alma Prep vs Alma (3) Outaouais vs SJK
5:45 Alma Prep vs Thornlea AI HS vs Bill Crothers
7:30 Alma HS vs SJK Clarkson Secondary vs Alma (3)
Sunday 27th
8:00 Play-in Game Play-in Game
9:45 Quarterfinals Quarterfinals
11:30 Quarterfinals Quarterfinals
1:15 Semis Semis
3:00 Finals Finals

Anthony Bennett Breaks Ice

Top overall pick Anthony Bennett had six points and four rebounds in the Cavaliers Wine & Gold Scrimmage before a crowd of 800 military members and their families. The annual scrimmage was closed to the public for the first time this season. Only military members and their families were ticketed for the event, which was held on the campus of Baldwin Wallace.

Anthony Bennett broke the ice Saturday in Ohio. Taking the floor in the Cavaliers annual Wine & Gold scrimmage.

The Gold team started Jarrett Jack, C.J. Miles, Earl Clark, Anthony Bennett and Tyler Zeller who looked impressive while putting up 13 points on 5-for-8 shooting and four rebounds in 27 minutes.

“It’s not even comparable,” Zeller said when asked how much more comfortable he is in his second NBA training camp. “Last year, they were throwing a million terms at you…I’m not going to claim I know what I’m doing,” he added, “but I’m getting a lot better.”

Zeller’s effort impressed coach Mike Brown, who really liked the fact the big man drew a charge. “He was active defensively,”  Brown said. “There were a couple times he blew defensive assignments, but I don’t know if anybody didn’t blow at least one.”  While Zeller impressed, No. 1 overall pick Bennett, looked a bit pudgy and outta shape.

Bennett air-balled his first two shots, but did throw down a dunk over Varejao in traffic while finishing with six points and four boards in 26 minutes.

Behind the arc Bennett missed all three of his 3-point attempts and was exhausted less than four minutes into the scrimmage.

Bennett missed most of the summer recovering from shoulder surgery and is clearly behind on his conditioning. The Cavs also held a physical workout prior to the start of the scrimmage, which might have contributed to Bennett’s early fatigue. But he was grabbing at his shorts and gasping after just a couple of trips down the floor.

“It’s hard just sitting out the whole summer and then trying to come back,” 20 year old Bennett said. “It’s something I’ve been working on the past couple weeks and I still need to get better at it.”

Bennett’s weight has come up a couple of times already in the first week. He said on Monday he weighed 255 pounds and said Saturday he weighed 250. Also mentioned to the Cleavland press last year at UNLV he played between 242 and 244 and insists he’s not concerned about his weight.

“I’m still not worried about it. If I drop a couple pounds, it’ll be helpful, but at this point it’s good for me,” Bennett said. “It’s not too much. I need to get bigger in the NBA, but not so much where I lose my mobility.”

Cavaliers canceled their annual Wine & Gold scrimmage with 6:10 left in the third quarter due to a slick floor. Tyler Zeller strained his left hip when he slipped and fell following a free throw from Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao landed on top of him.

“It was warm in there and you could tell from the beginning that the floor was a little moist,” Mike Brown explained. “All it took was that for me to say, ‘Oh my gosh, no more.’”

Kyrie Irving had 17 points in the scrimmage and Coach Brown paired Irving and Varejao with Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson, who are expected to comprise four-fifths of the starting lineup. Alonzo Gee started with that quartet for the first half, then Earl Clark played with the starters in the abbreviated third quarter.

The Cavs are off Sunday and will resume practicing Monday at Cleveland Clinic Courts. They will host the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena in their first exhibition game.

BENNETT NBA READY & POTENTIAL

Anthony Bennett Canada Basketball

Panini became the first company to put Anthony on cardboard offering the first NBA-licensed Rookie Card of the historic Canadian selected first overall in the NBA draft.

June 27th, 2013 Toronto-born Anthony Bennett and UNLV Rebel became the first Canadian ever to be chosen first in the NBA draft. The 20-year-old Brampton, Ont. native made history by becoming the first Canadian ever drafted in the top spot, joining the ranks of other top-picked basketball legends that includes Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James and Magic Johnson.

That fact alone is enough to turn his rookie card into a collector’s item but the truth is, most fans of the NBA don’t really care about the precedence Bennett’s nationality creates.

Anthony Bennett

One the 40 Rookie Cards rounding out the 300-card base set by Panini. Also one of the hottest in demand.

 

He will face high expectations now as an overall #1 pick. He will be mercilessly compared to other first pick phenoms the Cavs have acquired, fellas like Kyrie Irving or LeBron James.

So the real question becomes: Does Bennett have what it takes to fight through the hype and prove himself with ability and accomplishment?  The tools are there to justify a bright future and his draft pedigree.

You see, physically Bennett resembles something of a basketball Swiss Army knife. He is agile and has a great mid court game, perfect for playing small forward. At the same time he is powerful and carries a 7’1” wingspan on his shoulders, the unmistakable qualities of a power forward. When it comes to game time, matching up with him is going to be a nightmare for the opposing teams.  Many believe Bennett was underused at talent rich UNLV where he was productive, but perhaps not as productive as he could have been in a different system.

When Bennett’s head coach from high school Todd Simon at Findlay Prep, recently hired by UNLV as an assistant coach was asked about the Canadian power forwards post secondary tenure in Nevada he defended UNLV,

“Factually, Anthony put up as good of numbers of any freshman in the country and surpassed his peers through his production at UNLV. I don’t believe any place could have put him in a position to be drafted higher.  His long term potential is off the charts.” Simon said. Adding the fact Bennett was the perhaps the Rebels first option on offense when healthy. “Led team on field goal attempts. Not many freshmen get to do that.  Dave [Rice] (head coach @ UNLV) did a great job showing everything he can do even despite his late season injury.  Awesome kid and UNLV folks are extremely grateful for his time here”

Against the majority of small forwards, Bennett will easily overpower and outreach his opponent while still being able to keep up on the perimeter.

Against power forwards, Bennett loses nothing. He has the foot speed and explosiveness to escape other “big men” and find open pockets anywhere on the court, but he can still match up pound for pound while he battles in the paint.

Bennett’s versatility is what makes him an indispensable offensive weapon. So long as he is able to prove himself defensively, he will undoubtedly become an unstoppable basketball player. He has already done enough to make his native nation proud and earn the #1 pick overall.

Anthony Bennett

Cleveland Cavaliers first round draft pick Anthony Bennett speaks at the Jane and Finch Boys and Girls Club in Toronto, Thursday, July 4, 2013.

As a #1 pick, Bennett can have a huge impact on the team if he develops sooner than later.

Chris Egi Sweepstakes: HARVARD

With just over a month and a half until the season begins, the Harvard men’s basketball team needed just about a day and a half to clinch commitments from two recruits this past weekend.

Shortly after the end of their official campus visits, Chris Egi and Andrew Chatfield both proverbially donned a Crimson jersey on Sunday in committing to Harvard.

2014 6’9′ Chris Egi committed to Harvard University. One of Canada’s brightest student athletes.

2014 6’9″ F/C Chris Egi’s announcement makes this the second consecutive year that Head Coach Tommy Amaker has drawn a top-100 prospect into the program, the other being freshman Zena Edosomwan. Despite the timing of their respective commitments, Chatfield said he and Egi didn’t discuss their impending decisions.

“We didn’t really talk about it,” Chatfield said. “Throughout the whole weekend, he was also having a good time. He enjoyed the environment and playing some five-on-five [with the team].”

Egi said he only discussed committing with Chatfield, a 6-foot-5 guard, Sunday morning.

“We were actually at breakfast together,” Egi said.

Egi reportedly has a 4.0 GPA, said Harvard’s mix of basketball and the important stuff.

“I though it was the best place for me in terms of both basketball and academics” Chris Egi told Hoops Hype Canada via text message the night he pledged allegiance to the Crimson.

On the heels of Harvard’s most successful season in program history, they land a four-star prospect like Egi. His AAU coach Tony McIntyre was quoted by American media as to what the IVY League program can expect in the Canadian power forward.

“He’s a tremendous shot-blocker and gritty competitor, not to mention a tremendous student. It’s possible he may be the top academic athlete there when it’s done”

1 year ago, Tommy Amaker’s Harvard Crimson were written off after two starters — arguably the team’s top two players — had to withdraw from school after an academic scandal that hit more than 100 students.

Now, Amaker has Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry back and they will integrate themselves into a team that shocked just about everyone by winning the Ivy League and notching the program’s first NCAA tournament win last season.

Chris Egi

Photo of a smiling Tommy Amaker with his four star, and two three star recruits.

Although this season could be the program’s most successful and be the most hyped in the program’s history the Crimson won just eight games in Amaker’s first season,. Now steady progression on the court and in recruiting have them on the verge of becoming the first team in Ivy League history to win at least 20 games in five consecutive seasons.

Question begs, Is Harvard the new mid magor power? HHC will be keeping tabs.

CIA BOUNCE

Chris Egi’s exposure while playing AAU basketball no doubt increased his stock value for both both the NCAA ranks and National team landscape. Chris had a terrific circuit with Canadian powerhouse program CIA Bounce. It helped him earn a selection on Team Canada at the NIKE DC Global Games and also the U19 FIBA World Championships with the Canadian Junior Mens National Team. Egi was the youngest talent in the tournament and played major minutes with most kids who were a full two years older then him. A whirlwind summer also saw him take his talents to one of the globes most reputable student athlete prep programs in Montverde Academy FL

MVA  gives Chris a chance to consistently compete against high level talent in his final high school year. Over the summer, Egi on the circuit with CIA Bounce ranked third in the EYBL in shot blocking at 2.6 BPG behind Ivan Rabb & Thon Maker.

Buffalo native and Harvard assistant coach Adam Cohen on behalf of the Crimson was seen late July in attendence at the annual CIA Bounce Caribana Classic camp  epitomizing the commitment the Crimson showed in securing Egis signature for post secondary basketball.

The Harvard program continues to incline under Head Coach Tommy Amaker, evidenced by two straight NCAA tournament appearances in the last two seasons. The only other time the Crimson made a trip to the dance was back in 1946.

“I think I can be a part of something special, trying to help build the program, as it’s heading in a great

FREE THROWS

How exactly does one “reclassify”? We asked HHC NCAA certified recruiting analyst Mark Bairos his take.

“It’s usually more of the not going to a post grad year. It often has to do with being a little young for the age to start, so the prospect will opt to reclassify into a later class to essentially “rejoin” the correct age class, while still retaining the option to move forward to the class that he left.

It happens frequently when Canadian players go to the US – upon entering the States they reclassify into a later year at their new HS. Andrew Wiggins is the most notable example of this, but there are plenty of others. If I remember correctly, he did two years in Canada before transferring to the US in 2011, and reclassified to 2014 upon starting here. Then, he reclassified back into his original class during what would have been that class’s peak recruiting season”

Also Bairos take on Egi choosing Harvard over the likes of Florida, Stanford, Marquette, Vanderbilt, California etc?

“Harvard is a rare breed this day and age. A Ivy League program that plays a competitive schedule, competing against high major programs. Egi at Harvard will still be in position to play on the big stage, it’s not your typical ivy league experience.” adding “Match made in heaven”.

 

PHASE 1 Director Wayne Dawkins Speaks

In early September Kern Carter on behalf of Hoops Hype Canada wrote a exclusive on Wayne Dawkins the Canadian basketball pioneer. On the cusp of the PHASE 1 program`s inaguaral season on the American Prep School scene, Wayne Dawkins Director of PHASE 1 Academy now based in Phoenix Arizona spoke one-on-one with Hoops Hype Canada correspondents via telephone.

Q. First and foremost PHASE 1 Academy. How did the program earn some reported first class facilities and become rumored to have such strong community support in the Phoenix area?

A. Hard to make a long story short but the work being done by PHASE 1 in Canada was recognized by people here in Phoenix and the offer to come here was presented to me. After much prayer and speaking to my wife we decided to explore it. Once we were here it was clear from the connections we made that God wanted us to stay. The rest is the hard work, diligence and perseverance that goes into building anything.

PHASE 1 Academy Player pool.

PHASE 1 Academy Player pool.

Q. Facilities are they first class as reported?

A. Yes. Our school is small and did not have the facilities to fully accommodate our program, so we were blessed to form a partnership with the Ray and Joan Kroc Salvation Army in South Phoenix. It is a world class facility with 3 NBA courts, fitness center, indoor track, etc. The partnership also gives our athletes an opportunity to give back to the community through the volunteering we do for their many youth programs.

Q. How is PHASE 1 establishing a presence in the community and already garnering strong support from the Arizona community?

A. Our presence has grown because we entered the community with a mission to give back through volunteering and involvement with our local church Faith Christian Center. We have also established a reputation for running a discipline program that focuses on education, character and player development.

Q. Canadians are reportedly involved with the support staff surrounding the players day to day? Any names in the fold that have been pivotal preparing Phase 1 for the American prep level?

A. Several Canadians both here and in Canada are involved; however, this is not a one man or all Canadian effort! My wife, Kim Dawkins get’s the most credit because she is the true organizational and creative talent behind PHASE 1 and our great start. Amanda Davidson is one of my former Alumni and lends her many talents to the program including, her masters in education which gives us the strong in house academic support.  Her 10 years of training with PHASE 1 means we have someone who is well equipped to support the player development as well. After contemplating several other offers I was able to convince my long time friend Ro Russell, that his experience both good and bad was vital to building a great program on a consulting level then most recently as a head coach of our high school national team. Clive Daniel is my right hand with overall operations of the Academy and maintaining the academy mission. The Canadians at home are our athletes parents and families that trust us to do right by their children and provide as much hands on support and encouragement for PHASE 1 Academy as possible.

Super Trooper: Wife Kim Dawkins and Wayne photogrphed on the  Air Canada court.

Wayne and wife Kim Dawkins photographed on home court of the Toronto Raptors, Air Canada Center. Former home of the All Canada Classic.

Q We must ask, what calibre of education does PHASE 1 Academy offer aspiring international ballers?

A. We chose Faith Christian School as our educational partner for the high academic standard and the fact they are fully state and NCAA accredited. As of last week our school progress report indicated that our team GPA is a 3.2. We have an in house Academic Director and several student tutors through a partnership with Arizona State U. and Grand Canyon U; also I have a Bachelors Degree in Secondary education with a concentration in Sociology. I have been a teacher for 17 years and would not compromise education for our athletes when I know how valuable it has been to me, and the many students I have taught.

Q. Caliber of competition? Word is Findlay and Oak Hill are on your schedule already and a possible Canadian tour, any truth to that?

A. All true and a credit to Coach Ro Russell because it is his tremendous relationship with these programs that allowed us to be able to put together such a great schedule in a short time span. The Canadian tour is important for our athletes to get an opportunity to play in front of family and friends while showcasing the development of these athletes.

Kim Dawkins and Amanda Davidson measure Senaglese 2014 6`11 C Boubacar Toure`s wing span.

Kim and Amanda measure Senaglese 2014 6`11 C Boubacar Toure`s wing span.

Q. X’s and O’s. What kind of sysytems, culture will student athletes 

A. I respect a Head Coaches need to control his team because I have been there myself. Our head coach will control the games however as a staff, collectively we are implementing the overall academy coaching system.  Our focus is to create a culture to better integrate our younger players that may play up for bigger games. 

Q. Player pool. Strong Canadian contingent….Especially from the Canadian hotbed city of Brampton, ON. Any coincidence of that? 

A. Brampton is loaded with talent and that can’t be denied. We have a great mix of players from other parts of the G.T.A. as well. For year one we focused on athletes where we have a close relationship with their families. It is a major decision to send your child all the way to Phoenix so screening parents and child was very important. Our athletes come from all over the world, Germany, Belgium, Argentina, Senegal, Nigeria and Australia so we really needed to make sure we chose Canadian athletes of good character that can deal with people from different cultures and adjust to a new environment. We also looked closely at the positions that had to be filled and building for the future.

PHASE 1 Academy

PHASE 1 Academy located in Phoenix, AZ

Q. Canadian basketball. You are a basketball mogul in the country. How do you feel about the current state. Genuine growth or still hype?

A. I am happy for the growth of Canadian basketball and excited for the future. I don’t feel we are utilising our best talent in positions of leadership and that has caused a talent drain at every level. Right now America has firmly taken over the development of our top talent at and early age and we do not have the coaches, facilities, level of competition or corporate support to pull it back anytime soon. I am here because America recognized my value to the greater basketball community. I would have preferred to stay home to continue to help build Canadian basketball but that opportunity was not going to come. Hopefully many others who are taking their talent to the U.S. will one day have a more opportunities to impact Canadian basketball at the higher levels.

Q. Any relationship with Steve Nash and or the brass from Canada Basketball have they ever reached out to you or PHASE 1?

A. I have a past relationship but I have never heard from him.

Q. All Canada Classic. Gone but not forgotten. It seems though media outlets are quick to forget about its existence? At all frustrating for you?

A. To work hard for 12 straight years; to build and maintain a major event like the All Canada Classic with such a great history and tradition; it is disappointing to feel the basketball community does not value it enough to help keep it going. I am grateful to God for the opportunity to help so many of Canada’s best player celebrate their high school career on a national stage.

Q. NPSAA received mixed feedback from programs, parents and players both positive and negative. Your thoughts looking back on it what do you think was it’s demise? Can NPSAA co exist in Canada or even America one day?

A. Unfortunately when you’re a pioneer and trying to build anything with limited resources it is difficult. The fact that several leagues that are following an almost identical format and have sprung up, is a reflection that it was something people felt is needed for Canada. My focus for PHASE 1 is building PHASE 1 Academy and making sure we do right by everyone involved. The NPSAA, like the All Canada Classic and the many other of PHASE 1’s programs I will leave it up God to decide if they are gone for good or maybe rebirthed here in America.

Q. Your thoughts on AAU it’s been a long time since you have been affiliated with an AAU program. Are you against it or support players desire to take their talents on the circuit?

A. AAU in theory is great and I am again grateful to have been a part of it in the late 90’s when it was relatively unknown in Canada. The challenge now is educating people on how to use the AAU experience to the best interest of the athletes involved. 

Q. Minus social media and all the virtual hoopla, how were you recruited back in your day? Also how do you feel as program director of your players & personnel using social media?

A. I was recruited by a combination of 1. good old-fashioned taping games, contacting schools and sending out the footage and 2. being written about in the newspapers for being one of the top basketball players in the city. Back then print media exposure was very crucial to validating our level of talent. I am also very grateful to my high school coaches at York Memorial C.I. Richard Ward and Mike Katz who were the driving force behind my recruitment.

 I personally feel young athletes need to be better educated on their use of social media. It is great for creating instant hype or a buzz but often times athletes are sharing emotional moments that need to be thought out or discussed before being posted. This has proven to be very detrimental to their own reputation and the programs they represent. We work continuously with our athletes to teach them how to use social media responsibly.

Thank you Wayne good luck with your latest basketball journey in Phoenix Arizona, Hoops Hype Canada wishes you all the best and looks forward to tracking the development of both our Canadians donning the PHASE 1 jersey and the entire roster this fall and winter season.

Dawkins Demonstrates Dedication

Special by Kern Carter

Teacher. Motivator. Mentor. Trainer. Coach. Pioneer…

These are just some of the many descriptive titles for community activist and basketball enthusiast Wayne Dawkins.  His contribution to a number of hoops programs and charities throughout the greater Toronto area (GTA), alongside his love for coaching basketball to youth has awarded him with a great place of leadership in the Canadian basketball community.

TEACHER.

Wayne Dawkins demonstrates drills with Senior Mens National Team member Orlando Magic PF/C Andrew Nicholson.

Having spent more than 10 years as a high school educator for the Toronto district school board (TDSB), Dawkins’ teaching approach surpassed standard expectations for motivating students to succeed.  His ambitious efforts of encouraging youth to realize their potential, has assisted hundreds of student-athletes in earning scholarships. He states, “My numerous years as a teacher and coach have allowed me to grow immensely in my ability to manage and motivate young athletes.”

MOTIVATOR & MENTOR.

Dawkins’ passion for coaching, leading, and teaching youth life skills extended far beyond the classroom.  Whether students obtained an NCAA scholarship or acceptance into a Canadian post-secondary institution, Dawkins’ goal is to elevate youth progress athletically, socially, and academically.

No stranger to being a student-athlete himself, Dawkins had received numerous accolades prior to his college career, which included two Metro All-Star team selections, and a gold medal as captain of the Ontario Provincial team. Dawkins then pursued a degree in Secondary Education while attended Eastern Michigan University (EMU) on a full four-year basketball scholarship. He later transferred to American International College (AIC) where he played as the starting point-guard, and completed his degree in ‘95.

Dawkins, who is of Jamaican-Canadian descent, has lived in many places, which include Jamaica, various Canadian provinces and the United States of America; he currently resides in Scarborough, Ontario with his wife, Kim, and their daughter Toni. Also a devout Christian, Dawkins applies his Christian teachings and values to all areas of his life, no matter what the cause, whether it is family, his profession, or helping others.

TRAINER & COACH.

Throughout his vast career, Dawkins has spearheaded and co-founded several basketball-focused projects in the community that has developed basketball training centres, National College Exposure Camps, and many other initiatives. He has also pioneered a series of coaching clinics, Canadian AAU travel teams, tournaments, and house leagues that were facilitated within local inner-city community centres.

Dawkins has made it his mission to inspire and motivate youth through the medium of basketball. Influencing youth by encouraging confidence-building and achieving success external to the game of hoops had reshaped the image of a student “athlete”. Mentoring and coaching youth showed progression within the basketball community, this in turn, continued to expand Dawkins’ own brand.

“I have a deeply rooted passion for coaching and working with youth in varying capacities. Equally important is my enthusiasm for elevating the game of basketball.”

PIONEER.

In 2000, Dawkins founded and established PHASE 1 Basketball, an organization committed to athlete development.  His initiative extends beyond basketball, and the classroom setting, with programs being based around personal development, community engagement and education. PHASE 1 prepares youth on the basketball court, but most importantly for their futures by guiding and sending hundreds of athletes to school to pursue post-secondary studies.

All Canada Classic  one of the greatest Canadian amateur basketball events in Canada.

By growing different basketball programs across the GTA, Dawkins’ has been more than a coach, but a mentor to hundreds of student-athletes, many of whom have earned success in their collegiate careers (i.e Denham Brown [UCONN] and Jevohn Shepherd [Michigan]). Dawkins’ knows the importance of finding great mentors:

“I have been blessed with the opportunity to work alongside, and be mentored by some of North America’s greatest coaches including Mike Katz, U. Of Toronto, Roy Rana, Eastern Commmerce C.I., Ben Braun, U. California, Gary Waters, Cleveland State U. and many more. Each of these talented and successful coaches has shaped my coaching ability.”

A glimps at the PHASE 1 player pool from Phoenix, Arizona.

A glimpse at the PHASE 1 player pool from Phoenix, Arizona.

PHASE 1 Basketball includes several other basketball programs that are highly recognized by the basketball community. Some initiatives include the All Canada Classic (2000), a national high-school all-star game played at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, and the All Canada Prospect Camp (2000). PHASE 1 also has the Lady Elite 1’s, the Elite Semi-Pro team, the Rising Star Showcase,and so much more.

Dawkins’ has transferred his passion for coaching and inspiring youth by shaping PHASE 1 basketball to be more than a basketball academy, but a project focussed on enhancing the development of successful young citizens.  His tenacity, drive, determination and faith have helped him root his vision to help others within the basketball community. Dawkins’ vision is still growing, and he is continuously developing projects to further enhance what the PHASE 1 basketball brand represents.

Dawkins is formerly the head coach of the men’s basketball team at Seneca College, where he was awarded the “2010 OCAA Coach of the Year” award.

SWNT CAPTURE FIBA AMERICAS SILVER

Xalapa, Mexico – The Senior Women’s National Team (SWNT) has captured the silver medal at the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship for Women following a hard-fought 79-71 loss to Cuba in the gold medal game. The result is Canada’s highest at the competition since capturing the gold in 1995 in Hamilton, Ont. By reaching the finale, Team Canada had already secured a berth to the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women – the team’s third straight qualification to the tournament.

The two sides played a very tight opening quarter, exchanging defensive stops and offensive chances at both ends of the court. The first 10 minutes of the game saw six lead-changes and two ties. A late 9-2 run by Cuba helped them build a 20-15 lead after the first. The back-and-forth play continued through the beginning of the second. With Canada behind by four points at 28-24, Cuba put together another solid stretch to enter halftime with a 45-30 advantage.

Team Canada emerged in the second half with a more concerted effort to trim the deficit. Timely scoring and strong defence limited the Cuban attack during a 13-4 run midway through the period, but Cuba maintained an 11 point lead after 30 minutes of play. The fourth frame opened with even play on both ends as the Canadian side continued to press. Canada cut the lead to four points with three minutes remaining, but accurate shooting at the free-throw line secured the victory for Cuba.

Brampton, Ont. native Tamara Tatham led the SWNT with a game-high 25 points, shooting an impressive 77 per cent to accompany a team-high nine rebounds. London, Ont. native Miranda Ayim registered 13 points to go with six rebounds. Kim Gaucher of Mission, B.C. and Kia Nurse of Hamilton, Ont. each added nine points on the evening. The game’s statistics are available here.

Head coach Lisa Thomaidis spoke to the development of her team and the play of their opponent when asked about the match. “I’m so proud of this group and the progress that these players have made over the summer to reach the FIBA Americas gold medal game. I’m proud of how hard they competed tonight – right down to the final minutes, we were in a position to win, but Cuba deserves full credit for a tremendous game.”

In looking ahead, she added that, “we’re going to draw from this experience and grow from it. The lessons we have learned here will be invaluable as we set our sights on next year’s World Championship.”

The cities of Ankara and Istanbul will stage the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women in Turkey. The seventeenth edition of the event will be held from September 27 to October 5, 2014. By capturing the bronze medal, Brazil will join Canada and Cuba as qualifiers from the FIBA Americas zone.

Images from the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship for Women are available via the FIBA Americas Photo Gallery. Please note that all photos must be credited to FIBA Americas.

Spain 2014 Wildcard Sweepstakes

The four remaining spots will be awarded at FIBA’s central board meeting Nov. 23-24 in Buenos Aires, and while there are plenty of viable candidates, the wild-card entries come with an expensive price tag: Each wild card must pay €500,000 ($674600) — no small fee, especially for national teams without a huge budget.
 
Andrew Wiggins Spain 2014

Sneaker companies want Andrew Wiggins in Spain 2014. So does FIBA. Fingers crossed

 China is almost a guarantee. With nearly just as many people playing basketball in China as there are people in the USA, it makes sense for FIBA to bring China to Spain, and China is willing to pay the fee.
 
Canada is an option, too. As the country develops its young talent (Tristan Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Andrew Nicholson, Anthony Bennett, Kelly Olynyk among others) and becomes more competitive on the international scene, playing in the World Cup is important for Canada’s future. However, €500,000 – approximately $675,000 gives Canada reason to consider the value of that investment.
 
Brazil didn’t finish in the top four at FIBA Americas Championship and missed out on one of the automatic bids. As host of the 2016 Olympics, Brazil needs the experience if its wants to make a run at a medal on its home court in three years. The exposure is important, too.
 
There is no shortage of options in Europe, from Russia, which entered Eurobasket in turmoil (its coach quit a month before event began) and didn’t have its best players, to Greece to Turkey to Italy. Russia seems the most likely of those countries to pay big dollars for inclusion, and it won silver in London last summer.
 
Oddly, Nigeria, which finished a disappointing seventh at Afrobasket, is interested in playing in the World Cup. However, can it come up with the money, and does FIBA want a team which finished so low in Africa, playing in the World Cup? Nigeria played in the 2012 London Olympics and finished 10th with just one victory.
 
Either way, the USA, which won the 2010 world championship and gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, will enter as the favorite. The USA will learn its opponents for group play at the World Cup draw Feb. 8 in Barcelona.
 

FIBA World Cup 2014 held in Spain willl be August 30 – September 14.

 
Already in:
 
Americas (5): USA (defending Olympic gold medalist), Mexico (2013 FIBA Americas champion), Puerto Rico, Argentina, Dominican Republic.
 
Europe (7): Spain (host country), France (2013 Eurobasket champion), Lithuania, Croatia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Serbia.
 
Oceania (2): Australia (2013 FIBA Oceania champion), New Zealand.
 
Asia (3): Iran (2013 FIBA Asian champion), Philippines, South Korea.
 
Africa (3): Angola (2013 FIBA Africa champion), Egypt, Senegal.

Egi Sweepstakes: Enter California

Chris Egi will take his remaining visit to the University of California sources tell Hoops Hype Canada (HHC).

Egi a 6’9″ PF/C playing along side current Cal commit Ahmaad Rorie @ Montverde Academy in Florida had previously limited his officials to Harvard, Stanford, Washington & Vanderbilt.

According to annonymous sources close to the situation a recent sitdown between Bears Associate head coachTravis Decuire and Egi’s parents in Toronto has apparently done the trick. Egi and his support staff now intend to visit Cal.

Last week Egi told California media that it was Berkeley’s renowned undergraduate business school, coupled with his growing relationship with Rorie and Decuire, that was winning Cal major points.

Egi will reportedly visit California October 11-13 with trips to Harvard scheduled September 28th, Vanderbilt on October 3rd and Stanford and Washington October 17 th and 19th respectively.

SWNT FIBA AMERICAS ROSTER ANNOUNCED

Toronto, Ont. – Canada Basketball is pleased to announce the athletes who will represent Canada as the Senior Women’s National Team (SWNT) this summer at the FIBA Americas Championship for Women in Mexico. Team Canada heads in to this competition after a successful summer of preparation, most recently winning the Super Four International Tournament in Sao Carlos, Brazil going 3-0 beating Argentina, Puerto Rico and Brazil.

Head Coach Lisa Thomaidis made the following comments on the selection and the upcoming tournament: “After an amazing summer of training and competition, we’ve selected the 12 athletes that will represent Canada at the FIBA Americas Championship in Mexico. Both our mix of experience and youth will be called upon to contribute in Xalapa. The FIBA Americas tournament is highly competitive and we are mindful of the varying styles in opponents that we will face. We are encouraged with the signs of improvement we’ve seen in both our team and individual performance indicators over the course of the summer, and feel very prepared for the upcoming tournament. We are excited to get going!”

The competition, taking place in Xalapa, Mexico, will feature the best teams in the Americas, where they face Jamaica, Chile, Venezuela and Cuba in the preliminary round of the tournament. Canada has won bronze in the last four years of the FIBA Americas Championship tournament.

The team looks for success in the Americas tournament where they need to finish in the top three rank in order to qualify for the 2014 FIBA World Championship.


2013 Senior Women’s National Team

No. Name Position Height Hometown
4 Krista Phillips Centre 6-5 Saskatoon, Sask.
5 Kia Nurse Guard 6-0 Hamilton, Ont.
6 Shona Thorburn Guard 5-10 Hamilton, Ont.
7 Courtnay Pilypaitis Guard 6-1 Orleans, Ont.
8 Kim Gaucher Guard 6-1 Mission, B.C.
9 Miranda Ayim Forward 6-2.5 London, Ont.
10 Justine Colley Guard 5-9 East Preston, N.S.
11 Natalie Achonwa Forward 6-2.5 Guelph, Ont.
12 Lizanne Murphy Guard 6-1 Beaconsfield, Que.
13 Tamara Tatham Forward 6-1 Brampton, Ont.
14 Kendel Ross Guard 6-0 Sarnia, Ont.
15 Kalisha Keane Forward 6-0 Ajax, Ont.


2013 FIBA Americas Championship for Women – Preliminary Round Schedule

Date Opponent Time (ET)
Sunday, September 22 Jamaica 3:00 p.m.
Monday, September 23 Chile 5:15 p.m.
Tuesday, September 24 Venezuela 5:15 p.m.
Wednesday, September 25 Cuba 5:15 p.m.

For the full schedule, please visit the tournament’s official site: http://www.xalapa2013.com/en/

Do Canada Merit Wild Card Spot?

FIBA criteria for wild card at last World Cup held in Turkey in 2010

FIBA criteria for wild card at last World Cup held in Turkey in 2010

Finances aside Canada more then merit a spot in the 2014 World Cup in Spain via a wild card system FIBA have implemented.

Right is a look at the Wild Card critera for the last World Championship in Turkey 2010.

With the Canadian current crop of young talent making noise in the NBA in addition to a “once in a decad”e talent such as Andrew Wiggins on the horizon ,it only means Spain 2014 is still up in the air for a country who is craving the opportunity to showcase its young up and coming talent.

 

Argentina Eliminate Canada

Caracas, Venezuela - Julio Lamas team raised his level at the second half, defeated Canada, 73-67 and got his ticket to the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain. The key player of the match for Argentina was Luis Scola, who scored 28 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.

Canada vs. Argentina – Andrew Nicholson fades away for the jumper — in Caracas, Distrito Federal, Venezuela.

In the second Canada continued to control the game, especially in the first minutes, they moved the ball well and added to the contributions from Kendall and Cadougan on the paint (22-13). But Argentina ran the floor well with Safar and Campazzo, and subtracted the Canadian lead to 5 points (22-17). At the end of the quarter, a double by Andrew Nicholson left the Canadian advantage at 4 points, 36-32.

Argentina kept the mistakes on defense in the opening minutes of the third, fouls cam quickly and Canada took the opportunity to continue adding to the points in its favor. With a good job in the post of Scola and fast attacks by Campazzo, Argentina was down by three points, 45-41, but Canada exploded the midway shots with Joseph (5) and expanded the lead to 7 points, 50-43. However, Argentina responded with Scola, who made seven points in a row and put the team on his shoulders, with a 10-0 run, Argentina fell in front, 61-56.

Canada vs. Argentina – Coaches talking strategy for Team Canada — in Caracas, Distrito Federal, Venezuela.

The last 10 minutes were very exciting; Argentina became much more active and complicated the Canadians actions. Argentina with good defenses built a fast game and brought out their hierarchy. Canada didn’t respond, Argentina took the win, the pass to the Semi-Finals and a ticket to the 2014 FIBA World Championship in Spain.

Canada vs. Argentina – Tristan Thompson going hard to the hoop defended by Luis Scola — in Caracas, Distrito Federal, Venezuela.

For Argentina the best scorer was Luis Scola, who scored 28 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. On the Canadian side, Cory Joseph had 19 points and 4 assists.

Triano on Argentina: “Have one of the best PG’s”

CARACAS, VENEZUELA- Team Canada head coach Jay Triano when asked what to expect from the unknown Argentinian squad missing the likes of Manu Ginobili, Carlos Delfino and so on he identified the head of the snake Luis Scola. Except he has a side kick.

“They have Luis Scola who is veteran guy who has come back to kinda teach them what this game is about, how to represent your country and so on”  adding that tacticaly he is the focal point for Argentina’s offense “They kind of run everything through him. They’ll throw him the ball in the post, he has a three point shot now, I think they also have the best point guards in the tournament or one of the best, he’s evolved as a great player, he does alot of great things [Facundo] Campazzo

Coach Triano on Facundo Campazzo: I think they also have the best point guards in the tournament or one of the best

Facundo Campazzo enters Sunday averaging 11.4 points, 5.9 assists and is shooting 56 percent from the field. 22 year old plays professionally for Peñarol Mar del Plata in his nativeland of Argentina. Coach Triano very aware of Capazzo’s winning pedigree, “He’s won 3 championships in Argentina and I think people are just starting to find about him, he’s as tough a point gaurd as we’ve played and he’s going to be a handful tommorow” Coach Triano concluded.Facundo Campazzo on his Pistol Pete:

Must Win Versus Luis Scola + B Team

Pacers forward Luis Scola, 33, is the lone NBA player from Argentina competing in Caracas.

This team is basically Luis Scola plus Argentina’s B-Team. But don’t sleep on Argentina just because most of the big names are missing. The core of this team (without Scola) went undefeated at last summer’s South America tourney, where it beat a Venezuelan team (with Greivis Vasquez) twice. Argentina was also in a similar situation in 2009 when it was basically Scola plus the B-Team, and managed to finish third.I’m not really sure why Scola is playing, since the 2011 Americas champs are under little pressure to qualify. If they fail to qualify this summer, a wild-card selection would be a mere formality. I imagine the Indiana Pacers are wondering why Scola is suiting up, too, especially since he hasn’t sat out a summer for Argentina since 2005. Nevertheless, Scola is still a major force in national team play and the best player in the field, despite the fact his game has been slowly declining in the NBA. Argentina will likely ride Scola hard, looking for him to carry the offensive load and playing him 30-plus minutes a game. Scola is looking for his fourth straight Americas MVP trophy. Marcos Delia, a 2012 Nike Hoop Summit alumni, gives Argentina a much-needed dose of length. The 6-10 Delia is a mobile rebounder who can score inside with both hands. ACB veteran forward Leo Mainoldi gives Argentina a dangerous stretch-4.

Marcos Delia of Argentina (L) blocks a shot by Renaldo Balkman of Puerto Rico during their men’s preliminary round basketball game at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara October 27, 2011.

With no Pablo Prigioni to run the point, Argentina will put the ball in the hands of youngsters Facundo Campazzo and former Temple Owl Juan Fernandez. The diminutive Campazzo gave Argentina quality minutes at the Olympics (when Prigioni was battling kidney stones) and uses ball screens well to hit jumpers or to get into the lane. The 6-4 Fernandez is a nifty passer and capable shooter who can play both guard spots.

This team might not have the talent of a typical Argentina team but it is still a cohesive unit. Many of these guys have played together before and understand the Argentina system of spacing, quick ball movement and finding open spots in the defense.

 

Braeden Anderson In Car Accident

Anderson photographed at the 2011 All Canada Classic

Braeden Anderson,  forward for the Fresno State basketball team, was in a serious car accident this week, sustaining injuries that put his season in jeopardy, according to a report from ESPN.com. Hoops Hype Canada (HHC) wishes Braeden the speediest of recoveries.  Anderson was ready to go after playing in just ten games due to academic issues that delayed the start of his college career. Braeden was expected to be a major piece of the team for this season, especially with the departure of talented and highly touted big man Robert Upshaw, who was dismissed from the team for multiple violations of athletic department policy.

Anderson was a passenger in a vehicle driven by a walk-on to the Fresno State team when the driver swerved to avoid an oncoming accident, colliding with another car. The driver was unharmed, but Anderson suffered neck injuries. The good news? He has movement in all of his extremities and is expected to make a full recovery. The bad news? The accident happened on Tuesday night, and Anderson has yet to be released from the hospital.

Anderson is a 6-foot-9 forward from Alberta that was originally signed to Kansas but was ruled a non-qualifier coming out of high school. He sat out a season and averaged 4.1 points and 3.5 boards in 10 games last season.

2012-13 (FRESHMAN): Played in 10 games, including seven starts … on the season, he averaged 4.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3 assists … logged an average of 17.5 minutes in his 10 games played … drained 12 of 36 (33.3 percent) field goal attempts and went 17-for-24 (70.8 percent) at the free throw line. … also recorded two steals and one block … scored a season-best 12 points with six rebounds on the road at San Diego State on Feb. 9.

 

Mexico Scouting Report: Gotta Control Gustavo

Gustavo Ayon is the head of the Mexican snake, the Atlanta Hawk property has led Mexico’s national team at the 2013 FIBA Americas tournament where they have gone 3-1 in preliminary play and have earned a spot in the second round starting with a Thursday match versus Canada.

Mexico center Gustavo Ayon will play for his fourth NBA team in three years in 2013-14.

Mexico’s strong play has been one of the big surprises of the tournament. Ayon has never been able to help the national team at the World Cup or in the Olympics, but given its play thus far, that may change soon. Gustavo has dominated both ends. Scoring 22 points, grabbing 18 rebounds and blocking four shots in a victory versus the hosts Venezuela. He sits in third for tournament scoring with 17.8 points, first in rebounding with 9.5 per game and also first in blocked shots.

“The key to this good start has been the respect we have given the opponent and above all the seriousness that we had in defense” said the former Marine Ayon. “The basis of any success is to respect the partner, to be always united. Keep working. We can not think as players individually. It has been shown in the past that it does not work and you have to do it all in the collective” Ayon told Gonzalo Aguirregomezcorta of ESPN Deportes. ”We must be very serious every day, that will give the team success. Must be very serious and think that we have not accomplished anything. Won three games that were important, but that’s in the past”. Ayon relfected.

LATINO LEAGUERS

Ayon, the third player from the land of Mexico to debut in the best league in the world, calls passing through the NBA as a big leap in his career. “I have greatly improved my physique and above all have come to understand more of the game aspects as essential in a competitive league ,” said the former player from New Orleans who was picked up in July off waivers by Atlanta. The Latino community in the worlds best league is scarce , so between them, among the natives of the countries from South America , the Caribbean and parts of North America in the NBA,  they share a remarkable solidarity.“When I came to the Hornets Greivis Vasquez reached out to me , He is an excellent person , who had an incredible season and his friendship has been one of the things I most value since I have reached the NBA.”

SCOUTING REPORT

Ayon’s numbers last season in the NBA weren’t all that impressive. However, his lack of production was largely due to lack of opportunity as he played only 13.3 minutes per game. Towards the end of July, the Milwaukee Bucks waived the 28-year-old Ayon. Just three days after being waived, though, the big man from Mexico inked a three-year, $4.5 million deal with the Atlanta Hawks, where he should figure into their rotation. Ayon was one of three big men that the Hawks signed this summer to help fill out their frontcourt as reserves, joining Elton Brand and Pero Antic. With two years in the NBA under his belts and the ability to play at either the four or the five, Ayon should find himself on the floor a good bit this season.

When HHC asked Rey Aquino a senior International basketball writer for Hoops Hype Canada (HHC) what’s been the difference for Ayon and also for his Team Mexico scouting report. He offered,

“Ayon won’t be called upon too often playing behind a potential star in Al Horford & Paul Milsap in Atlanta but when he does, he could definitely surprise some people like he has in Venezuela” Aquino told HHC staff.

“Gustavo has been great on both ends of the floor…very clinical player when in the pick-and-roll as a screener, solid defender with good instincts. He handled Luis Scola well, looking forward to monitoring his match up with Andrew Nicholson. Another name is Hernandez Gallego. Lets just say he is the Mexican Levon Kendall” Aquino added.

As for the perimeter?

Gustavo Ayon

Left to Right: Hernandez, Mata and Mendez. Gustavo Ayon`s supporting cast

“Cory Joseph should have no issues controlling starting point man Paul Stoll. Except Orlando Mendez, his sharp shooting well require the same treatment Canada gave Huertas from Brazil.” Aquino added.

There you have it, a in depth look at the Mexican National team. Let Phase 2 of the 2013 Fiba America World Cup Qualifiers begin! Tip off versus Mexico is set to take place Thursday at 1:30 eastern time.

Joel Anthony: “I want to retire with Miami”

Miami Heat backup big Joel Anthony averaged just five minutes for the Heat in their latest championship run. Anthony while on National team duties in Caracas talked with press about the upcoming golden age of Canada basketball, but also mentioned that he’s hoping to retire with the Heat.

“Getting that second ring was a great achievement and the season was great and successful.” Joel Anthony on last season with Miami.

“Of course I want to retire with Miami,” the center pointed out after opening the FIBA Americas 2013 Championship with a win over Jamaica. ”It’s the team that gave me the opportunity, the team that I’ve played my six years on in the NBA and there’s no reason for me to leave.”

Anthony has a player option for $3.8 million next season that he’ll likely pick up, but the ESPN has recently noted that Miami would likely like to move him if they could. That’d make sense, too, considering Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Chris Andersen, Udonis Haslem and Greg Oden are all in the mix at the five-spot as well.

Joel Anthony is playing a role he’s used to at the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship. The small role he has become so accustomed to with the Heat has become his current role with Canada, as he has played in 41 minutes of the Canadians’ three games thus far, averaging 2.7 points and three rebounds a game. These are pretty standard numbers for Anthony, as he averaged 9.1 minutes, 1.4 points and 1.9 rebounds last season with Miami.

Being the second oldest player on the team at 31-years-old, Anthony spends a lot of time on the bench, but it seems as though he’s come to accept his role on the team of young stars.

“It’s not an issue of whether you’re going to play or get minutes, the most important thing is that we went out to win a championship,” said Anthony.

Anthony feels confident about Canada’s chances of making the 2014 FIBA World Championships, especially with the return of up-and coming stars like first-round NBA draft picks Anthony Bennett and Kelly Olynyk, who could not compete in the tournament due to injury.

“I think that in the short term we can compete to be one of the best teams,” Anthony said. ”At first, our goal is to qualify in this tournament and by next year we’ll have more guys and we’ll see how we acclimate ourselves. We’ll certainly have a strong team capable of playing with any of the other teams in the world.”

The 31-year-old big has posted averages of 2.4 points and 3.2 rebounds in 370 career NBA games, starting 110 of those contests.

Chris Egi Sweeptakes

Surrounding the Chris Egi sweepstakes, speculation started to surface since this realGM article. Peter Chalach qouted the class of 2015 6’9 F/C Chris Egi as saying “If I could pick any school in the world, it would probably be Duke. That would be a dream come true.” Who wouldnt want to play for head coach Mike Krzyzewski? A hall of fame head coach at Duke and of several USA men’s national teams.

16 year old Chris Egi member of U19 Team Canada.

On Tuesday afternoon a source close to Egi’s camp told Hoops Hype Canada (HHC) that Coach K would be paying a visit to Montverde Academy down in Florida. “Duke is visiting him as in Coach K”  the source summarized. An American College Basketball Insider, who asked to be kept annonymous when reached by email replied “Coach K is actually going to Montverde to see Ben Simmons. That’s the priority – from what I have been told.” According to NCAA rules, this is the month where coaches can make at home visits to players, “Coaches are allowed out starting the 9th of the month.” Insider verified via email.

Canadian Hoops Analyst Mark Bairos when reached by telephone told Hoops Hype Canada (HHC) “Egi’s not visiting Duke, Coach K is visiting Egi.” When Bairos was notified that multiple sources south of the border reported Ben Simmons was the reason for Coach K’s visit he reiterated “I was told he was visiting just to see Chris. Duke needs post depth beyond the 2014-2015 season”.

Hoops Hype Canada late Tuesday afternoon spoke with Montverde Academy Assistant Coach Rae Miller via telephone. Miller is one of the countless people on campus who assist families and student athletes with positive mentorship, discipline, and guidance as they pursue their individual dreams during tenures at Montverde.

Montverde Assisstant Head Coach Rae Miller

Coach Miller offered  “I wouldnt go to the extent that Coach K is visiting just for Chris, we’ve had players like Kyrie Irving, if you asked me if he is visiting to watch our team practice, which nothing has been set yet, that is probably true…we have pretty much a roster full of all extremely gifted and exciting players who will generate strong interest.” 

Montverde Academy head coach Kevin Boyle this summer re-stocked the roster with top caliber transfers like Ahmaad Rorie (California verbal commitment), our Canadian import Chris Egi and Makinde London. They join star holdovers D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State) and Ben Simmons to give the program a nucleus capable of contending for another national title.

Highly regarded high school basketball coach Kevin Boyle was lured to Montverde from St. Patrick High School in Elizabeth, N.J. Here he strategizes with his players during a game in Montverde’s invitational tournament in late January of 2012.

Coached by Kevin Boyle, Montverde are the reigning ESPN NHSI champion. Coach Boyle has coached a number of great NBA players including #1 pick Kyrie Irving and #2 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.  Boyle was recently quoted saying that Simmons was the best player in the world at 18 and under.  When asked how hard is it to stay focused and live up to the hype, Simmons told Tyler Mounce “I think that Coach Boyle was being very generous with his comments – there are lots of good players in the US. I just want to be the best I can be, get really strong and work hard on my game. I’m a pretty relaxed person and I just want to be able to stay that way and always be ready and focused when I play. That’s all I can really do.”

Ben Simmons the Montverde junior received lots of global attention for his basketball abilities over the last few years, so much so that some thought he was a NBA prospect for last June’s draft. There is little doubt that “Big Ben,” a native of Melbourne, Australia, deserves his top ranked international high school status. Even before applying to MVA in his sophomore year, Ben was considered by several national media outlets as one of the preeminent college prospects from the class of 2015. The lefty shooter has an excellent ceiling that shines off of his athleticism, combined with his shooting touch, makes him one of the top prospects in the world.  Simmons is a likely one and done, lottery pick.

As for Canadian Chris Egi at only 16 years of age he’s still at an early stage of his development. Egi enjoyed break out performances this summer at the FIBA U19 Championships playing against competition 2 years older then him, then followed it up with a great showing at the Nike Global Games in D.C. A summer that saw Egi cement his stock as a high major talent. “always the hardest working guy in the gym every time I see him… working his tail off, always around the ball and those traits make him a excellent rebounder.” Bairos added about the 6’9 Canadian’s playing style.

“Moving from Toronto to Montverde Academy in Florida offers Chris the highest level of competition every day in practice compared to what he was seeing in Toronto. Tossing it up with talented teammates and playing as competitive of a schedule you’ll find is fantastic for him and his family” Bairos expressed. With the hiring of a top prep hoops coach in Kevin Boyle and the construction of a $6.5 million athletic facility, tiny Montverde Academy on the outskirts of Orlando is an elite basketball program that practically ensures kids like Simmons & Egi a college scholarship, and perhaps even a pro career. Montverde is a quality academic program with quality athletic programs, get your popcorn ready, the Chris Egi sweepstakes have just begun!!!

FREE THROWS

Reports out of Durham, North Carolina speculated that Duke had been cut from Chris Egi’s list. When Coach Miller was asked to verify or confirm if the Canadian big men had allready begun trimming schools from his list, Coach Miller let it be known “All schools are on the list at this point” Despite Egi’s list headlined by main stray top 20 programs such as Duke & Florida when Egi was reached on campus by Canadian press regarding scheduled official visits, Egi released dates as followed.

Harvard September 26-29
Vanderbilt October 3-6
Stanford October 17-19
Washington October 19-21

Asked about his reclassification status, and Egi responded “I want to wait untill later to officially decide.” Also about getting acclimated “Coach has been great, just staying on me all the time and making sure I play the game at a high level both physically and mentally. He’s been working on expanding my offensive game” Egi also expalined some personal expectations this fall playing with the Florida based program, “I want to be the defensive backbone of the team with my communication and versatility in that I can guard multiple positions…On offense, I see myself scoring in transition, attacking the glass, passing well and playing out the ball screen.”

 

Hassling Huertas

Marcelo Huertas. Brazil head.

Following last weeks 19 points vs. Canada at the 2013 Tuto Marchand Cup and fresh off 16 points in Brazil’s opener,  Sunday versus Canada though, Brazilian point guard Marcelo Huertas ran into a brick wall.

Jay Triano & coaching staff.

He only shot 1-for-5 and was held to just 3 points. Thanks in large part to a task by committee on the court, and a fantastic scouting report off of it.

“He’s a special quality point guard and we had to give him different looks.” Coach Triano told Canadian press via post game conference call.

Andy Rautins was first assigned of marking Huertas “We had hoped his (Rautins) length would bother him, Unfortunately Andy picked up two quick fouls” Triano reflected.

“He had his dose of Shepherd guarding him for a while, Rock guarded him and Cory when we had to” Triano elaborated on the Huertas coverage by committee. Coaches tactics prevented starting point guard Cory Joseph from wearing out getting hit by dozens of screens.

Marcelo Huertas a 30 year old point guard and Barcelona FC product has a reputation of putting teams on his back & making huge plays down the stretch with his pick & roll preference both domestically and abroad playing for his country.

Huertas standing 6’3 is a small and skinny point guard, with solid quickness, excellent ball-handling skills and a ability to change speeds on the fly and get to the basket at a very nice rate.

Sunday however he only made one field goal in 21 minutes of action.

Another key component in making Huertas irrelevant Sunday were the big man contributions said the Canadian bench boss,

“I thought are bigs did a excellent job of being up, being solid in support when there was a screen and roll… Kind of took him out of what he does best and that is distribute the ball”

 

Team Canada! United We Stand, Divided we fall.

Scouting Reports

Coach Triano noted keeping Huertas going to his left was pivotal and how it played a part of the Brazil match scouting report.

Scouting Reports

Ian Hyde-Lay (Left) Joe Raso (Right)

When Sportsnet columnist Michael Grange asked Coach Triano who he can attribute to the scouting reports Triano mentioned Ian Hyde-Lay for taking trips overseas scouting out Uruguay and Mexico. Meanwhile Joe Raso has been bouncing around Caracas scouting out current competition. Raso reportedly scouts four games daily, making sure staff don’t miss a thing on anybody.

Coach Triano responded “Those two guys have been very good providing our assistant coaches the info they need, we want to give our players the best chance they can to qualify.”

Triano Smells What Rock Is Cooking

“For me now it’s more of a teaching role,” Jermaine Anderson nicknamed the Rock told Canadian press during Team Canada’s training camp.

Anderson has been a member of Canada’s senior men’s basketball team since 2004, and has played in over 75 international games with the team.

“I still have to maintain a level of playing and work ethic, but I also have to speak a lot more and just help guys because there are a lot of guys on this team that don’t have much international experience and that’s where myself has to come in to help those guys.”

On Saturday vs. Brazil, Jermaine Anderson not only offered vocal leadership, he played 28 large minutes scoring 14 points on 5-for-7 shooting. He also chased Brazil’s best player Marcelo Huertas through screens for long periods of time.

Last season the Canadian guard played for Phantoms Braunschweig in the German top flight. Jermaine played 20 games and picked up averages of 9.5 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game. The 30-year old is a hugely experienced operator in European Basketball and has played in Croatia, Montenegro, Russia, and Greece since graduating in 2006 from Fordham University. As for future prospects Anderson is reportedly moving within German basketball circles to TBB Trier.

Coach Triano after Canada’s 91-62 mauling of Brazil spoke on how Anderson stepped up when the program needed it,

“I will take 28 minutes from Jermaine Anderson the way he played today anytime.” Triano added “Jermaine’s a veteran guy that’s been here before …one of our older players, he’s seen it all”

Anderson played 28 minutes after only playing a combined 12 in the first two contests.

“3 games in 3 days. This is the time you hope your vets step up, I thought he was outstanding today” Triano said about the extended role Anderson played. “We knew we had to play him …to take pressure off of Cory having to run the team. Thought Jermaine was fantastic on every aspect. Defended well, shot the ball well, thought he ran our offense extremely well as well.”

Such a veteran savvy performance from Anderson looking to solidify backup point guard duties entering next game vs Uruguay. Moving forward more performances like Andersons versus Brazil and Jermaine will have more than merited it.

Canada 2-1 in Caracas

Sunday morning the Brazilian national team was humiliated by Canada, 91-62, accumulating their second defeat in the 2013 FIBA Americas.

Canada’s search for a place in the 2014 World Championship took a positive stride in the right direction. Led by San Antonio Spur Cory Joseph who put together a mammoth game. Perhaps the game of the summer for Canada, 28 pts (10/15 FG) 9 rbs, 4ast, 3stl. Most impressive was ZERO turnovers.

Man of match: Cory Joseph.

During the post game press conference Cory took the podium and weighed in on the impressive bounce back game for Team Canada,  ”Yesterday we had many defensive lapses to Puerto Rico in 4th and today we were focused throughout the game. It was the key.” the Canadian point guard said.

It was the first time Canada defeated Brazil since August 26, 2003 a 101-97 victory in a  FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifier. Steve Nash led w/ 24pts and was named tourney MVP.

When Coach Triano took the podium he reiterated his stance from Saturday, “One game at a time”.

Victory Sunday gave Canada a 2-1 record in the competition. The 29-point margin is Canada’s largest against Brazil with the previous mark of 20 having been set in 1999.

Team Canada’s balanced offensive output saw three additional players score in double-figures. Jermaine Anderson of Toronto, Ont. contributed 14 points and three assists off the bench. Mississauga, Ont. product Andrew Nicholson added 13, while Syracuse, N.Y. native Andrew Rautins tallied 12 on an efficient 4-for-5 performance from the floor.

Following a stretch of three-games-in-three-days, Team Canada will have a practice day on Monday. The Canadians next play on Tuesday against Uruguay at 2:00 p.m. (ET). Team Uruguay opened the competition with a hard-fought last-minute 68-66 victory over Jamaica.

Kendall post game comments:

Triano post game comments:

Canada 1-1 in Caracas

After defeating Jamaica in the opening game of the 2013 FIBA Americas tournament on Friday, the Canadian National team returned to the court in Caracas, Venezuela Saturday against the heavy guard rotation of Puerto Rico.

Tristan Thompson

Tristan Thompsons 20 points & 9 rebounds just not enough vs PR

After three quarters of play in which Canada was only trailing Puerto Rico by 1-point (59-58) heading into the fourth quarter, it was a dominant defensive 24-9 point fourth quarter by the Puerto Ricans that led them to an 83-67 victory over Canada.

San Antonio Spurs guard Cory Joseph, who was the star in Friday’s victory, had an inconsistent game Saturday as he couldn’t find a decent rhythm going 2-of-7 shooting from the field for 4 points, 3 assists, 2 turnovers, but Joseph did grab 6 rebounds in the loss.

Unlike Jamaica’s guards, Joseph had to defend some established guards in former NBA player Carlos Arroyo who was Puerto Rico’s leading scorer with 20 points. Minnesota Timberwolves guard J.J. Barea also scored 11 points in the match.

For the Canadians, Cleveland Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson scored 20 points and 9 rebounds. Andrew Nicholson also poured in 21 points for Canada.

Coach Triano depite a dismal 4th quarter remains optimistic,

“Don’t think we played particularly well in those 3 qtrs but competed w/one of most experienced teams in tourney, if not most experienced” Triano noted also adding, “In tournaments like this you have 8 games in 10 days we have to forget one & move on to the next one right away”

Canada is now 1-1 in Phase 1 of the FIBA Americas tournament which puts them with 3 points (second) in Group A. The goal after Phase 1 is for Canada to finish in the top 4-of-5 positions to advance to Phase 2. Joseph will face a tough challenge on Sunday as Canada will take on Marcelo Huertas and Brazil.

 

Canada 1-0 in Caracas

CARACAS, Venezuela  – Led by  a double-double effort from Tristan Thompson (11 points, 12 rebounds) & near triple-double from Corey Joseph (17-10-8) Team Canada  won its season-opener to Caribean minnows Jamaica 85-67  in Caracas, Venezuela Friday afternoon.

Canada’s Cory Joseph goes for the layup around Jamaica’s Dylan Howell Ennis during Friday’s FIBA Americas opener in Caracas, Venezuela

Burlington Ontario native Brady Heslip helped lead the way for the Canucks with 17 points of his own while 29 yr old Vancouver, BC native Levon Kendall also contributed 13 points & 8 rebounds. Canada improved to 1-0 in the 2013 FIBA Americas group stage while the Jamaica  squad drops to 0-1 after their opening loss.

Canadian coach Jay Triano said Friday that if Canada plays the same game they played in the 85-64 win against Jamaica, it will give them a great opportunity to win the the tourney.

“I think we did well to win the first game and had a good ball skills . If we keep playing the same way we played today we will have a great chance to win the tournament,” Triano told ESPN Deportes.

Brady Heslip the incoming Junior @ Baylor University this fall reiterated his coaches stance,

“I am very happy for this win. Was a difficult game , but we did a great collective work, which allowed us to win. I know will be more complicated games , but I have confidence thatwe can move forward in the best way in the tournament” Brady told Latin media.

Canada returns to the floor on Saturday. Canucks will take on Puerto Rico at 2:30p.m. ET in the second match of its World Cup 2014 qualifying journey.

New Mexico State Eh

They have not changed their name to “New Canada State,” but the Aggies of New Mexico State have found an unlikely source of talent: Ontario. Meet Paul Weir, the conduit for the recent Ontario pipeline and New Mexico State’s associate head coach.

Weir this fall enters his 7th season on the Aggies coaching staff.

Weir a Toronto native was the head coach at Don Bosco Catholic High School in Toronto from 1999-2003. Prior to this, he was a regional and city all-star point guard at Iona Catholic Secondary school before going on to play at York University in 1998-99. Weir graduated with honors  from York University in 2004. He then went on to earn a master’s degree from Northwestern State in 2005, a second master’s degree in sports psychology from Iowa in 2010 and a third master’s degree in business administration from New Mexico State in 2012.It is our pleasure to deliver this special Q & A with one of the most influential Canadian NCAA coaches from our native land.

2013 WAC Tournament Champions New Mexico State Aggies.

HHC: For those that don’t know you were a city all-star point guard in Toronto but played HS ball for Iona Catholic in Mississauga, Ontario. Any other ballers that you grew up with or enjoyed playing with or against?

PW: Mike Schmidt and Wayne Smith were the best two players in the GTA that I can remember playing with. But my memory is horrible so I could be forgetting some really
good players. But it was also different back then. There was no internet or youtube and the only way to see or even talk about a guy was in person. It made it exciting though. Big high school games and tournaments were electric. It was a special time.

HHC: As a coach you’ve won a Big Ten Championship, Southland Conference regular season title, you also served 4 yrs coaching Don Bosco HS in Toronto?  What would you say is your signature coaching moment?

PW:  I don’t know if you can have a signature moment as an assistant coach but winning the Big Ten Championship was unbelievable considering the players and teams
involved that year. My most rewarding years are still in my times at Don Bosco.
I wasn’t a very good basketball coach back then but the impact you can have on
kids in those years is incredible.

HHC: One of the most intriguing player in all of Canadian basketball is 7’5″ Sim Bhullar. Bhullar was dominant at times in his first season of basketball in nearly two years, becoming the second freshman in history to earn WAC Tournament MVP honors after a averaging 12.3 points and 10.7 rebounds last March in Las Vegas.  What was his X factor?

El Gigante: Sim Bhullar 7’5 C from Toronto, Ontario

PW: The most exciting part about Sim is that so many of his impactful abilities you can’t teach. Size, hands, IQ, passing and vision, etc. If he ever gets the things you can change down – stamina, speed, strength – he can be special.

HHC: Younger brother Tanveer. Will the brothers ever step foot on the court at the same time for the Aggies in 2013-14?

Tanveer Bhullar

Sim’s not so little brother Tanveer recently signed a letter of intent with NMST this past summer.

PW: It’s a possibility. We are going into fall workouts and practices with an open mind
just as he is. It’s a cost-benefit call we will make collectively.

HHC: Daniel Mullings,  recently on international duty. Made news waves for his poster dunk. For those that are unfamiliar with him how would you describe his game & upside?

PW: He’s a tremendous athlete with great feel on the defensive end and also in an
offensive transition game. In those two areas he’s the best I’ve ever coached.
Where his upside is all depends on how well he can improve his other areas.

HHC: Turbulent final season for Hamilton, ON’s Tyron Watson. Your thoughts on if it tarnishes NMST’s reputation developing young men?

PW: Ty had a 4.0 here last year, graduated, was our team captain, a 3 year starter, and
played in 3 NCAA Tournaments. I don’t think you can name more than a handful of
Canadians ever with that resume at the NCAA level. However, he made a tragic
error in judgment that he has to and will pay for for the rest of his life. How
that impacts his reputation and New Mexico State’s is really up to each
individual and their perspective on what happened.

HHC: Bramptons, Matthew Taylor, they say is explosive with major leaping ability. What’s he like, and in comparison with MullIns?

PW: Matthew definitely has elite athleticism. His shooting ability is ahead of Daniel’s but
Daniel has a relentless motor and burst defensively and in transition that is
very rare. How far Matthew gets is mostly going to be on him and his own
dedication.

HHC: Reynaldo Dixon, a 6’9 forward from Toronto can you talk about his growth at NMST?

Renaldo Dixon- Toronto native & fan favourite in Las Cruces, NM.

PW: Renaldo has definitely become one of our all time favorite Aggies. He rebounds, plays defense, is tough, and never asks what’s in it for him. He is the ultimate teammate and was maybe our most unheralded player on last year’s NCAA tournament
team. We are all hoping to continue this growth for him and propel it into a
professional career.

HHC: Is America really taking notice of Canadian basketball these days? If yes? Why do you think?

PW: The Canadian expansion into the U.S. basketball scene has definitely been dramatic the past few years. There’s no question that the players who have recently entered the professional ranks, and are about to, represent an unbelievable era of talent. Everyone has their reason for why this has happened but the reality is that it’s a confluence of multiple factors. From the internet to increased
NCAA budgets to the Raptors, I could go on for days. But until we dominate on an
international level all we have done is become more prevalent in the U.S. scene.
I think the hope is this special class of kids now will be able to do that for
all of us but I am also a big believer of our past and history. And I think if a
lot of our players in previous eras had the dynamics in play that are
encompassing these kids then we would have had more players in the NBA before
now.

HHC: You’ve been a large part of the Aggies winning four championships in your six years with the program. Your entering your seventh with New Mexico State and pretty much the right hand in command since 2011 to the head coach. Is Las Cruces, N.M beginning to feel like home away from home?

PW: It is definitely a home away from home. When I left Canada ten years ago I never
imagined that this is where it would take me. But it’s been an incredible
journey and my time in Las Cruces has been phenomenal. The people, the school,
the community, the weather, all of it has made it impossible for me to look to
leave. We’ve had a great run on the court and hopefully that continues. I can’t
imagine being anywhere else.

Pan American Center. Home of Aggies basketball.

HHC: The Aggies’ 193 blocked shots were the most in school history. Can that number increase this year?

PW: Sim and Renaldo’s shot blocking abilities definitely are a great weapon for our defense. Where that will put us nationally I don’t know but they are putting
their mark in the Aggie history books.

HHC: The Aggies return a very talented team. Perhaps the best group since NMSU’s 2010 team that nearly upset Michigan State. Fact or fiction?

PW: Yes, I think we all feel like this the deepest, most talented team we’ve had here. Consistent point guard play is what we will need to match the 2010 squad.

HHC: Last but not least New Mexico State remain the leading NCAA team in terms of active Canadian players what does that mean to Paul Weir?

PW: It’s important to us here but it’s not everything. I am not bringing in players
solely out of some sort of patriotic gesture. I am bringing them here because of
the relationships I have with them and because I think they represent the best
players we can find for our program.

There you have it. Thanks Coach Weir, not only for the willingness to field some tough questions but for what he has done for young Canadian basketball players. Including some who weren’t dealt as good of a hand from a home situation. NMST recognizes that less fortunate kids have just as much potential as any other youth in any other situation. Giving these kids a opportunity to live out their potential is so important and everyone back home must realize that as well. With all due respect to Canada basketball Paul Weir more then merits a staff position within our program. He may be behind the scenes in Las Cruces but in our native land Coach Weir deserves to be a household Canadian basketball name. His work maybe overlooked but Hoops Hype Canada (HHC) recognizes and acknowledges his excellent body of work both on and off the playing court.

Moving forward to this fall NM State returns nine players including three starters from the 2013 WAC Tournament Champions. In 2012-13 the Aggies finished with a 24-11 overall record en route to their second straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

FREE THROWS

After an incredible NCAA “live period” in July with YAAACE 15U, Marcus Ottey verified with HHC.tv that he was recently offered by the Aggies. Ottey shared his initial impression of the program from Las Cruces. Marcus Ottey the class of 2016 6 ft 1 guard was a key component in the Canadian AAU programs 19 and 3 record while participating in major AAU tournaments across Indiana, Orlando and Las Vegas. Ottey was also a member of the U16 Canadian Junior Cadet squad that finished 3rd in the 2013 FIBA Americas in Uruguay this past June. Ottey in Canada has a reputation for out of this world hops. His victims list domestically includes fellow Cadet team mate Jamal Murray and the young baller added a few new bodies to the list while on AAU tour of duty. Daniel Mullings, Matthew Taylor, Marcus Ottey. New Mexico State scouting department sure does have a pulse on Canadian Ballers with ultra athleticism.

 

ABS Expansion

After a long application process,  Amateur Basketball Syndicate (ABS) have finalized the clubs and teams that will be competing in the 2013-2014 Amateur Basketball Syndicate.

Moving into a second season, ABS have greatly expanded the league.  The Amateur Basketball Syndicate (ABS) has grown from three boys divisions (Major Atom, Bantam and Major Bantam) to nine boys divisions (Novice through to Junior) with the addition of two girls divisions (Major Bantam and Midget).

The high school age groups will have divisions solidified in the coming weeks with games taken place later in the season. The league plays its games out of Oakville and Peel and features 9 core clubs which include Scarborough Blues, Durham City Bulldogs, Vaughan Panthers, Brampton Warriors, Mississauga Monarchs, Oakville Venom, Blessed Sacrament, K/W Vipers and Toronto Triple Threat.

Other teams involved are listed in the divisions below.

NOVICE U10 (12 Teams)

1 Blessed Sacrament
2 Brampton Warriors
3 Durham City Bulldogs
4 Kitchener Waterloo Vipers
5 Mississauga Monarchs
6 Oakville Venom
7 Scarborough Basketball #1
8 Scarborough Basketball #2
9 Toronto Triple Threat
10 Vaughan Panthers
11 Brantford Rep Basketball
12 Burlington Basketball

ATOM U11 (12 Teams)
1 Blessed Sacrament
2 Brampton Warriors
3 Durham City Bulldogs
4 Kitchener Waterloo Vipers
5 Mississauga Monarchs
6 Oakville Venom
7 Scarborough Basketball #1
8 Scarborough Basketball #2
9 Toronto Triple Threat
10 Vaughan Panthers
11 Etobicoke Thunder
12 Burlington Basketball

MAJOR ATOM U12 (12 Teams)
1 Blessed Sacrament
2 Brampton Warriors
3 Durham City Bulldogs
4 Kitchener Waterloo Vipers
5 Mississauga Monarchs
6 Oakville Venom
7 Scarborough Basketball #1
8 Scarborough Basketball #2
9 Toronto Triple Threat
10 Vaughan Panthers 1
1 Milton Stags
12 Burlington Basketball

BANTAM U13 (16 Teams)
1 Blessed Sacrament
2 Brampton Warriors
3 Durham City Bulldogs
4 Kitchener Waterloo Vipers
5 Mississauga Monarchs
6 Oakville Venom
7 Scarborough Basketball #1
8 Scarborough Basketball #2
9 Toronto Triple Threat
10 Vaughan Panthers
11 Advantage Titans
12 IEM Newmarket
13 Guardsmen Basketball
14 Toronto JCC
15 Burlington Basketball
16 Milton Stags

MAJOR BANTAM U14 (14 Teams)
1 Blessed Sacrament
2 Brampton Warriors
3 Durham City Bulldogs
4 Kitchener Waterloo Vipers
5 Mississauga Monarchs
6 Oakville Venom
7 Scarborough Basketball #1
8 Scarborough Basketball #2
9 Toronto Triple Threat
10 Vaughan Panthers
11 Northern Kings
12 CIA Bounce-Baker
13 Brantford Rep Basketball
14 Waterloo Wildhawks

The league prides itself on the “show up and play” model.  Teams will travel to venues on various weekends and play two games in one day.  In this model, everything from gyms, referees and score table staff is provided.  Admission to the venues will be free for all.

Teams play on one weekend and then they go back and practice for a couple of weeks.  Games are spread out over the course of November to May.  The playoff pool is a bracket format like you would see in the NCAA.

This year the end tournament, referred to as “May Madness” includes an all-star game for each division on the same day as the Championship game.

Teams involved are registered with the OBA and FIBA rules apply.

The ABS works with corporate partners Wilson/RMP Athletics, Sheridan College, The Peel Board of Education, Bobby Allen Skill Academy, The Print Outfit, COURTZ Headware, and more. Along with On-Court action, the ABS has a website, Facebook page and a twitter account.  On these sites we give up to date game results, players of the week, pictures, videos and statistics regarding leading scorers in each division.  Details regarding schedules will be out in the coming weeks. www.absbasketball.ca

Free Xavier Rathan-Mayes

Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton announced Monday that freshman Xavier Rathan-Mayes, a Canadian shooting guard who played his final two high school seasons at Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, will not be eligible for the 2013-14 season.

XRM was a member of the U19 Canada squad that participated in this summers FIBA U19 World Championships.

XRM pictured here representing CFCA in 2010-11.

When Hoops Hype Canada (HHC) reached out to Huntington Prep Head Coach Rob Fulford he verified the situation is still under the microscope,

“NCAA did not accept a full year of credits he took at a previous school in NC. FSU is continuing to work with NCAA & school to get issue resolved.” Said Coach Fulford.

NCAA did not accept a full year of credits that Rathan-Mayes took at an N.C.-based high school in Creedmoor, which is 25 miles north of Raleigh. N.C and was operated by the infamous Canadian coach Ro Russell @ the time of his tenure.

Rathan-Mayes was a standout player for the Christian Faith Center Academy in Creedmoor as a sophomore in 2010-11. He played the next season at Huntington Prep, where he averaged 14.6 points while teaming with fellow Canadian and top-ranked recruit Andrew Wiggins.

Christian Faith Center Academy is currently under an extended evaluation period to determine if it meets the academic requirements for NCAA cleared status. According to the NCAA Eligibility Center’s High School Portal, a list of 12 Christian Faith Center Academy courses did not qualify as NCAA core courses and cannot be used for initial-eligibility certification.

Many media pundits across America have gone on record holding Ro Russell accountable for the Rathan-Mayes setback. Even despite facts that two Canadians who attended the same NC school in the same calendar year were cleared eligible by the NCAA prior to the 2012-13 college season. Both Kaza Keane of Illinois State and Joel Nondo of Wayne State.

XRM & Wiggins during a homecoming trip while members of the Huntington Prep Squad in WV.

Many media pundits also now worry Andrew Wiggins could too be declared not eligible as the young Canadian approaches his freshman season @ Kansas University. Another Christian Faith Academy alumni MyKyle McIntosh who recently committed to Illinois State is also reportedly battling eligibility issues at the moment.

Despite the world wide web speculating, the mother of Xavier says that with the parties involved both X and his old coach Ro have no bad blood between them,

“My son will remain humble. Ro doesn’t wish X any bad.. X  is the most humble kid around… No beef with anyone period” later her son the victim of this recent NCAA power trip tweeted,

“Challenges are what makes life interesting, overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

When reached via email, the Canadian coach Ro Russell reiterated what he tweeted Wednesday night,

Kaza Keane and other students qualified from CFC and are playing In the NCAA. We have over 200 D1 Alumni. I only wish the best for XRM.”

Both sides of the border were in shock when news broke.

Everyone was quick to point the finger at Coach Russell. Similar to the summer evening when Myck Kabongo tweeted “working out with Tristan”. NCAA dwells on press releases such as twitter updates of that sort. Kabongo’s tweet was his demise and the beginning of Myck falling off track of a possible first round NBA draft pick in 2013.

American media outlets taaking jabs at the Canadian coach Ro Russell,

American media outlets taking twitter jabs at Canadian coach Ro Russell.

Similar to Kabongo, XRM shot himself in the foot when he took his story to media giant CBC and undisclosed details of the infamous year he spent in North Carolina on a national documentary that went viral over the web.

“Was there a built-in study schedule?” CBC host McKeown asked Rathan-Mayes.

“No,” Rathan-Mayes responded.

“Did anyone check on whether you were doing your homework or not?” McKeown asked.

“No,” Rathan-Mayes answered.

“They were pretty much on their own,” Rathan-Mayes’ mother said.

“We were basically on our own,” Rathan-Mayes added. “Yes, basketball was everything. That’s all we did. School was there, but it was basically basketball, nothing else.”

This all fresh on the heels of rapid speculation Ro Russell the Grassroots founder received funds for funneling players such as Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph and Myck Kabongo to the Texas Long Horns. Allegations that were never found true.

NCAA since to no ones surprise has been out to haunt Russell’s former pupils. Who ever facilitated that Fifth Estate documentary and provided CBC contacts to those individuals featured on the documentary should be held responsible too.

XRM headlined a star studded CIA Bounce class of 2014 squad.

Considering the rumored rocky relationship Ro Russell and NCAA officials have also the fact that a fellow Canadian AAU program co-founder (program responsible for developing Andrew Wiggins) has recently turned NBA agent, let’s hope this is not scratching the surface of future Canadian scholar setbacks.  Now more then ever Canadian talent is being monitored harder both in the class room, on social media and in the  public light.

Studies show 95% of NCAA eligibility issues effect young African Americans. Another problem is how this organized crime group called the NCAA can’t graspreality that a African American or Canadian kid can easily raise his 2.0 GPA to a 2.5 or above. Shame on the NCAA until they quit power tripping and holding grudges on Canadians especially.

XRM serves as a role model to his younger brothers. Both aspiring basketball players also.

For more on the Xavier Rathan-Mayes “Partial Initial Eligibility Waiver” and how it works check out the Athletic Scholarship website breakdown.

Lets see how this plays out.


Senior Spotlight: 3-Point Assassin Christian Hewitt

Representing Mississauga, Ontario is Christian Hewitt. Standing 6’4 tall, the class of 2014 guard who attended high school at Father Henry Carr in Toronto, has recently decided to take his talents for a post grad year to Project Uplift Academy in Nevada.

Steven Kerr, Robert Horry and Reggie Miller are three of the best three-point shooters of all time. In Canadian High School basketball ranks, Christian Hewitt is arguably one of the best three-point shooters of all time as well. Despite a offensive game that tends to focus on a barrage of three point splashes, Hewitt’s game is not one dimensional at all. Hewitt’s varied arsenal of shots allows him to keep the defense honest and to steadily make threes when they are needed most. Father Henry Carr’s current head coach Paul Melnik  when asked to comment on Hewitt’s tenure at FHC raved,

Christian Hewitt Class of 2014 6'4' Guard

Christian Hewitt Class of 2014 6’4′ Guard

“Christian Hewitt had a great 4 year career  at FHC.. winning 4 TDCAA Championships. 2 junior and 2 senior. He was a joy to have in the classroom and gymnasium. Fabulous teammate and hard worker… I will personally miss this young man. He is another tremendous Crusader in a long line of Crusaders”

Since arriving at FHC Hewitt has a well-earned reputation as one of the most clutch players in Canadian High school basketball, Coach Melnik can testify,

“As the fourth quarter of the OFSAA Championships wound down and we trailed by 8 points, it was Christian who demanded the ball and hit GIGANTIC three point shots to get us into overtime.”

Christian Hewitt isn’t just a shooter, he is a cold-blooded sniper. Very few north of the border were as consistent and reliable at what they did behind the arc as Hewitt was while playing HS ball domestically.

When you look at the best three-point shooters they aren’t defined by just being really good at making shots from long distance. Elite shooters sometimes look like they are playing pop-a-shot from 23 feet out, but they also inspire confidence in their teammates. Whether in a starting role or as a sixth-man off the bench to energize the second unit , Christian Hewitt is that dude.

Recently Hoops Hype Canada (HHC) caught up with the 3 point assassin and he spoke about his past, present and future.  A brief Q & A with another young Canadian who is ready to take his talents south of the border.

Your move from Henry Carr Crusaders to Project Lift Academy in Nevada. Can you touch on the move and how it may be the best fit for your HS career?

The move will be tough, leaving my family, friends and teammates for such long periods at a time. It would be different  if I was going to a school on the East Coast, but I’m moving across the country to the West Coast, which is a longer way from home than I anticipated but this move will push me to become more independent and help me get ready for the next level of basketball.

 Playing for a new coach is also going to be a huge change for me, I’ve known Coach Melnik since I was 14, getting used to his coaching style and what he expects from me each game. Starting with a new Coach is going to be an adjustment for me, but the good thing is I will be trained in a different way, and taught from a new person which gives me the chance to grow as a player.

How was your experience of playing at FHC? Under Coach Melnik?

Playing at FHC was the best four years of basketball I’ve ever had. I gained a lot of confidence as an individual player, learned how to work as a team player, and become a stronger leader on the court each season. Coach Melnik has taught me a lot, he made me a competitive player  which pushed me to work hard on myself. I remember in practice we would scrimmage and once Melnik said “game to seven”, we all hated each other and Melnyk would have to break us up. We took everything personal, which made us stronger and that’s how I play now, I take everything personal and let it that be my motivation.

What would coach Hickerson be getting in Hewitt? On and off the court?

On the court Coach Hickerson would be getting a player that wants to help push everybody as well as himself to become better in every aspect of basketball. He would be gaining an incredible three point shooter who can also create plays on and off the ball, who would take charges and work extremely hard on defense. I’m the player who loves to win and hates to lose but will always take something from a loss and perfect it for my next game. Off the court he would be getting a player that tries to get better every day, as a student, player, and teammate. I work hard on my own time, and I always motivate my teammates to do the same.

Hewitt hasallready  recieved strong interset from NCAA programs.

Hewitt has allready recieved strong interset from NCAA programs.

How was your summer travelling the AAU circuit with CIA Bounce and thoughts on your tenure with the program?

I’ve been playing with Bounce for 5 years, and it was a great experience playing with them during my summers. Going on road trips with my Bounce family, just felt like home. Everyone knew everyone, it didn’t matter how old you were or your skill level, you were treated the same as all teammates. Being a huge part of my development, they helped make me who I am today, pushing me to work hard on and off the court.

Any dream college?

My dream college is Syracuse, I’ve been wanting to go there since I was 8.

Favorite Player?

My favorite players are LeBron James and Stephen Curry.

There you have it. A baller status update from Christian Hewitt himself. Young Hewitt is already garnering strong interest from schools such as Boston College, Davidson, Creighton and Siena. A list that should only increase if Hewitt continues to produce efficiently from beyond the arc while playing south of the border. No doubt in our minds come 2014 Christian Hewitt will be a huge part of a NCAA programs offensive strategies. Good luck to Christian on the next step of his journey.

NBL King Of The Jungle

Started from the jungle now he’s here.

The NBL tips off in November. First overall NBL draft pick Alex Johnson can’t wait.

Monday night in Markham, Ontario, 25 year old 5’10 PG Alex Johnson from the Lawrence Heights community in Toronto made history as the first ever Canadian to be selected first overall in the Canadian National Basketball League.

Lawrence Heights community in Toronto is often referred to as the “Jungle” by residents in reference to the fact that cab drivers and visitors got lost in the unfamiliar maze of courts which is unusual for Toronto. Then thanks in part to media sensationalism, the greater communities  began to associate the moniker to the levels of crime within the maze of affordable housing projects.

NC State in 2011-12. Before playing pro in Romania.

Now parts of Canadian basketball history will forever have “jungle” roots. Home of Alex Johnson. 24 hours after a monumental Monday, that saw the Ottawa Sky Hawks make a historic move selecting Alex Johnson a Canadian from Toronto as the first overall pick in the 2013 NBL Canada draft. Hoops Hype Canada (HHC) caught up with Johnson via telephone from his hotel room in Ottawa, Ontario.  Check out the journey of Basketball Canada’s newest King Of The Jungle.

HHC: First and foremost Congratulations! Your HS career you attended Vaughn Road Academy @ the corner of Vaughn and Oakwood. Any fond memories or influential coaches through high school?

AJ: When I got there, I looked at the record books and we had not won a championship since like 1940’s. We won a gold in the “AA” championships as a sophomore and in my junior year we won silver at the “AAA” championships. As for coaches Wilton Hall.

HHC: From Vaughan Road you decided to attend college at Cal State Bakersfield.
How did that opportunity transpire?

AJ: Grassroots was a major part of my development. Other coaches like my high school, John Clara and Wayne Dawkins. Coach Ro Russell though was the main guy who took a chance on me. When a lot of coaches saw me they thought my height was an issue for them but coach Ro would tell me I could come to his program and really excel. Just from the start going on all the AAU trips and with my last year of high school I was like “Coach Ro, I want to pursue playing in the States.” He was always like don’t worry that he would find me a school. He was able to do get me my first Division 1 offer.

HHC: Cal State Bakersfield. What made the Road Runners the lucky ones to obtain your services? I mean, you were pretty highly touted coming out of Toronto. Borderline All-American and word was you turned down other offers from Georgia etc…

AJ: I had offers from Georgia, Cal St,  Northridge, Utah St, I just really enjoyed the Cal St Bakersfield coaching staff. Went I went on my visit to Cal State the coaching staff was just so genuine I didn’t even feel the need to go on other visits. That’s why I signed there.

HHC: You graduated early @ Cal State. Played 2 seasons, then before your junior year you experienced a injury (Torn ACL) forcing you to red shirt before a third season at Cal State Bakersfield. How did you make the jump to NC State after your Junior year and why?

AJ: I graduated early and after my Junior year of averaging like 14 points…I kind of approached Coach Ro again and said “I want to play on T.V. like Corey and Tristan” He came up with NC State. He got me both of my schools. That’s why I’ve been part of the Grassroots family forever and feel obligated to give back. Just this summer I coached the U13 AAU team.

HHC: N.C. State but any other programs you contemplated?

Former Wolfpack player Alex Johnson was recently the top pick in the NBL Canada draft.

AJ: What is crazy is how Coach Ro pretty much markets you, I told him if he wasn’t a coach he could be a good agent. Just how he approaches the situation. When I talked to him about what schools he had for me Coach was like we got Florida St, we got Utah St, NC State, Butler I was like man those are some pretty good schools.

HHC What sealed the NC State deal?

AJ: Visit was really nice, just from the start, the fan base was just wild. Hitting me up before I even landed. Was pretty impressed with that. Facilities were very nice and they had some of the best coaching staff’s like Bobby Lutz and Mark Gottfried.

HHC: Did the NC State experience go as expected or even better?

AJ: Was kind of a different role. Cal State they needed me to score. Whereas when I was at NC state I was more of a distributor just because we had guys like Lorenzo Brown, Scott Wood, CJ Leslie and Richard Howell. 4 potential NBA guys on the team so it was more of a distributing role over scoring.

HHC: From NC state you landed your first professional gig in Romania. Played on Denham Browns team and against guys like Canadian International Jevon Sheppard. How was that Romanian experience?

AJ: It was a pretty good league just as far as talent wise. You have guys like Jevon Sheppard and Denham Brown some of the best scorers in Toronto just for them to come over and play in the league was interesting and competitive.

HHC: In Romania after your season ended at what point does Canada’s NBL get on your radar?

AJ: It was kind of spur of the moment. I actually just went to the NBL combine draft to show some support to a friend Oliver Prince. I had my shoes in his car. It’s hard to just sit there and watch basketball. So I was itching to play basketball to put on a jersey and ended up playing. Played the whole day and then in the All Star game.

Ottawa Sky Hawks one of 9 teams in the NBL who will play 40 regular season games.

HHC: Sunday night before the draft, did you think you had a shot at first overall?

AJ: Definitely. Just how my phone was ringing from all the teams just showing they’re interest. Even Ottawa, coming to  “Jungle” and coming to see me and actually talk to me face to face. I told a lot of my friends it was like playing NBA 2k the my player mode.

HHC: What was your initial reaction to hearing the first pick and who joined you at the draft table?

AJ: It was kind of a surprise to me, I was told I could go anywhere from 1 to 5. Then to hear my name being called the feeling was pretty good. With me was my Mom and my cousin.

HHC: Canada basketball have you ever represented them growing up? Is it a goal of yours in the future?

AJ: Team Ontario was the biggest thing I was a part of growing up. Definitely I would love to be part of Canada basketball. It has some of its best talent right now on the team.

HHC: How has the Canadian Basketball family treated you since the historic draft day?

AJ: Just to go on my twitter and see all the mentions I’ve gotten and all face book postings everybody congratulating me I’m so appreciative and blessed to be drafted number one and just have all this love coming back. My phone has been dead these past couple days.

HHC: Any contract details or on court predictions for the upcoming Ottawa Sky Hawks season?

AJ: I’m still trying to take it all in I haven’t looked at the schedule yet. Still unsure and still going to talk about details as fact as contracts go here in the next few days with my agent. I know Ottawa’s a great city and the fans are very supportive. I’m trying to bring leadership and be a people person and hopefully be one of the fan favourites. Whatever the team needs from me then that’s what I’ll bring.

HHC: You’ve strived standing only 5 foot 10 inches. Any words of encouragement to the small guys growing up who get overlooked because of size?

Johnson has a knack for knocking them down from down town.

AJ: If you can play this game you be given the opportunity to show people what you can do. You see guys like Nate Robinson and Isaiah Thomas and how successful they’ve been. Their size is overlooked because of how good they can play. So definitely opportunity exists no matter the size.

There you have it. Q & A with the pioneer Canadian of the NBL himself Alex Johnson. Look forward to watching Alex lead the club from our nation’s capital to contention this winter. Click here for a review of Monday nights draft in Markham, Ontario.

2013 NBL Draft Results

MARKHAM- Monday night the National Basketball League held its 3rd annual entry draft. The league’s 9 teams selected 3 rounds of players including 9 Canadian-born players. If the NBA can draft a Canadian-born talent first overall, so too should the NBL.


FIRST ROUND

1. Ottawa SkyHawks         Alex Johnson (6’0″, 246, PG, North Carolina State) (Canadian)

2. Brampton A’s            Brent Jennings (6’4″ 200, G, Southern Polytechnic State)

3. Halifax Rainmen         Raven Barber 6’8″, 220, F, Mt. Saint Mary’s)

4. Mississauga Power       Bol Kong (6’8″, 220, F, St. Francis-Xavier (Canadian)

5. Halifax Rainmen         Gerald Devaughn (6’8”, 248, F, Stillman College)

6. Moncton Miracles        Jermel Kennedy (6’6”, 185, C, Lander) (Canadian)

7. Saint John Mill Rats    Michael Luby (6’11”, 280, C, Brock University) (Canadian)

8. Windsor Express         Denarryl Rice (6’0”, 185, PG, Arkansas Tech)

9. The Island Storm        Shawn Vanzant (6’0”, 171, PG, Butler)

10. London Lightning       Raheem Singleton (6’0”, 205, PG, Maine)

2013 NBL Lottery Picks.

SECOND ROUND

1. Ottawa SkyHawks        Manock Lual (6’6”, F, University of PEI)

2. Brampton A’s           Niko Brooks (5’9”, 165, PG, Westmont)

3. London Lightning       Willie Whitfield (6’6”, 225, F, Barry University)

4. Mississauga Power      Dwight McCombs (6’8”, 240, F, Central Florida)

5. Halifax Rainmen        James Marcellus (6’9”, 240, F-C, Delaware State)

6. Moncton Miracles       Aleksandar Mitrović (6’6”, 200, F, McGill University) (Canadian)

7. Saint John Mill Rats   David Louis (6’5”, 192, F, Kingsborough CC [NY])

8. Windsor Express        Marcus James (6’7”, 197, F, Sam Houston State)

9. The Island Storm       Ryan Martin (5’9”, 160, PG, Keene State)

10. London Lightning      Colin Nickerson (6’3”, 170, G, Fairfield)

THIRD ROUND

1. Ottawa SkyHawks       Jerome Brown (6’5”, 205, G, Panola) (Canadian)

2. Brampton A’s          Jayson Obazuaye (6’4”, 215, G, Colorado)

3. Mississauga Power     Eric Petty, Jr. (6’6”, 220, F, Mississippi Valley State)

4. Halifax Rainmen       Jason Dawson (6’1”, 181, PG, Gardner-Webb)

5. Moncton Miracles      Anto Raic (6’7”, 205, F, Brock University) (Canadian)

6. Saint John Mill Rats  Alex Jackson (6’6″, 208, F, Missouri-St. Louis)

7. Halifax Rainmen       Keoni Watson (5’10”, PG, Idaho)

8. The Island Storm      Justin Leemow (6’1”, G, North Carolina Central)

9. Mississauga Power     Branko Veljović (6’4”, 202, G, Hannibal)

Trey Lyles Sweepstakes

Canada is evolving into a Basketball nation before our eyes. First it was the Anthony Bennett sweepstakes when Bennett chose UNLV over Kentucky and Oregon. Next was wonder kid Andrew Wiggins who signed with Kansas over Kentucky and Florida State.  Is it possible to top those two recruiting chases? Saskatoon born Trey Lyles has done just that.

Lyles at the 2013 FIBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

2013 National Champions Louisville Cardinals have hollered. 2012 National Champions Kentucky Wildcats inquired too. Also the only program in Trey’s lifetime to have won back to back National Championships the Florida Gators have come calling no differently. How does a Canadian talent merit so much attention and interest from three hall of fame coaches, we asked Trey’s father Tom,

“Actually a few things. Fact he can play comfortably that 1 through 5… A lot of it had to do with that he’s such student of the game and how he’s so versatile…he constantly creates a match up problem. Whether it be in the post, on the perimeter, shooting the jump shot, whether it be taking off the drive, penetrating and kicking he’s extremely unselfish. He’s not a guy who needs to put up numbers to feel good about himself. That’s not what excites him. He would much rather just make the play” the elder Lyles also reiterated his work ethic “The kid knows how  to work. He understands what it means”

Monday evening Tom Lyles, Treys father verified that the third visit with the Florida Gators is in the appointment books.

“It is official…date will be the 5th of October.” Said Trey’s father. Adding Trey is a fan of certain aspects the Gators could offer “He (Trey) likes the way they play as well as the guys that have come from the program and how things are going for them with the fact the weather is nice year round.”

When asked if it was Assistant Coach John Pelphrey who was looking after the mid west recruiting on behalf of the Gators, Mr. Lyles explained “Literally it’s been all Billy Donovan. Pretty much for every one of these programs it’s been the head coach. Personally I spend more time talking a lot with the assistants and the head coach spends more time talking to Trey”

Was there anything the Gators coaching staff led by Billy Donovan said to the Lyles family that stood out from the others?

“At this point everyone has said pretty much the same thing. I told each one of the four, for open gym we do not want them to come. No point. It’s time to talk particulars.”

Lost but not forgotten are the Butler Bulldogs. Tom offered this to say about a program many have written off in the Trey sweepstakes despite a glimmer of hope from Mr.Lyles,

“I would say there definitely in the race, I wouldn’t say there neck and neck, only because of the factor that we haven’t talked much with coach Miller since he’s taken over for Stevens. I will say though the school and the program kind of speak for itself….Education is huge in the (Lyles) family”

Final four programs in the fold.

Final four programs in the fold.

The dates are set. August 31st  the Lyles family will visit Louisville. October 5th they travel to the swamp in Gainesville and then the last official visit is October 18th on Kentucky campus.

EXPERTS

When Hoops Hype Canada (HHC) reached out to ESPN Basketball Insider Jeff Goodman about the public consensus south of the border, Goodman verified via email what makes Trey the Canadian sensation he is.

“I am a huge fan of Trey Lyles and his game. He just has such a high understanding of how to play, in all aspects. He can score both in the post, and also step out and make shots. He’s got great hands, and does a great job on the glass — and he’s also extremely unselfish on the court and makes his teammates better from a position in which that’s rarely the case. He’ll be one of those guys where some pick apart his game due to his lack of explosiveness, but he’s going to be a terrific college player — and I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s a terrific pro as well. My gut tells me this one is coming down to Kentucky and Louisville.” 

May the Trey Lyles Sweepstakes begin folks…

2015 Nevell Provo Headlines Athletes Institute Backcourt

In 2011, when 2015 PG 6’0 Nevell Provo joined some elite class of Canadian HS players taking their talents to West Virginia, Nova Scotia basketball was officially back on the map. 2 years later Provo is returning to his native land and will be a focal point of a newly assembled prep program north of the border, Athlete’s Institute in Orangeville, Ontario.

Class of 2015 6’0″ G Nevell Provo of Preston, Nova Scotia.

“Basically I sat down with my family and weighed my options… we decided this was the best move for me. Huntington is a great program with lots of exposure, competitiveness in practice, and all the perks of a high profile prep school. However, Orangeville was better for me because Im able to gain that in-game experience, and become a leader of a team; something I need to take my game to the next level”

Provo pictured in 2012 on a star studded CIA bounce squad. This summer he played with the 16U squad.

Provo refuses to view his return to the native land as any step backwards.

“Doing all this I don’t lose much of the perks that came with Huntington other than the high profile name. Orangeville, has a great academic background, great facility, and we play a pretty big schedule. On top of all this im closer to my family, so it’s a great situation.”

When Coach Fulford was reached for comment he explained his story behind the transfer,

“He has been a pleasure to have in Huntington. Nevell is a great kid and I wish him nothing but the best. My job as a coach is to get guys prepared for the next level. Not only on the court, but off. It’s also to be honest with them…. Nevell had been here 2 years and had not really seen minutes. With another 5 star PG coming in this year, I made sure Nevell knew where he stood. He was obviously welcomed back to compete, but was honest with him to try and find an opportunity where he could see more game time.”

As for the Athlete Institute, the prep program will have strong ties to the powerhouse Canadian AAU program CIA Bounce. Much like when Nevell joined Huntington Prep in 2011. At the time Provo became the 6th Canadian on H Preps roster. All CIA Bounce products and highly touted Canadian prospects such as Negus Webster-Chan (Hawaii), Andrew Wiggins (Kansas ), Stefan Jankovic (Missouri), Xavier Rathan-Mayes (Florida State), and Tanveer Bhullar (New Mexico St) who were in the fold.

Nevell Provo Hprep

Nevell Provo with former team Huntington Prep in 2012-13. Roster included fellow Canadians Andrew Wiggins and Xavier Mayes

As Provo joins Athlete’s Institute he leaves behind only 2015 6’5″ SF Montaque Gill Caeser. Who some say was also on the fence for a possible return to Canada. Despite speculation Fulford confirmed Gill-Caeser will return and reiterated he will always be a supporter of his former pupil Provo.

“Hopefully, the project they have started up there will work out for them. I am happy for Nevell and will continue to support him.”

As for Nevell’s own thoughts of his tenure in West Virginia, the proud point guard from Preston, Nova Scotia recollected

“I had a great experience at Huntington, I became not only a better basketball player but a better man. I learned what it was like to be away from family and friends, how to sacrifice, and just WORK hard.”

Provo also returned back some love to his former coach,

“Coach Rob is a good coach, he did a good job keeping guys together and building a family. He always got us motivated to work and pull our way through tough games. He’s also very hard working so we always had great scouting reports on other teams”.

 

Huntington Prep in 2011 featured six Canadians. Wiggins, Webster-Chan, Bhullar, Jankovic, Mayes and Provo.

When highlighting Huntington Prep one of the programs biggest assets is the strength and conditioning program led by Coach Chris Lane. Provo approved,

“Coach Chris is an absolute MONSTER. You can look at him and see. He really helped with the strength and conditioning. That’s something that’s really big to me, because im a bit undersized so i need to be stronger, quicker, and have more endurance than other guards. He helped us get that, giving us the proper workouts and meal plans to eat properly. “

Moving forward Provo will resume playing for his AAU bench boss coach Larry Blunt of the Athlete’s Institute. Provo shared his thoughts on his productive summer and his experience traveling with CIA Bounce’s 16U squad.

“We had a great summer, accomplished some big things. Finished top 4 in Peach Jam, and some finals in a few other big tournaments. Played well throughout the summer, Live in AC and the Caribana classic I feel I had my best showings.”

Scrappy point guard who will look to lead his team, and do whatever it takes to win is what you get in Nevell Provo. On the court expect lots of energy, leadership, making players around him better, hard nose defense, high IQ and a guard that can get in the lane, find teammates and knock down shots. Off the court is an area however where Provo is proud to admit he really tries hard to shine in.

“Life is bigger than ball. One day the ball has to stop bouncing. I feel a lot of basketball players get the mentality where they’re on top of the world and treat others like they’re below them. I’m a child of god, always trying to help others. A 4.0 student, always keep my grades first. Always happy, and smiling and trying to brighten someones day.” Provo’s comments cement his status as part of a dying breed, both a Canadian baller & scholar.

Shades of a well balanced, hardworking, young man trying to make the most out of life while enjoying every moment. Nevell returns home with interest from Indiana, Ohio, New Mexico St, San Diego St, Virginia Tech, St. Bonaventure, Northern Kentucky and Western Kentucky.

Marshall & Iowa offers are just scratching the surface for Provo offers.

Marshall & Iowa offers have just scratched the surface scholarship offers.

He confirmed outstanding offers from two schools already, “Most love from Iowa and Marshall, offers from both.” As for a timetable for his decision,”No date in mind yet, hopefully sometime in the fall of my senior year”

Provo left us entering the fall with one final thought. His satisfaction with his current AAU program CIA Bounce.

“It’s been a great journey with the program, I’ve been with them for 2 years now. The family they’ve built is unbreakable, I’ve met some brothers from this program. Everyone knows the level of basketball, we bring a team of Canadians and compete with the Americans every year.”

Yes they do, and now starting this fall on a prep school level, his brothers and him will continue the journey year round. Final rosters and schedules are yet to be announced for the Orangeville program but rest assured Nevell Provo will be a high level ball handler with a great deal of experience headlining the back court for Athlete’s Institute.

2015 Kamar McKnight Stock Rising

One of the most productive live periods by a Canadian this past July was from 2015 6’3″ CG Kamar McKnight.

“My AAU experience this summer was great even though I was only available for the July live period I’m really looking forward to next AAU season on the EYBL circuit and playing against the best night in and night out” McKnight told Hoops Hype Canada (HHC) .

Kamar McKnight

Class of 2015 6’3″ Kamar McKnight pictured playing for Grassroots Canada this summer.

The 6-foot-3 guard is a flat out shooter – Period. He has a knack for filling it up from deep. He knocked six three-pointers throughout a thrashing of Team Manimal that saw him hit shots from every angle of the floor. While on AAU duty this summer the south paw parlayed his production into serious considerations from both mid & high major college programs.

“My list right now is Colorado, Arizona, UCLA, UCONN, Oregon St and Fresno St. The school showing the most love right now would be Colorado. Coach Rohn is recruiting me hard at the moment.” McKnight shared.

As for his time table for a decision McKnight added “Would be before the 14-15 season my senior year of high school.”

A lefty with an elite competitive passion to develop and improve when asked what has been the difference the Toronto, ON native responded,

“Well I’ve been making plays off the dribble and really worked hard at improving my jump shot this past off-season, but a lot of my focus lately has been guarding the best player of the opposing team, also going forward I’m always looking to improve my body and make sure i’m able to compete for longer periods of time during games.”

McKnight a member of St.Patrick’s last winter will make the in state switch to St.Benedict’s this fall.

“I just felt over the past couple of years St.Benedict’s has shown they are the #1 team in NJ and dominant on the national schedule which I wanted to be a part of” Kamar disclosed about the transfer.

McKnight at St.Benedicts will replace a void left by fellow Canadian Tyler Ennis who graduated and will attend Syracuse.

Coach Mark Taylor will be getting a combo guard of great size that could create his own shot, create mismatches, put teammates in a great position to score, and a great team leader.

Off the court the scouting reports show McKnight as a kid who brings great vibes to his teams and gets the best out of all his teammates, and most importantly gets the job done in the classroom.

As a member of Grassroots Canada Kamar now when home in Toronto takes advantage of developing his talent at Fallstaff Community Center. A historical basketball facility in Canada that has took large part in developing a long list of Canadian talents including Brady Heslip & Nik Stauskus, even the Canadian Texas University trio Tristan Thompson, Cory Joesph and Myck Kabongo.

When asked about his experience under the roof at Fallstaff McKnight said,

“Fallstaff, Fallstaff…the best gym to hoop in and a great atmosphere, you have to bring your A game to workout. Especially with the alumni’s in the building…it’s real competitive because if you lose you’re not seeing the court for a while, so it really brings out the best of your game.”

Canada has produced some quality players over the years. When zeroing in on the class of 2015 a list that includes Chris Egi, Kamar McKnight is as blue chip of a prospect as you’ll find.

Canadian Youth Basketball League

Source close to the situation has verified with Hoops Hype Canada (HHC) that a Canadian Youth Basketball League is in the works.

Details of the league have been falling like dominoes. CYBL will provide a website, team profiles, and promised media and administration assistance to all clubs willing to pay the league entry fee reported at $2500 CDN per team. With 10 players on each roster it would work out to $250 CDN per player.

Fee includes all referees for a 22 game schedule. A championship tournament where each team will be guaranteed 3 games, also player and team awards.

League is encouraging teams to sell season passes retailing at $50 per adult, $30 per student or single game tickets at $5 per adult and $3 per student. Also to “treat clubs like an NBA franchise” one source said. All revenues for each team will be made at home games.

CYBL will feature 12 clubs if all goes to plan.

Committed clubs that have been recruited by the CYBL as of this morning were CIA Bounce, Grassroots, UPLAY, Boltt, Triple Balance, Niagara Falls, Milton Stags and Ottawa Guardsmen pending approval from its president and co founder Dave Smart.

As for clubs still debating whether to participate in the inaugural season scheduled to tip off the last week of September are YAAACE, Burlington, Core City and Brookwood Bounce Elite. 

Grassroots Canada Deserve Respect

Shame on a lifestyle writer this week who wrote a report about the development of young talent in Canada. In the midst of his feature a unnecessary jab was taken at the Canadian pioneer program north of the border Grassroots Canada. Especially through a media giant the author should have refrained from polluting impressionable minds. Kids, parents and more so the average sports fan, now more than ever, taking interest in Canadian basketball.

From the early 90′s moving forward, significant parts of our Canadian basketball history   has been generated by Grassroots Canada, formerly named Toronto Elite. A program arguably responsible for establishing today’s pipeline of Canadian basketball talent flowing freely to the NCAA & NBA levels.

Ro-Russell-left-with-NBA-lottery-pick-Tristan-Thompson

Ro Russell (left) with 2011 4th overall NBA pick Tristan Thompson.

Deservingly, the positives of today’s powerhouse program CIA Bounce should be recognized and reiterated on a mainstream media podium. Except a reference to the “controversial” Ro Russell diminishes the report.

Since assisting its first scholarship in 1992, Toronto Elite later named Grassroots Canada in 2000 has long established itself as one of Canada’s premier Student Athlete Development Programs. Grassroots has worked with over 3000 student- athletes at different levels in the last 20+ years and have seen over 500 elite members go off to various scholarship situations in the US and Canada. Most notable is current Team Canada focal point PF Tristan Thompson. Thompson a NBA professional, recently in July 2013 made a donation to the Grassroots program. A club he joined at the age of 13.

“I feel it’s important to give back to a program which has done so much for me and my family in terms of my development on the court and off the court” Thompson said at the time.

“when your fortunate to be blessed I feel it’s good to bless others and give these young student athletes the opportunity.  Like going to Vegas and competing against the other top talent in the USA” Tristan added.

In 2008 at the prestigious Las Vegas Fab 48, Grassroots Canada led by Thompson & Junior Cadougan became the first ever youth basketball program from Canada to lift a major AAU crown. In that summer of 2008 Grassroots boasted a potent roster also including San Antonio Spur Cory Joesph, Myck Kabongo, Brady Heslip, Jason Calliste, Dwightl Powell and Renaldo Dixon just to name a few.

Tristan Thompson

CHAMPIONS Grassroots in 2008 after becoming the first ever Canadian program to lift a major AAU tourney crown. Las Vegas Fab 48

We are talking at large about a inner city Toronto program who at one point or another played a massive role in developing almost a dozen of Canada’s current player pool chosen in preparations for the 2013 FIBA America Championships later this month in Venezuela.

Olu Ashaolu (invited but forced to report to his pro club in France) Jr Cadougan, Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph, Myck Kabongo, Devoe Joseph, Brady Heslip, Jevohn Sheppard and Jermaine Anderson to be exact.

Tristan Thompson

A program that has also produced pupils to NCAA assistant coaches like Marquette’s Jaimie McNielly and American’s Assistant Nate Phillipe. Even the very first ever Canadian head coach in the NCAA ranks, D2 Stonehill College head Chris Kraus.

Fallstaff Community Center is the Grassroots program head quarters

Fallstaff Community Center in Toronto, ON. Headquarters of Grassroots Canada.

and also pretty iconic in Canadian basketball circles.  At some point in time tons of great players have tossed it up at Fallstaff. Including some our Senior Men involved with team Canada as part of their development.

Canadian quick-strike three-point assassin Brady Heslip when asked about his experience at Fallstaff Community Center while playing with Grassroots Canada he responded,

“I’m blessed that I was a part of it, Coming from Burlington, the suburbs, that played a role in making me tougher as a basketball player. Making me tougher as a person. Just diversifying myself & making relationships… Junior [Cadougan] (also member of Team Canada) is one of my best friends ever. Like we grew up going to Fallstaff [Community Center] together, taking a journey together to get there, but you know it was all worth it in the long run”  Heslip also touched on how he still cherishes and keeps the time spent with Grassroots in high regard,

Brady Heslip Grassroots Product
Brady Heslip the three point specialist for both the Baylor Bears and Team Canada.

“It’s unbelievable what Grassroots does for kids,  I mean if it wasn’t for Coach Ro I wouldn’t be in the situation I’m in today. He always kept telling me push for your dreams. My dream was to play division 1 basketball and he kept that alive. Even when you know it looked slim and the chances didn’t look good. He kept pushing for me” As for his highlight or signature moment under Grassroots Canada?

“I had played with Cory & Myck for like 4 years or whatever. On the same team It wasn’t really my team. I really didn’t get to do my thing, so when those guys weren’t there for my last summer it was my team. Coach Ro just gave me the ball and gave me the green light. I ended up leaving that summer with scholarship offers from all over the country. If it wasn’t for that experience and him pushing me, no way I’d be in the situation I’m in now.”

Recently undrafted Myck Kabongo is also a supporter of the Fallstaff foundation,  “Obviously a lot of great players have come from there a lot of development happens at Fallstaff.  Just people that work hard … It’s a gym that’s like open 24 hours a day.” Kabongo who recently switched agents to Bill Duffy, same representative as Steve Nash will attempt to crack a NBA roster or seek an opportunity with a European club this October.

Tristan Thompson the Cleveland Cavalier is an ambassador and credited the community center in Toronto also. “Fallstaff has been big for my development. I played under Fallstaff Community Center with Grassroots,  so it was definitely good to me….been a lot of good players that come through there, it definitely goes back”

Tristan Thompson Grassroots Cavaliers

Tristan Thompson, the leader of the new generation of Canadian Ballers.

During 2002, Grassroots Canada had 18 alumni’s attending D1 programs. In recent years some alumni’s in the NCAA that have bled for Grassroots in the past are:

Nik Stauskas (Michigan), Junior Cadougan (Marquette), Chris Johnson (St. Bonaventure), Myck Kabongo (Texas), Dwight Powell (Stanford), Agunwa Okolie (Harvard), Renaldo Dixon (New Mexico State), Jason Calliste (Detroit), JP Kambola (Marshall), Chadrack Lufile (Wichita State), Alwayne Bigby (Rhode Island), Christian Kabongo (Morgan State), Kaza Keane & MyKyle McIntosh (Illinois State), Juevol Myles & Brandon Bos (South Dakota), Dwayne Smith (George Washington), Troy Joseph (Long Island), Brady Heslip (Baylor), Grant Mullins (Columbia). Braeden Anderson (Fresno State) Jalyn Pennie (New Mexico State), Kadeem Coleby (Wichita State) and Dwight Coleby (Mississippi)

Looking ahead to 2014 and some names who to keep tabs on:

6’4 combo guard Lincoln Samuels who attended Life Center Academy, NJ in 2012-13. Samuels is still debating his prospects for this September.

6’3 guard Jamar Ergas who will return to 22ft Academy in the Carolinas. Incredibly athletic with reputation of being a rare “super freak”. His scouting report reads steady improving skill set. A high major player with a strong work ethic and professional potential.

6’4  guard Kamar McKnight a south paw who is known as a strong, gritty elite type of competitor. Scouting reports say Kamar is well rounded guard who can equally score, pass and shoot the rock with the best of them. This past summer the high major prospect transferred from St.Patrick HS to St.Benedict HS within New York. Leaving a reputable program for one of the more prestigious ones.

Last but not least, who is the future poster boy for Grassroots Canada?

Shakur Daniel Grassroots Canada Elite

Young Canadian phenom Shakur Daniel. Class of 2018.

Class of 2018 6’4 Guard Shakur DanielWho experts say is a monster in the making and has serious potential to be the no. 1 player in the 2018 class across all of North America. Brian Merrit, American talent evaluator told Hoops Hype Canada (HHC)

“Shakur is extremely talented, very hungry young man for his age. He has a upside that is off the charts. I first saw him when Ro Russell sent him to the John Lucas Future Of The Game Camp in Hampton Virginia when he was in 6th grade.”

Merrit added “Just very high & exceptional work ethic for his age”

Despite a vendetta from a certain media giant, in addition to a lack of respect & recognition within Canadian basketball circles, it’s refreshing to see alumni’s both past and present, step up to the plate and speak highly of Grassroots Canada. It’s imperative that kids that go off to college and beyond from these AAU programs are accessible and willing to come back in the gym and provide examples for the next wave of up and coming talent. You may not like Grassroots Canada but we must respect its legacy.

After all the old saying goes “Pioneers are often imitated but never duplicated”. Let us not forget.

Bellot-Green Joins FHC Duo At Juco In Texas

2014 6’7″ PF Tyrell Bellot-Green of Mississauga, ON verified last week with HHC he will transfer to Hill College. A Junior college located in Texas.

Bellot-Green pictured in a Team Canada jersey.

Bellot Green spent 2012-13 playing HS ball @ St.Benedict’s Prep and credits Coach Mark Taylor for some rapid development while under his tutelage.

“Coach Taylor and staff taught me a lot.  Especially my defensive game in my time there”

Bellot-Green was on the fense with  his decision to attend Hill College or return home to attend a Prep program in the works affiliated with his AAU at Athletes Institute in Orangeville, Ontario.  Bellot-Green explained why he ultimately chose to take his talents to Texas and toss it up for Swede Trenkle – Head Coach & Assistant AD @ Hill College.

“I felt ready and just wanted to be some place playing versus the best & biggest competition I could compete against”

Hill College Men’s Basketball program is under the direction of seventh-year, head coach, Swede Trenkle. The Rebels compete at the Division I level of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).

When reached by telephone, Trenkle spoke highly of Bellot-Green’s addition,

“Very talented high profile talent. Excited to have him. Looking forward to the inside, outside game and watching him bang and collect rebounds. Juco is a fast game and one of Tyrell’s strenghts  is his body strength”

As far as his own college recruiting went Tyrell had growing interest from Virginia Tech, Purdue, Missouri, FIU & Villanova to name just a few.

“I leave in the 20th I believe, hopefully once down there I can start to plan a few visits”  Bellot Green added.

Bellot Green travelled through America this past summer w:the CIA Bounce

Bellot-Green is also a product of CIA Bounce

17U squad that finished 6-12 on the Nike EYBL circuit. Tyrell averaged 12.7 points per game and scored in double figures in 14 of 18 games.

Green will get acclimated with incoming Father Henry Carr Crusader 6’6″ PF Leraldo Dixon. According to FHC head coach Paul Melnyk the scouting report on Dixon goes like this.

“Long, lanky & physically an aggressive forward. His physicality & shot blocking will pay dividends as his offensive skills are developed and fine tuned” Melnyk added that Swede Trenkle coach at Hill College is thrilled to have a  FHC duo in the fold ”Coach Trenkle is excited to have two Henry Carr Crusaders deeply involved in his program. I am happy to send our kids to such a competitive junior college basketball program.”

Coach Melnyk is referring to FHC alumni Tramique Sutherland. Both coaches noted how impressive of a freshman campaign Sunderland had last winter. Also not to be surprised if Sutherland the eldest of three Canadians on the Hill College roster will be the leader of the Juco squad this fall. Both statistically and vocally. Tramique is the younger brother of Tramar Sutherland another FHC alumni who in 2012 graduated from the University of Arkansas Little Rock.

Dixon was a key component on the TDCAA champions Father Henry Carr Crusdaers

“Having a highschool friend & teammate was advantegeous in attracting Leraldo Dixon to Hill College” Coach Melnyk wrote via some online dialogue.

5’11 G Sutherland a former Henry Carr Crusader is pictured here in a Hill College kit.

With three Canadians playing Juco in Texas, It may be safe to say that Hill College will be the most followed Juco team by Canadians this winter.

One-On-One With Thomas Lyles

Trey Lyles Canada

Class of 2014 6’11, 255lb Trey Lyles. Canadas best kept secret.

When it’s all said and done, some experts suggest a Saskatoon-born baller may be the best power forward that ever dons the Canadian National jersey. Tristan Thompson and Anthony Bennett included. Trey Lyles a senior in HS south of the border is garnering interest from HIGH majors in the NCAA ranks. As of today, the 6’11 Canadian big man has trimmed his college offer list to four schools. National Champion Louisville Cardinals, Kentucky Wildcats, Florida Gators and last but not least the Butler Bulldogs.

Speaking from Camby, Indiana, father of Trey, Thomas Lyles (who played basketball at Kentucky, and professionally in the NBA) spoke with Mark Bairos quite frankly about the whirlwind college recruitment process and also shed light on Trey the person as well as basketball player.

HHC: Your son is building a demand back home, many readers and hoop heads are always asking about his growth and the status of his recruitment process.

Lyles Canada

Trey Lyles all smiles with Canada across his chest

Unfortunately the only updates we get are from Kentucky circles, so on behalf of our One Canadian Basketball Family your willingness to field are call is greatly appreciated.

TL: Thank you guys for reaching out and even showing interest in his development and his growth.

HHC: Our pleasure. Can you comment on the consensus of all the programs in the Trey Lyles sweepstakes?

TL: Everything is neck and neck. It’s down to four schools. Florida, Butler, Louisville & Kentucky. Each program has expressed superior interest what they can do for Trey and what Trey can offer them. With the fact that things are very new as to going through this whole process…it’s been quite a eye opening experience to say the very least.

HHC: Despite losing its long serving coach Brad Stevens, its reported new Butler coach Brad Miller has a history of recruiting Trey, true or false?

TL: One of the first coaches to ever recruit Trey was Brad Miller who happened to be at Ohio State as an assistant coach under Thad Motta. He was actually heading up the recruitment of Trey at that time. So we have not a strong relationship but were not strangers to one another.

HHC: Rumours took America by storm about a potential tandem or “package deals” involving his friends. We were kind of like well what about Trey Lyles & Chris Egi the Canadian tandem both offered by Florida. Was that something Trey and yourself have ever given some thought?

TL: No. Trey understands at the end of the day this is a individual journey… I talked to him about it numerous times… strictly an individual journey and it is about what’s best for that player, that family, that situation. So when we talk about it we’re really just trying to weigh options about the pros and the cons. Is this going to be a good situation for you? Play immediately as a freshman? Play through your mistakes? Are you going to grow there as a person not just as a basketball player but as a person?

HHC: Any official visits planned with the four schools left in the Trey sweepstakes?

TL:  As of right now the first visit will be to Louisville, it’s actually going to take place at the end of this month. After it hasn’t been confirmed … but we are trying to get down to Florida pretty soon. Nothing confirmed just in conversation.

Final four programs in the fold.

Final four programs in the fold.

HHC: How about reports that Trey will visit Kentucky during Big Blue Madness?

TL: Yes, we will be there thats the plan.

HHC: How does a program’s history producing NBA talent play a role in recruitment? For example since 2004 Florida produced a NCAA high 11 players drafted in the NBA standing 6’9 or taller or the fact Kentucky has a knack for producing one & done’s?

TL:  I try to tell Trey not to get caught up in the hype of the NBA… Each situation is so different. It’s all about your (the player) approach, how prepared you are, how focused you are , how much work you are willing to put in. That’s how I’m trying to get him to look at. Every school out there at some point in time has put out a NBA player.

HHC: Ironically you also attended Kentucky; does that play to their advantage?

TL:  Attended Kentucky a very short while, Kentucky wasn’t the best choice for me. But just because it wasnt the place for me it has nothing to do with where Trey goes or what’s best for him. If it’s the best situation for him then I will do my best to make sure he gets that opportunity.

HHC: X’s and O’s, what do you think makes Trey so highly touted?

TL: Trey is kind of a unique player because he is borderline 6’11 and 255lbs, but he’s a point forward. There’s not many guys that size that can bring all those things to the table… he can play 1 through 5.

Trey Lyles Kobe Bryant Gaso

Pau Gasol (left). Trey Lyles (center) along side his favourite player Kobe Bryant (right).

HHC: Is Trey both an elite baller and scholar?

TL: As of right now Trey’s GPA is a 3.98. An ‘A’ student. So when Trey goes to his first day of college he will walk on that campus with 9-10 college credit hours that will transfer to any college in the country that he decides to go to. He will have a half a semester already done.

HHC: Trey the youngest siblings of four, any sibling or parent who instilled that education first mentality in Trey from a young age?

TL:  His Mother and Tanika (older sister) a senior in college. When it comes to the grades Tamika deserves all of the accolades. She set the bar for her brother. One day he came to me and his mom and he said I want to get grades like my sister. We said hey this is what you have to do and he’s done it. But she set the bar because she’s in college and she’s never received a grade less than a 4.0.

HHC: Moving forward with Trey’s recruitment process. What’s next also is it true that your adamant on playing out the whole senior year before Trey makes a decision?

TL: My thing is now it’s not about the dog and pony show, now it’s about coming in, sitting down and we have to talk about subjects, particulars. There is chance at that (making an early decision) I just don’t want him to make an emotional reply because this is it. Last time you get to choose where you get to play. I want him to really think it out. Make sure he knows without a doubt this is the program, this is the system, this is the coach, this is the city that I want to go and be in for however long he will be there.

Lyles was born in Saskatoon, SK now his family resides in Camby, IN.

HHC: This past summer Trey participated in the FIBA U19 World Championships for Canada. Very impressive showing may I add. Trey averaged a near 20 points and 10 rebounds. Is representing Canada high on Trey’s priority list?

TL: Great honour for him to represent Canada, you have no idea how big that was for him. Was such a thrill for him to represent Canada. Some relationships he established and within a very short period of time. Man, these are lifelong relationships.

Trey Lyles Team Canada

Lyles, & Tyler Ennis (Left) led Canada to a record 5th place finish at the FIBA U19 World Championships this summer.

At the same time it opened doors for him to showcase his talents to his native land, that otherwise people probably would not have until that day that if he’s fortunate to get drafted they would’ve found out at that time. He loves it; I mean the kid almost sports his maple leaf jersey every day. I’m not joking.

HHC: How about yourself? Considering your American (Trey’s Mother is Canadian) was it bittersweet?

TL:  I’m being honest I’m not even joking. I am so proud of him, that he understands and that he’s taken such pride in being a Canadian. Sporting his gear, not only sporting it but wearing it with his shoulders back and his head straight up, which to me says that he’s very proud.

What a Interview. Most was music to the ears of Canadians. Trey’s father explained how proud Trey is to represent the Maple Leaf. Yet coast to coast many Canadian hoop heads are as proud or prouder to have both an elite ball player and person like Trey Lyles in the fold. For the record Trey was 6 years old when his family moved to Indiana from Saskatoon. Born in Saskatoon, raised in Indiana and if all goes well Trey will toss it up for Canada for years to come. Special Thanks to Thomas Lyles for accommodating our request on behalf of Trey.

Now let the Trey Lyles sweepstakes continue…

 

Father Says Lyles Won’t Be Influenced By Friends

By. Corey Albertson
CatsIllustrated.com

There have been two major trends in college basketball recruiting since the July evaluation period ended a couple of weeks ago.

First, we’ve seen some high-profile prospects decommit from their original decision. Second, there has been more and more talk about the top prospects from the class of 2014 being involved in package deals of two or more prospects choosing to go to school together.

Trey Lyles is familiar with both of these trends, and the onetime Indiana commitment hasn’t been able to escape rumors of package deals, his father, Tom Lyles said.

Trey Lyles

Saskatchewan-born, Indiana-native Trey Lyles.

The five-star power forward from Indianapolis Arsenal Tech has been rumored to be a strong Kentucky lean, a near pledge for Louisville and then a lock to stay home and go to Butler. However, Tom Lyles said, none of those stories are even close to true.

“It’s tough to say what exactly Trey is thinking right now,” Tom Lyles said. “He’s still pretty open among his finalists. We’re trying to make sure we have a great feel for each of the schools.

“Things have changed somewhat due to Brad Stevens leaving Butler. We’re building a new relationship with the new staff there and trying to understand what his philosophy is.”

While things have changed somewhat with Butler, the Wildcats have been a pretty steady constant in Lyles’ recruitment since he re-opened his decision about a year ago. With 12 months having passed, the relationship between Kentucky coach John Calipari and the Lyles family has grown, with the elder Lyles saying that they look forward to his calls.

“Coach Calipari has called to check in a lot and see how things are going,” Tom Lyles said. “He’s been curious about what our routine is in terms of his development and his strength training. There hasn’t been any significant news with Kentucky, but we’ve stayed in close touch with them.”

While Tom Lyles adamantly reaffirmed that his son will not make a decision until after his senior season of high school basketball has ended, the family still plans on taking official visits in the fall, and Lexington should be one of them.

“Kentucky’s coaches have been trying to get another visit set up with Trey,” Tom Lyles said. “They’d like him to come down for Big Blue Madness, that visit would probably be an official and it will probably happen but it hasn’t been finalized just yet.”

As for the package deals, rumors have tied Lyles to Louisville after the commitment of AAU teammate and friend JaQuan Lyle, a fellow five-star.

However, with Kentucky’s recent offer of four-star AAU teammate James Blackmon, another close friend, the Wildcats have now entered the package-deal rumor mill.

While Lyles confirmed that his son is friends with both Lyle and Blackmon, he said neither player’s decision will influence where his son ultimately ends up.

“People have been saying that Trey will definitely end up at Kentucky if James goes there, but they really don’t understand that this thing is personal,” Tom Lyles said. “James is an unbelievable player, but his decision is going to have zero impact on Trey’s decision. Just like there family has to make a decision for their son, that’s how we feel about Trey. Now they are good friends, but in the end there’s almost zero barring on his decision.”

Lyles was in action for Team Canada this past Summer at the U19 FIBA World Championships

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYTeWhVaneA

Also here is his 2012-13 Official Mixtape

Dylan Ennis Discusses Reggae Boys Switch

image

Toronto-born, Brampton, ON native Dylan Ennis started at PG  for Team Jamaica in Canada’s  77-72 victory Saturday night in Toronto.

TORONTO- In two games vs. Team Canada, a Canadian born baller now a member of the Jamaican National squad Dylan Ennis averaged 6.9 points, 1 assist and 1 rebound in 18.5 minutes. Despite Dylan’s role at the moment, Jamaican Assistant coach Richard Polack’s post game presser reiterated Dylan’s future with the Jamaican federation,

“On this team there are few guys who’ve been around before Dylan, Dylan learns very very fast, he picks up things every day but we have some pro’s, we have some vet’s and sometimes you need to get those guys in. But I expect really really big things from Dylan Ennis.”

Dylan Ennis dials up from downtown with father Tony McIntyre looking on.

Dylan Ennis dials up from downtown with father Tony McIntyre looking on.

Ennis arrived at Jamaican camp as advertised, a point guard with tons of athleticism and  a work ethic second to none. Polack said how happy he is to have the 21 year old on board and part of his program,

I love Dylan, one of my favorite persons in the world, and his work ethic I can’t say enough about it.”

Many wonder why Ennis eventually played for Jamaica and the 6’2 ultra athletic guard explained his decision,

“Me and my father sat down and we wanted to play for a national team, it’s a great thing. I had the option to play for Canada and I had the option to play for Jamaica. My cards fell better with Jamaica so I decided it was the best option for me.” Ennis also let it be known “It’s been a fun experience and yah I’m playing games vs. Team Canada but there’s no hard feelings at all. It’s all just competitive nature”

Ennis helped Jamaica earn bronze in the 2012 Centrobasket.

Ennis, a redshirted incoming sophomore at Villanova was forced to sit out last season after proving himself as a collegiate guard averaging 8 points and 4 assists in 25 minutes for Rice in 2011-12. In his lone season for Rice he also shattered the Rice freshman class record for assists previously set by James Simmons in 1975 (114). When Ennis was asked about his prospects this fall after a long redshirt process he told Hoops Hype Canada (HHC)

I’m very excited, we have a team that was really good and I’m just trying come in and fit in. I’ve been with them last summer, the whole winter and this summer. It should be really fun, I’ve been very excited for it.” His athleticism and flair saw him sky his way to a hoops-mania dunk crown, and many expect Dylan to step into a big role for the Villanova Wildcats this Winter.

Dylan Ennis and incoming freshman Josh Hart are expected to compete for minutes right away in their first years of eligibility on the Main Line. Ennis is the real wild card in this group, as he will be forced to adjust from Conference USA to the rough and tumble of the Big East.” Said one Big East expert.

Dylan Ennis collage during Jack Donahue Classic.

Dylan Ennis playing in front of family at home in the Jack Donahue Classic.

Ennis is a former product and proud alumni of CIA Bounce, the AAU program co-founded by his father Tony McIntyre that has played a part in producing talents such as Tristan Thompson, Anthony Bennett, Andrew Wiggins & younger brother Tyler Ennis. Dylan before departing Toronto acknowledged the Bounce program and how influential they’ve been in developing not only him but other high major Canadian talent.

“They’ve (CIA Bounce Co-Founders) done a great job with the kids around here. They don’t do it for the publicity or the networking they do it because its inside the goodness of their heart. I think its developed not just me but everybody in the city” Shared Ennis ” We got players from everywhere its not just Brampton, they’ll take anybody from anywhere. If you can play you gonna play with us… They been so good to me. I never use to travel and play in America when I was younger. As we got into high school they were able to get everybody exposure and it blossomed into what it is today”

 

Check out Dylan’s Hoop Mania Dunk Champion moment:

Also VIDEO of what Jamaican Senior Mens Assistant Coach had to say about Dylan:

 

Exclusive On Career Year For Carl English

TORONTO- While on a national tour of duty with Canada basketball, 32-year-old Carl English spoke with Hoops Hype Canada (HHC) and elaborated on his spectacular season last winter in Spain. English revealed details of his basketball career that dates back to the days of playing high school basketball in St. Johns, Newfoundland.

Canada Basketball, Steve Nash, Carl English

Car English at Canada camp with Steve Nash looking on.

Carl English left Newfoundland at 16 years old and moved in with family in the Greater Toronto Area, hoping to enhance his chances of obtaining a college basketball scholarship.

From Newfoundland he landed in Oakville, Ontario. Despite a road block that calendar year when teachers went on strike and wiped out the basketball season, Carl was fortunate enough to draw interest from various mid major colleges, including Notre Dame and Creighton, among others.

Then entered a chance to attend Hawaii University. English was given an opportunity he couldn’t pass up – to attend the university and shine on the basketball court as a Rainbow Warrior. Although he loved the people and the culture, English realized that Hawaii University wasn’t going to give him the NBA exposure he had hoped.

English says, “when you’re in Hawaii it’s difficult for people to see you, because you’re so far away… So from a recruiting standpoint, it was tough for people to see you and like you. It was different but I wouldn’t change it, it’s done. It was a great chapter in my life.”

In his Junior year, English achieved his primary goal off the court, receiving a diploma from Hawaii University. Before making himself a household name in Europe, English flirted with the NBA. He received a two-year partial contract with the Indiana Pacers, but never played regularly in a Pacer uniform. Still, he was kept in high regards by the Pacers president at the time – Isaiah Thomas. When Larry Bird took over the Presidential reigns from Thomas, English became a victim of a numbers game.

Draft day 2003. English and childhood sweetheart and wife Mandy.

“Being undrafted was extremely difficult. Isaiah (Thomas) really liked me but Larry (Bird) came in,” English explained. “In a numbers game, I was lowest on the totem pile…they just signed Jermaine (O’Neal) to a huge contract and luxury taxes played a part.”

Following his stint with the Pacers, English was given an opportunity with another NBA team – the Seattle Supersonics. With his NBA career not panning out as he had hoped, and a realization that he was not getting any younger, English began contemplating the NBDL route.  Attracted by the prospect of a steady salary, English landed in Europe. English first played in Italy, then Croatia, followed by Spain, where English and his family have made their home for the past 6 years.

In his first five years in Spain, English lived the dream, despite not being in the NBA. Nonetheless, he’s played for what is arguably the second best league in the world. During the 2011-12 season with Estudiantes club, 31-year-old English decided to take  a step back and re-evaluate his game. It provided to be a successful tactic, with English managing to surge his career to new heights that he had never before reached.

“I felt the previous season, I could’ve done a lot more to help the team but the coach didn’t use me enough,” he said, referring to his 15 minutes of court time per game. “I came in there (into next season) pretty upset. I really buckled down all summer and came in there with a chip on my shoulder,” English said.

With Canada Basketball’s World Cup qualifying campaign on the horizon and a personal vendetta to return to the elite level of the ACB, English flourished and so did his club.

“When things were going well we qualified for the Kings Cup for the first time in like 5 to 6 years… we also battled for the playoffs,” English said. This was a remarkable accomplishment considering Estudiantes was dwelling in the bottom of the ACB standings the previous year.

“I kind of wanted to take them under my wing,” said English, who averaged a league high 17.2 points and drew heavy interest from Barcelona, one of the biggest clubs in all of Europe.

As a basketball player you always want to play at the highest level. My dream has always been to play in the NBA,” he said. This dream is not farfetched for the Spanish league star.

English continues to set goals for himself and work towards them. He said, “As of today I am with Estudiantes… within Spain or Europe I want to be on a high-level European club and play two times a week.”

English nearly made the switch to Catalan giants, Barcelona, earlier this year. He explained, “I almost went to Barcelona, it was very close. I wanted the second year, they just wanted (contract) for the 5 months, which I completely understand at that point in time… It’s been a slow process this year based on the market and European basketball.”

Although English isn’t certain what will happen with his career path, it appears that at the age of 32, he has only scratched the surface of a long legacy.

English said that if the association comes calling, he is prepared to take on the opportunity. “Still keeping the hope alive…the thing NBA teams got to realize is if you play at a high level in Europe you’re pretty good. You can come in there… and help right away. Pablo (Pirgioni) got in the playoffs, Anthony Parker did the same thing and even Alan (Anderson) was huge for the Raptors this year,” he said.

English’s dream to rejoin the NBA is still alive. A chance to lead Canada to the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain could only enhance his chances.

Carl English, Canada Basketball

2013 Carl at Team Canada invitee Camp in Toronto, Ontaio.

For more on the Carl English story, including the ups and downs of his amazing basketball journey, listen to our one-on-one interview.

By: Mark Bairos

Levon Kendall Future Uncertain

2013 Team Canada SMNT camp invitee Levon Kendall’s future remains a mystery and its early August. 6-ft-10, 29 year old Canadian baller from Vancouver, BC opted out of a contract with Blusens Monbus Obradoiro of the Spanish ACB a few weeks back with the aim of siginig a contract with a team of higher standards in the ACB League also known as the Liga Endesa for sponsorship reasons.

Levon Kendall.

Kendall agreed to pay a clause and opt out of a contract with his former club with intentions of getting a better contract with a top team in Spain and his decision may have back fired.

Unicaja Malaga was first interested in Kendall but later was ruled out. Then Bilbao Basket started to show strong interest taking on the Canadian but Kendall was a only a second option if the club failed to land German Gabriel.

Levon Kendall, Obradoiro CAB.

Levon Kendall, Obradoiro CAB.

Other teams that showed the big fella love were Kutxa Labor and Alba Berlin which could make an offer over the next few days. Which would eliminate any concerns Levon and his camp have. Kendall is represented by the same agent as fellow SMNT invitee Carl English. Jeff Zanik of ASM Sports who refused to comment on the situation. Also sources surrounding the Canadian SMNT have all but guaranteed Kendall will be a lock in the Canadian front court along with NBA talents Joel Anthony, Tristan Thompson and Andrew Nicholson.

 

JYD Fantastic Fit For Findlay

TORONTO - Speaking to Hoops Hype Canada via cell phone from Toronto, newly appointed Findlay Prep Head Coach Jerome Williams spoke sincere about his new coaching gig Wednesday afternoon. Williams will take over for predecessor Todd Simon who served as Associate Head Basketball Coach of Findlay Prep for the past five seasons.

JYD-FINDLAY-

Findlay Prep new head coach former Toronto Raptor Jerome Williams. JYD Served 5 years as a volunteer before his recent promotion.

Parents and prospective Prep players both require patience …

pa·tience [pey-shuhns]
noun- the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.

Also an ability to persist.

per·sist [pər -zist]
verb- to last or endure tenaciously: The legend of King Arthur has persisted for nearly fifteen centuries.

Patience and persistence is what epitomized the basketball career of former Raptor Jerome Williams, also known as the Junk Yard Dog.

HIGH SCHOOL

Lets just say Jerome Williams came up through High School  ”unknown” and that is “putting it politely” according to Williams. In 1992, as an undersized 6-2 forward from Magruder HS, JYD was too small to play forward at Georgetown. Williams appeared headed for American University but opted to go to junior college instead and work on his game. After a freshman season that included countless hours in the classroom, at home, and even at a part time job to afford tuition, it was a tumultuous transition. Except he grew a whole 7′ inches. Thanks to his growth spurt Williams had grown to 6-9, averaging 26 points and 17 rebounds a game at Montgomery College. With newfound size and great SAT scores. Georgetown was very interested. Offering him an opportunty to become a member of the Hoyas for his JR & SR college years. A opportunity to cross paths and inherit tutelage from a legendary hall of fame coach John Thompson. More importantly a chance to exploit and embrace free education from a renowned institution.

Georgetown Hoyas

From 1994 to 1996, Jerome Williams became one of the program’s most proficient
rebounders. Once described as “Dennis Rodman without the attitude”, Williams
helped elevate the Georgetown defense during the Allen Iverson era. In his first
five games with the team, Williams picked up 65 rebounds, part of a junior
season where he averaged 31 minutes a game and 10 rebounds a game. At season’s
end he became the first forward since Reggie Williams (no relation) to lead the
team in rebounds. More notably Williams graduated college with honours. Following the foot steps of his college coach John Thompson. When asked what he absorbed most from Coach Thompson Jerome answered. “Education. He was one of the first coaches who was also a player, played 10 years in the NBA backing up Bill Russell but what resonated with me most was he was just as proud of graduating college.” Also adding “Coach always reiterated what education from Georgetown University could help enable for us in the future”. The college experience was invaluable for Jerome Williams, who called his Georgetown graduation the proudest moment of his life.

Jerome-Williams-Findlay Prep

1994-1996 Jerome Williams led Georgetown University in rebounding as a SF. Roster included Allen Iverson.

Drafted out of Georgetown University by the Detroit Pistons with the 26th pick of the 1996 NBA draft (the pick originally belonged to the San Antonio Spurs and went to the Pistons in the Dennis Rodman trade), he played four-plus years with the Pistons, becoming one of their key reserves.

Williams work ethic, patience and persistence later paid dividends at the next level. During his tenure under Doug Collins (who had .521 Winning % in 11 seasons as head coach) Williams gained experience under a reputable NBA head coach and in partnership with his older brother Johnnie they in Detroit, established youth groups and created affordable housing options for working class families. With his brother, he founded “Positive Shades of Black”, an education incentive program for elementary school students. Both became visible examples of the importance of education and community involvement, taking on initiatives with much the same passion that drove Jerome in two years of basketball at Georgetown.

With a blueprint of community involvement in place and ready to execute, plans were derailed one night while travelling on a team bus with both teammates and the Pistons management team. Williams via cellphone was initially notified of a trade through a cellular convesation with a friend. When Williams approached management about the transaction, the deal was confirmed. Holding no personal feelings towards the Pistons organization Jerome jumped into his personal vehicle that night and stuck by his motto. “First one to practice, Last one to leave” He sure did. Williams arrived in time for morning practice and from that moment forward became a hit in Toronto.

Under hall of fame coach Lenny Wilkens Jerome enjoyed his best years in the association. He became a fan favorite during his days playing for the Toronto Raptors due to his tenacious efforts on the court. In 2002-03 JYD led Toronto in rebounding with 9.2 rebounds per game. Still untill this day Jerome Williams is arguably the most popular Toronto Raptor hands down. Williams ended up playing 9 seasons in the NBA meanwhile he was paid for 12.

Henderson International FINDLAY (NV) Prep

Post retirement. Williams and family followed his parents to Henderson, Nevada. A suburb of Las Vegas. His son attended The Henderson International. It was through his sons education Jerome Williams first crossed paths with the Las Vegas basketball program. It only made sense, that due to demographics, in some capacity Williams would eventually contribute to the local basketball program. His first interaction at a Findlay practice Williams remembers his first impression, “I get there and Avery Bradley is D’ing me up. I was like Man, this guy I know is going pro. Right away it was obvious” Most NBA veterans who can say they were coached by hall of fame coaches before offering their services would most likely demand a head coaching job. Not Williams, Jerome decided to pay dues. Volunteering for 5 seasons. From Volunteer, to Head of Player Development to Associate Head Coach last season. Tasks that even involved teaching Life Skill classes and  Global Citizenship courses. Williams was in his natural element. Now Williams embarks this fall on the first head coaching stint of his career.

Proof In Pudding

Jerome Williams patience and persistence are second to none. Personality traits parents should desire to be instilled into their children JYD is a expert at. You cant find a coach in America who values exploiting education more then Jerome Williams either. Ask his coaches, not a story involving friction, not even a peep of ever “going against the system.” Strong signs cementing a reputation that Jerome Williams was a consumate professional. This is they type of A+ individuals aspiring elite basketball players from all over the globe crave and Parents dream of.

X’s and O’s skeptics are still critical often referring to a notion “but he’s a big man” and perhaps the repuation of Findlay developing guards will take a toll. His predecessor Todd Simon doesnt seem the least bit concerned. “No chance. All four coaches from staff return. Development program was in place before coach joined and with staff staying intact it will certainly be quite simular” coach explained via text. Music to the ears of perimeter players. Simon added “Coach Williams brings a wealth of NBA experience from some of the best coaches (Wilkens, Collins, Skiles, Gentry etc) something few programs can boast. Coach Johnson and the crew have been apart of all these All-Americans and draft picks. I wouldnt undersell their importance either”

Coach Simon said it best Junk Yard Dog deserved and earned this opportunity. Little do most know and soon will realize that Findlay Prep found themselves a crown jewell in Coach Jerome. Jerome Williams was a phenominal rebounder. He may even be a better head coach.

“Coach Williams has been a great asset to the Findlay Prep program and I couldnt be more excited for he and the staff. The energy and experience of he and the staff with the Findlay way of doing things will be great for the program” Coach Simon concluded.

Keep in mind JYD’s success on the court only scratches the surface compared to his accomplishments off the court. He has created city wide mentoring programs that were established and maintained in both Detroit and Toronto. Needless to say Findlay Prep couldnt of found a better coach or a better teacher.

Kentucky Wildcats Monitoring Montaque Gill-Caesar

Andrew Wiggins and Montaque Gill-Ceaser both attended Vaughan Secondary School in Ontario and ultimately went to Huntington (W.V.) Prep. Gill-Caesar also plays for CIA Bounce, the same Toronto-based summer-league team that produced Wiggins. They were teammates last year and remain very close friends, even with Wiggins now off to Kansas after perhaps the most hyped recruitment in recent history.

“I talk to him every day just to see how he’s doing at school, what college is like,” Gill-Caesar said of Wiggins, who attended summer school at Kansas. “He gives me a lot of advice. He told me athleticism is not really going to get you that far.”

Poster boy for #CdnBallers at Huntington (WV) Prep. Class of 2015 6-ft-5 SF Montague Gill-Caeser

As far as his own recruitment, Gill-Caesar holds offers from Baylor, West Virginia, Illinois, Purdue, Ohio State and Alabama, according to Huntington (W.V.) Prep head coach Rob Fulford.

He also has interest from Kentucky and recently got a call from head coach John Calipari.

“He just said he likes my improvements,” Gill-Caesar said. “When he saw me during the season he likes how I handle the ball, how I handle the pressure.”

After a long winter of MGC & Wiggins going at it every day in a open gym, still no bigger fan of Gill-Caesar, or “Teki” as he is nicknamed then Andrew Wiggins himself.

“Teki is the next big thing, no question about it,” said Wiggins “He’s 6-foot-5 and growing and he’s talented. I’m telling you he’s definitely going to be the guy. Trust me, I’ve known him forever.”

Gill-Caesar and Wiggins grew up in Ontario and even attended Glen Shields Elementary together! The pair spent a summer together playing for the same AAU program, CIA Bounce (Canada). That’s when Wiggins started to talk to Gill-Caesar about coming to play in the U.S.

“He would always tell me about how good the competition is over here and I love competition,” Gill-Caesar said. “Finally, I decided to come over and play with him after I had a strong summer.”

Teki had a strong first year in West Virginia His invite to this summers NBPA Top 100 Camp is a reflection. Followed by a strong AAU circuit. Let the Teki HIGH MAJOR Sweepstakes begin…

SDST Azteks after Kevin Zabo

Brewster Academy 2014  6’3”  PG Kevin Zabo has been offered by the San Diego State Azteks. Zabo a native of Gatineau, QC experienced a roller coaster summer. Due to nagging injuries he was forced to miss the FIBA U19 World Championships in Prague.  “Just a bunch of injuries, the groin, my left ankle and still have my left thumb recovering from surgery I had earlier”  Zabo told HHC.  Despite battling injuries earlier in the summer, Zabo was healthy enough and in form to merit a spot with Team Canada @ the Nike Global Challenge in D.C. for the third straight year. “One of the best tournaments in the nation, no doubt.. Great experience representing Canada finishing in the top 4.” Zabo added.

The Canadian who attends Brewster Academy averaged 12.5 points and 5 assists in D.C. He also elaborated why he endorses the prep program in New Hampshire “a great school on and off the court was most important for me. Coach [Jason] Smith is a great, with a couple of leaguers from there too” Brewster alumni’s include Thomas Robinson,  Mitch McGarry and fellow Canadian Big 12 leader in rebounds Melvin Ejim. Tristan Thompson also had a cup of coffee with Brewster back in 2007.

As the 2014 point guard approaches his final lap on the American prep school circuit, he hinted despite interest from UCONN, WV, Minnesota, New Mexico and George Washington that San Diego State has recruited him with the most sense of urgency. In attendance at the 2013 Caribana Classic, Canada’s premier exposure camp held in the Greater Toronto Area was Azteks assistant Justin Hutson. Huston considered among the top assistant coaches in America according to poll taken by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman. Hutson is the top-rated west coast assistant to be exact amongst his peers.

Zabo verified he will visit the Azteks campus in the near future and has targeted the early signing period as a time table for his decision. “planning on visiting soon but no date set, the way they recruited me, it meant a lot, really felt they wanted me”.  Zabo a native of Quebec hails from the same city as a Canadian currently at Boston College “Olivier Hanlan, that’s my man @ Boston College, he is  doing his thing and a great example”.

Father Henry Carr to Findlay Prep

TORONTO – No secret nowadays that a pipeline exists between powerhouse programs on both sides of the border. For a second straight year Father Henry Carr (Toronto, ON) will outsource its elite basketball talent to the Findlay Prep Pilots (Las Vegas, NV).

Last year was 6’4″ Class of 2015 G Jalen Poyser transitioning from Canadian powerhouse Father Henry Carr to Findlay Prep.

Poyser spoke publically this past weekend about his winter getting acclimated in America, his experience on the court in Henderson, Nevada & his gave us his own personal recruitment update. Including news of a offer from Wake Forest to play under former Denver Nuggets head coach Jeff Bzdelik. Also mentioned a few 2016  Canadians on the Pilots radar.

Father Henry Carr head coach Paul Melnik when asked about Poyser the player explained “As a youngster he had that adolescent training, not only skills development but also attitude and basketball IQ”

Poyser in 2012-2013 started 10 games for Findlay who compiled a 35-1 record with a national schedule second to none. His sharpshooting and finishing also helped CIA Bounce 16U’s take care of business on the 2013 AAU circuit. Poyser was influential on a semi final finish at the NIKE EYBL Sweet Sixteen tourney at Peach Jam & also the clubs silver finish at the Live in Atlantic City showcase.

No stranger to high caliber competition, Jalen has always had a knack for being effective in games.  And frankly, has been an integral player on championship teams at all levels; elementary, club, high school, provincial teams and AAU. Known as a proven player with a knack for scoring and gifted athleticism keep an eye on the young man from Toronto.

Enter 6’5″ class of 2015 SF Dillon Brooks. Another key component to the success of CIA Bounce 16U’s. Also another alumni of Father Henry Carr. Brooks arrives on campus in Nevada fresh off a 38-2 campaign last year with FHC.  With a reputation as a top notch student-athlete the FHC Coach Melynyk said it best “happy to have witnessed his growth as a citizen, student and basketball player.”

Dillon Brooks

Dillon Brooks 2015

On top of developing Dillon Brooks from boy to man, FHC Coach also added “He was Henry Carr’s most valuable player in a definitive “team”.  Jalen and Dillon with the collection of hard working student-athletes at FHC would have been an intimidating high school team.” No doubt. Now the folks in Henderson, Nevada will see for themselves.

From Dillon, they  can expect fundamental sound play with a mixture of “jump out of your seat” athleticism. Brooks like Poyser from Mississauga, Ontario will compete every second. Energy, intensity, offense, defense, and ton of emotion…that’s the winner that Dillon is and Findlay receive.

Poyser spent training camp with FHC before leaving for Findlay in early September 2012.  Both will toss it up for Findlay prep despite a coaching vacancy as of August 1st.

Reports have surfaced that the Pilots will keep their coaching vacancy in house. Names gaining weight as a decision nears are Jerome Williams and all assistants on the staff. Despite uncertainty around the head coach, CIA Bounce co-founder and 16U coach Tony McIntyre’s thoughts on Findlay Preps program still remain the same “Great school great coaches and a storied HS basketball program. Results oriented and prepare players for the next level” McIntyre told SNY

As for the 16U CIA Bounce squad who as mentioned earlier made deep runs in Augusta & Atlantic City, the program co founder also says not to worry heading in to 2014 “we plan on making a lot of noise and making up for a down year” his comments reflect the measuring stick former program alumni’s Anthony Bennett, Andrew Wiggins and incoming Syracuse PG Tyler Ennis have set the bar to. America you have been warned. Let it be known CIA Bounce have every intention to build on semi finals and championship appearances in 2013 and turning those experiences into championships in 2014.