New Prep Circuit Coming to Canada in 2021: NSC Platinum on the horizon, session dates announced

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June 19, 2020

The Canadian basketball scene will have a new look for 2021. Over the last 10 years, Prep basketball has evolved and changed the landscape, playing an integral role in the overall growth of high school basketball. Both the National Junior Circuit (NJC) and National Senior Circuit (NSC) have successfully brought the country together using their successful circuit model and attracting 60+ teams from across the country.

In response to the increasing demand and appetite for elite-level competition and the desire to develop our talent in Canada, the NATIONAL SENIOR CIRCUIT PLATINUM (NSC Platinum) circuit will build on this success of their affiliated circuits and seek to include all the top Prep programs in Canada. The NSC PLATINUM has lofty ambitions and will be looking to include Prep programs from the U.S.A. as well. 

2021 NSC PLATINUM Session dates:

January 8-10 – Ridley College (St. Catharine’s, ON)

February 19-21 – CTA (Ottawa, ON)

March 12-14 – TRC (Brantford, ON)

April 9-11 – TBD (GTA)

The NSC PLATINUM will be the premium circuit to showcase top Prep programs from across Canada and the U.S. It will be a platform where the best players can compete against their peers at an exceedingly high level. The games will be streamed with commentary and high-quality scouting and evaluation. It will host (3) preliminary weekends starting in January 2021 and will culminate with the NSC PLATINUM National Championship tournament in April 2021. 

The NSC PLATINUM will be announcing programs over the coming weeks.

NSC PLATINUM Board of Directors include:

Tony House: NSC PLATINUM Founder – Canada Topflight Academy

Drew Ebanks: NSC PLATINUM Commissioner – On Point Basketball

Leo Rautins: Former NBA 1st round draft pick, NBA Analyst

Curt McLean: CM Sports Tours

Ro Russell: Director of Basketball – Crestwood Preparatory

Daron Leonard: Founder – Northstar Preparatory

The NSC PLATINUM weekend events will become a staple and standard so that student-athletes can compete against elite competition and amass the exposure necessary to attract attention from top NCAA, U-Sports and CCAA programs.

Quotes:

“Drew and I are excited to champion the NSC PLATINUM circuit. Over the last couple of years we collaborated to launch the NJC and NSC and have successfully established them as the top Junior and Senior High School circuits in the country. The growth of basketball in Canada has been phenomenal and we are confident that the NSC PLATINUM will attract and showcase some of the best basketball talent in North America.”   

–  Tony House, NJC/NSC/NSC PLATINUM Founder 

“I’m thrilled to play a major role in the NSC PLATINUM and also collaborating with so many influential basketball people in our community. We have some major plans to grow this platform into something very special. I’m looking forward, along with our NSC PLATINUM leadership team, to bringing this exciting opportunity to student-athletes and the masses”  

 –   Drew Ebanks, NSC PLATINUM Commissioner

Please visit NSC PLATINUM at www.nationalsrcircuit.com.

Please visit On Point Basketball at www.onpointbasketball.com.

For more information, please contact:

NSC PLATINUM                                       On Point Basketball

Tony House                                              Drew Ebanks

Founder                                                    Commissioner

[email protected] [email protected]

613-797-2089

Courtesy NSC PLATINUM

Toronto Basketball Legend Harry Brown Passes Away

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Harry Brown was a Giant Inspiration to Generations of Toronto-based Basketball Players

For immediate release Wednesday, January 13, 2021

(Toronto) Toronto Basketball legend Harry Brown passed away on Sunday, January 10, 3AM EST, at St. Michael’s Hospital in downtown Toronto. The former basketball star and retired Toronto District School Board teacher had suffered long-term complications due to diabetes including blindness and renal failure. The East York resident was surrounded by immediate family members including Sue Brown, his wife of 37 years, and daughter Briana with twin sister Hilary in direct contact. Harry is survived by brother Richard Brown and sister Laura Brown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, many nephews, nieces, aunts, and uncles. He is predeceased by his parents Cornelius and Emma, siblings Cornelius Jr, George, Nancy, Joseph, Molly and James.

Harry Truman Brown

Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA Birthdate: October 22, 1948 (72 years old) 

High School: Connelley Tech, Pittsburgh, PA 

University: Oklahoma (1966-70)

Retired TDSB Special Education School Teacher, Silver Springs.

Biography

Harry played basketball on a scholarship with the University of Oklahoma graduating in 1970. As a dual sport athlete, he received invitations to play basketball with the NBA’s Detroit Pistons and the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. After a year of pro basketball, he eventually made his way to Toronto and mesmerized all local legends in basketball hotspots including downtown recreation centres and George Brown College on Sunday nights.

“It was like Broadway. If you could make it there, you could make it anywhere,” as chronicled in Hang Time, a self-published best seller about Toronto hoops released in 2001. Local stars including Jim Zoet, Val Pozzan, Leo Rautins, Rob Samuels, Norm Clarke, Tony Simms, Simeon Mars, Joe Alexander and Danny Ainge, now General Manager/President of the Boston Celtics knew it was all over before the game even started as Harry would single-handedly blow teams off the court.

Harry is credited by many Toronto basketball historians, coaches and administrators as one of the largest influences to generations of basketball players. “He was a legendary pillar of Toronto basketball” claimed Simeon Mars, former NBA coach and Eastern Commerce star from the 70s adding, “His magical touch and generous personality made basketball very important in Toronto and inspired a lot of players.”

Harry and his family were honoured during Hang Time: 50 Years of Toronto Basketball at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts in 2016 (www.onpointbasketball.com). Toronto has become an epicentre for basketball talent in the world due in part to Harry Brown’s foundation and legacy.

Courtesy Dana McKiel

Photos courtesy Dana McKiel

1-on-1: Jevohn Shepherd talks growth of Canadian basketball, his new role as Ottawa BlackJacks GM

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Jevohn Shepherd is ready for the next chapter in his life, but it took a long time for him to get here. Shepherd spent the bulk of his playing career in Europe, which included stints in Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and Belgium. It helped him take in different cultures and grow as a basketball player. But when it came time to retire, and come home, it was a decision he felt was long overdue.

“I was, in a sense, just tired, fatigued, and I think it makes that decision a lot easier because you’ve already exhausted everything that you could in terms of playing,” Shepherd said in an exclusive interview with On Point Basketball. “Physically, I probably could’ve played another five years easily – but it was more, the challenges weren’t the same.”

However, he is grateful for the experience that came from playing in Europe, saying that it gave him the chance to learn the game from many different philosophies of basketball. All the while, getting that time away and dealing with adversities on his own made him mentally tougher.

Not long after retiring, Shepherd made a seamless transition to broadcasting. He is currently an analyst for the Raptors 905. He has also carved out a role at CBC Sports, and ran point during their coverage of the Canadian Elite Basketball League’s (CEBL) Summer Series tournament this past year. So, how did he step into that role so easily?

“It was easy because that, for me, was another challenge. I had reached a ceiling of where I was going to as a player, and now I got to step into the studio and deliver everything I’ve learned and analyze everything I’ve learned, everything I’ve done for the past 11 years. But then, you know, the exciting part to that was now I was learning.”

Crucially for Shepherd, he says he can tap into his experiences to deliver pinpoint analysis to the viewers.

“I’m able to look at the game as a player and now from a front office position where a lot of decisions are made and so forth that the general fan may not acknowledge or understand. Just being fortunate enough to speak on both sides of that going forward is going to pay dividends for me and I’m excited about it.

“There’s so many different ways to look at the game, so many different perspectives, and now you get to pool all that together.”

That front office position he is referring to is, of course, his new job as the general manager of the Ottawa BlackJacks. Although the CEBL started up in 2019, this year was the BlackJacks’ inaugural season. It was a hugely successful season for them, as they went 4-4 in the Summer Series while fielding an all-Canadian roster.

Shepherd lauded the way the roster was put together, and that seeing an all-Canadian roster is a great way to delve into the community and demonstrate to the kids that being professional is an achievable goal for them.

He also praised the CEBL as a whole for giving Canadian coaches experience at the professional level, which they would’ve never had before. It’s been a tremendous leap for basketball in this country to go from having one professional team to now having a domestic league, and it could incentivize some players to stay in Canada rather than go abroad just to further their game. And there was one upside with regards to the pandemic, in that the Summer Series was broadcast to over 2 million people globally while the world was at a standstill.

Shepherd’s next chapter has coincided with a golden era of Canada basketball. High-level Canadian talent can be seen at all levels of the game, from the NBA to the NCAA to Europe. In Shepherd’s eyes, the biggest change he has seen between when he was at Michigan 15 years ago to now is the coaching.

“There’s more knowledgeable coaching, [and] there’s more knowledgeable supports, so these guys are also more prepared,” Shepherd says, citing Nathaniel Mitchell and Scott Morrison as examples of Canadian coaches who have broken through to the NBA ranks.

“If I’m comparing how I went into college compared to how prepared some of these other kids are now, there’s a complete disparity. And it’s great to see because some of the mistakes that I made, some of the weaknesses or holes that I had in my game, these kids no longer have it, and it’s translating.”

Perhaps that’s why, in a recent feature for CBC, Shepherd spoke to some of the current crop of Canadian NBA talent about their expectations for the upcoming Olympics. Their answer was simple: Gold.

Shepherd is happy to share that sentiment, citing their success in the recent bubble playoffs. He believes our sights should be set on the podium.

But the last time Canada featured in an international tournament was the 2019 FIBA World Cup, where many NBA players opted out of participating. The result was a meagre showing – they didn’t advance past the group stage and will now have to play in another tournament to ensure qualification for the Tokyo Olympics.

But that doesn’t sway Shepherd, insisting that the players are devoted and want to play for the team.He also cited external factors, such as contract restrictions, injuries, or a devotion to their families as a reason for opting out.

The culture of basketball in Canada is still growing. It’s not like the European culture or the American culture where… the country has supported these guys since birth and really developed them and so forth. A lot of our big-name talents, or rising stars, in the NBA or across Europe had to leave Canada to go develop their game in America, or wherever it may be. So, now that they’re successful and you have this expectation for them to get back and represent their country and don’t take anything else into consideration, I think it’s a bit unfair for them because the country didn’t support them all the time.

That said, Shepherd valued every chance he got to play for Canada and singled out the 2010 FIBA World Championships in Turkey as one of his most memorable playing experiences.

Now that he’s in a media role, Shepherd is hoping to contribute to the continued growth of Canadian basketball off the court, rather than on it.

“80 percent of the coverage we have in this country is the Toronto Raptors. And, at the end of the day, the Toronto Raptors speak to the NBA but it doesn’t speak to the culture of Canadian basketball and the development of the game.”

He said that CBC’s commitment to broadcasting the CEBL, which they signed off on after its inaugural season , is a great sign.

“Given that we’re [seeing] the light at the end of the tunnel and the pandemic will, God willing, be ending soon, there’s going to be a backlog of coverage and a lot of basketball that needs to be covered.”

He’s also got a lot of work to do to help grow the game as BlackJacks GM, too. Most importantly, he has to hire a new head coach, one that is a great communicator and is committed to player development.

When asked if he would consider hiring a female head coach, Shepherd replied “absolutely!” He used Chantal Vallee of the Hamilton Honey Badgers, and Brittni Donaldson, an assistant coach of the Raptors 905, as prime examples that women are properly equipped to coach a men’s sport. That said, he’s in no rush to announce a new coach.

Once the hard work is done, the next step will be tapping into the Ottawa community and building up support for when fans are allowed back in the stands. With 2020 being the BlackJacks’ first season, they haven’t had the chance to play in front of TD Place Arena and their home crowd. Shepherd wants to recreate the vibrant tailgates from his time at Michigan, as well as in Europe where he called their fan bases a “fam base.”

“Once we’re through this, it’s time to celebrate just getting through the madness that we’ve experienced the last couple of months.”

Written by David Rouben

Raptors counting on internal improvement, better health in quiet offseason

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If you’ve ever wanted to make easy money, just bet over on the Raptors win total. For the past seven years, ever since they became a perennial playoff team, they have outperformed their preseason win total set by the bookmakers. Not even a global pandemic could halt that streak. 

This season, the Raptors’ win total has been set to 41.5. It’s easy, as a Raptors fan, to scoff at that and claim Vegas is disrespecting them again, since that total puts them as the sixth-best team in the East. But unlike in previous years, there are legitimate reasons to be concerned about them hitting their total. For starters, they might have to go on a 72-game road trip. They also lost two key pieces of last year’s 53-win team in Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol. 

Though perhaps the biggest factor was that, while the Raptors stayed mostly quiet in free agency, the rest of the East got better. The five teams that are ahead of them — the Bucks, Celtics, Nets, 76ers, and Heat — made moves in free agency to put themselves ahead of the pack. Or in the case of the Nets, their biggest offseason move was getting Kevin Durant back on the court. 

However, Raptors fans have seen this movie before. Last offseason, they lost two even bigger pieces in Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, and all they did was finish with a better winning percentage without them. The biggest reason why was internal improvement, and they’re hoping that will again be the case this year.

The biggest leap we saw came from Pascal Siakam, who went from Most Improved Player to a legitimate top-10 guy. His struggles in the bubble were well documented, but nobody knows that better than Siakam, and he will do everything in his power to put those behind him. 

As a full-time starter, Fred VanVleet improved on every statistical metric, and he’ll be looking to do the same now that he’s been handsomely compensated for all his efforts. Same goes for OG Anunoby, who was out injured for the entirety of the Raptors’ championship run, but played almost every game last season and evolved into one of, if not the best, wing defenders in the NBA. His playoff contributions included the second biggest buzzer beater in Raptors history, and a willingness to play small-ball center. 

Norman Powell, meanwhile, is the perfect sixth man for the Raptors, and his internal improvement included a torrid stretch that earned him Player of the Week right before the season shut down. And in the playoffs, he saved the Raptors’ season with a heroic performance in Game 6 against the Celtics — where have we heard that before? 

And of course, we can’t forget about Kyle Lowry, regarded by many as the ‘Greatest Raptor of All Time’. He turned back the clock with some of his performances last season, and will want to make the most of his final years in Toronto. These five guys make up the Raptors’ core, and they were who coach Nick Nurse turned to in the playoffs to close out games. If they can play to the same level as last season, or even better, they’ll be in good shape. 

And it’s not like the Raptors did nothing to replace Ibaka and Gasol. Many teams, including last year’s title-winning Lakers, proved you don’t need to spend big on centers. Aron Baynes and Alex Len should prove capable of what Nurse wants from them. And it’s not unreasonable to expect improvement out of them, either. During media day, Nurse said Baynes is “a much better shooter” than he envisioned. Considering he had a game where he shot 9-of-14 from deep last season, that’s got to be highly encouraging.

Another thing the Raptors will be hoping for is improved health. They were one of the most injured teams in the NBA last year, and had to use 18 different starting lineups, per Basketball Reference. One of their most injured players, Gasol, is now gone, but they had to deal with almost all of their key guys missing at least 10 games. Ironically, Anunoby was the picture of health, having only missed three games all year. Hopefully, they will get more time out of everyone, which will lead to better results.

But perhaps the Raptors’ biggest move is one they haven’t made yet. Ever since Channing Frye tweeted that Toronto would be the best place for James Harden, Raptors Twitter has been going crazy. The fake trades have been popping off again recently, with Harden doing everything in his power to ensure he plays on a different team to start the season. The offseason isn’t over yet, but it remains a huge pipe dream. Still, it’s hard not to get excited over the prospect of this.

Pulling off that move should comfortably put the Raptors above 41 wins. But you should feel confident in betting the over even if they don’t land the big fish, since it would be ludicrous to call this team 12 wins worse without Ibaka and Gasol. We should see improvements across the board from all of the Raptors’ core guys, as well as from players like Chris Boucher and Matt Thomas who should get more opportunities this season. Because, after seven years, we’ve expected nothing less from this team.

Written by David Rouben

CBC Original Docuseries ‘Anyone’s Game’ To Premiere January 15 on CBC TV & CBC Gem

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The new series about the celebrated Athlete Institute in Orangeville, Ontario and its successful Orangeville Prep team, is produced by BestCrosses Studios & Game Seven Media

All six episodes of ANYONE’S GAME will be available to stream on CBC Gem beginning January 15

December 11, 2020 – CBC, BestCrosses Studios and Game Seven Media announced today that the new original docuseries ANYONE’S GAME (6×30, formerly ORANGEVILLE PREP) will premiere Friday, January 15 at 8:30 p.m. (9 NT) on CBC TV and the free CBC Gem streaming service. All six episodes will be available to stream on CBC Gem beginning January 15, while the series will broadcast weekly on CBC TV. The series follows the high school players on the 2019-20 Orangeville Prep team for the Athlete Institute in Orangeville, Ontario, as they pursue the excitement and experience the challenges of securing an NCAA Division 1 scholarship, seeking a career in basketball, and one day possibly making it in the NBA.Orangeville Prep (OP) is the lead high school basketball team of the Athlete Institute, created in 2010 by Jesse Tipping. The coach is Tony McIntyre, one of the most highly respected figures in high school basketball. OP has now sent close to 40 graduates into coveted Division 1 NCAA programs, making it one of the most successful high school programs in the world. Seven of those graduates have made it into the NBA, the most recognized being Denver Nuggets’ sensation, Jamal Murray. Last year, four OP graduates made the NBA, which was tied with Oak Hill in Virginia (often considered the most legendary high school basketball program) for the most of any school. ANYONE’S GAME follows the highs and lows, and the inspirations and disappointments, of Orangeville Prep’s (OP) season journey. While the program is gaining in notoriety, the school often flies under the radar in the U.S., especially when the team plays in the invite-only The Grind Session – the only tournament of its kind which brings together the top high school basketball teams in North America. Close to 25% of the players in the NBA have played in The Grind Session and Orangeville Prep is the only Canadian team to ever be formally invited to play as a member of their circuit. OP also plays in the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association (OSBA,) where they are expected to win every year and have a target on their back as a result.  The production team was given remarkable access to this past year’s players, seven of whom have now signed with NCAA Division 1 schools. The most touted OP graduate and possible 2021 NBA draft pick is Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe, who signed to play alongside Cade Cunningham (the Naismith National High School Player of the Year and the top recruit in the U.S.) at highly ranked Oklahoma State. Another highly touted OP graduate featured in ANYONE’S GAME is Jeff Ngandu (from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa), who signed with Seton Hall and is also expected to generate attention from the NBA.At the centre of the team is Head Coach Tony McIntyre. Hugely admired on both sides of the border, Coach Tony truly loves all of his players and is focused primarily on their general well-being, not just basketball. Tony’s own family with his wife Suzette and their seven basketball-playing kids blends seamlessly with the OP players; Suzette is essentially “mom” to not just her own kids, but to Tony’s players as well, who are away from home and living in the dorm at The Athlete Institute. Tony and Suzette’s own son Tyler Ennis played at Syracuse University and was drafted in the NBA first round in 2014.To connect with the youth and energy of ANYONE’S GAME, it was important for the production team to work with emerging musical talent on the series – music supervisor Everton Lewis, Jr. was determined to include musicians who are also in the early stages of their careers. Music from local artists like heavyweight Friyie, a musician who signed as an understudy to boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s recording label, and Patrik, who can be heard as the theme music for TikTok Canada and other advertisements, are just some of the new up-and-comers. LunchRoomPoetz, a hip hop crew of five deadly emcees, provide the series with an authentic emotional tone, while Young Smoke, Khem and Jason Packs provide the tone of Canadian streets and struggle. These talented artists are elevated by the series composer andaward-winning musician Tyler Armes (Post Malone’s Circles; Lil Baby’s My Turn). Armes brings a unique and fresh sound to ANYONE’S GAME that encompasses the symbiotic relationship shared by music and basketball.The series is directed by Michael Hamilton (Nash – about two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash, Facing Schwarzenegger, I am MLK Jr.) and executive produced by Kyle McCutcheon of Game Seven Media and Jack Sussman of BestCrosses Studios, as well as Game Seven Media’s Chris Koras and BestCrosses Studios’ Terence Richards. Vince Buda is Producer, Lisa Kim is Story Editor, and Quinn McCutcheon is Associate Producer. For CBC, Sally Catto is General Manager, Entertainment, Factual & Sports; Jennifer Dettman is Executive Director, Unscripted Content; and Michelle McCree is Executive in Charge of Production.ANYONE’S GAME is a CBC original series produced by BestCrosses Studios and Game Seven Media, in association with Tricycle Media, with the assistance of Rogers Cable Network Fund and Canada Media Fund.

Follow the players on Instagram:

Jalik – @slimmleek

MA – @matthew_alexander11

Shemar – @shemarofficial

Dyson – @dysonnfrannk

Jeff – @jeffngandu38

Alex – @2kachi

Tony – @tony_macshow

Brandon – @brandon.ennis

Orangeville Prep – @orangevilleprep

For more information please contact: 
Dalton Higgins Publicist[email protected] 647.880.2355 

Royal Crown Academy Sr. Boys Pro Day: Seniors Hildebrandt & Webley lead the way

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ON POINT VIDEO: ROYAL CROWN ACADEMY PRO DAY COMBINE featuring seniors Simon Hildebrandt and Jayden Webley.

Both players are extremely talented, Hildebrandt a Winnipeg native while Webley hails from Calgary, Alberta.

Hildebrandt is a 6’8″ G/F while Webley is a 6’9″ C.

Produced and hosted by Drew Ebanks

Filmed and Edited by David Pauta

Special thanks to Royal Crown Academy and coaching staff for their hospitality

Copyright 2020 On Point Basketball

First 3 picks in the 2020 NBA draft went as expected as Canadians left off the draft board

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The 2020 NBA Draft finally came and went, albeit five months later than it normally would’ve occurred. And while the prospects this year didn’t get the chance to soak in the pageantry of the event, nothing can ruin the feeling of hearing your name called on draft night.

Who went in the top three?

The top three picks in the draft went as expected, with Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, and LaMelo Ball hearing their names called first.

The Minnesota Timberwolves selected Edwards first overall. In his lone season with Georgia, he averaged 19.1 points per game while shooting 40 percent. He was a top prospect throughout the season, but the decision to take him first may have been a head-scratcher when an interview came out prior to draft night where Edwards said he’s “not really into” basketball. The Timberwolves are hoping that he will be into playing alongside D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns, as they look to make it back to the playoffs.

After much speculation over whether the Golden State Warriors would trade the second overall pick, they ended up keeping it and selecting Wiseman. He only played three games for Memphis due to an NCAA suspension, but he is insanely athletic at his position. The Warriors are hoping Wiseman can give them what they haven’t had during their recent run of success, which is a game-breaking talent at the five. He may be asked to deliver right away, after reports surfaced that Klay Thompson suffered a significant Achilles injury.

The Charlotte Hornets selected Ball third overall, leading to what could turn into a fascinating clash of personalities when Michael Jordan meets LaVar Ball for the first time. Remember, it was Ball who claimed he could take on the GOAT one-on-one. Unlike the top two picks, Ball plied his trade overseas, in Australia, where he averaged 17 points on 37.7 percent shooting. The Hornets are hoping Ball can become their point guard of the future after losing Kemba Walker.

Who did the Raptors select?

The Raptors had two selections in the NBA Draft. They took Malachi Flynn at number 29, and Jalen Harris 59th overall.

Flynn is a point guard from San Diego State. He averaged 17.6 points last season while shooting 44.1 percent overall and 37.3 percent from deep. He fits the mold in terms of what the Raptors are looking for in a backup point guard, and with Fred VanVleet’s free agency decision looming, Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster likely made this selection as more than just an insurance policy.

Harris is a shooting guard from Nevada. He’s a gifted scorer, having averaged 21.7 points while shooting 44.6 percent overall and 36.2 percent from deep. Given the Raptors’ free agent situation, it is curious that they selected two guards instead of addressing the center position with at least one of their picks. But perhaps Ujiri and Webster have a plan to address the frontcourt once free agency begins in earnest.

How many Canadians got drafted?

After nine years of a Canadian hearing their name called on draft night, none were taken in 2020. This after a historic six Canadians got drafted last year. Guys like Karim Mane, Isiaha Mike, Nate Darling, and Jermaine Haley will have to wait their turns to land on an NBA squad. But if the Raptors have proven anything in recent years, it’s that you don’t need to be drafted in order to have success.

That said, the Canada basketball pipeline remains as strong as ever, and the aforementioned guys will be strong players in the Undrafted Free Agent (UDFA) market.

Notes: Darling has been picked up by the Charlotte Hornets and reportedly has signed a 2-way contract with them and their NBA G League affiliate.

Written by David Rouben

Shayeann Day-Wilson & Latasha Lattimore Syracuse Signing Day Wed November 11

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(Toronto,ON) Royal Crown Academy will be the site of the official signing of the letters of intent of Sr. girls basketball team players 2021 PG Shayeann Day-Wilson and 2021 F Latasha Lattimore to the Syracuse University women’s basketball team.

Day-Wilson, considered Canada’s top point guard, comes off back-to-back OSBA Championships at Crestwood Prep in which she averaged 13.2ppg, 5.1apg and 5.1rpg in the regular season. Day-Wilson averaged 14.4ppg, 8.7apg and 4.9rpg in the playoffs, including 18pts, 8 assists and 6 rebounds in the Championship game.

Lattimore, a dominant player inside on offence and defence, was also instrumental in the two straight provincial titles. Lattimore averaged 17.5ppg, 9.5rpg and 2bpg during the regular season. In the playoffs, Lattimore averaged 16.9ppg, 9.3rpg and recorded 5 blocks in 3 playoff games en route to her second league championship.

Day-Wilson & Lattimore had each garnered over 100 scholarship offers from several high major NCAA schools but ultimately chose Syracuse.

Lattimore was ranked #6 at her position in the ESPN Top-100 rankings and 38th overall in the 2021 class. CROWN Scout has Lattimore ranked #3 overall and #1 at the F position for 2021.

Day-Wilson ranked #9 at her position in the ESPN Top-100 rankings and 41st overall in the 2021 class. CROWN Scout has Day-Wilson ranked #1 in the 2021 class as well as at the PG position.

Both Torontonians will play under Head Coach Quentin Hillsman, who’s in his 14th year as Head Coach of the Syracuse women’s basketball team.

Date: Wednesday November 11th, 2020

Location: Royal Crown Academy 

Address: 4620 Finch Ave E, Scarborough, ON M1S 4G2

Time: 6pm-7:30pm

Livestream link: Click HERE

We are looking forward to seeing you at this historic signing that continues to display the incredible basketball talent coming out of the GTA and the country.

There will also be a livestream broadcast of the event. Link to follow on the day of the signing.

-30-

***Due to Covid-19 restrictions there will be no walk ins. Only prior-approved visitors will be permitted to attend.

Media interested in attending the signing in person or to request interviews, should contact Drew Ebanks

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 647-987-4667

Photo by Josh Bryan Scott for Courtsight

Royal Crown Academic School is Toronto’s leading private high school. Home to both international and local students. We take pride in taking an innovative and holistic approach to education. At Royal Crown Academic School we have a clear mission and that is to provide the best education to students and help propel them into their future for when they leave our school. We have a 100% success rate and are proud of it. All of our students have graduated and moved on to be accepted into the universities of their choices. In fact, many of our students have been awarded scholarships based on their outstanding grades and test scores.

We tailor our programs to meet the needs of each and every student to ensure that he or she will learn as much as possible and succeed. At Royal Crown, your success is our success and through our best in class curriculum, caring and knowledgeable teachers 

Jamaican Senior Men’s National team looks to qualify for the 2024 France Olympic Games through ‘Jamaica Basketball Project’

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The Jamaica National Basketball Team has set a goal, and it’s one of an historic nature.  

Since the day Head Coach Rick Turner was hired in 2019, he has made it clear that the program has a renewed focus… the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad in Paris, France in 2024. 

Many of the pieces to reach that goal are in place. The one component holding the program back is funding.  

To that end, Team Jamaica has created a 501c3 non-profit organization in the US called the Jamaica Basketball Project. The intent is to acquire funding outside of Jamaica, focusing mostly – but not exclusively – on the US and Canada to enable both Men’s and Women’s teams to compete at the highest level. 

Unfortunately, when COVID hit, the brakes were put on any launch of a #paris2024 funding campaign and “The Project” has been waiting for the right time to launch that drive in earnest. 

Finally, that time has come. 

Since the Jamaica National Team is attempting to make history, what better way to kick off a funding campaign than with an historic event? And as such, on October 23-24th, at 20:24 Paris local time (2:24edt/11:24pdt), we will be announcing our presence to the world with a 24-hour livestream on YouTube and Facebook called “24 for  ’24”

Throughout the 24-hours of this historic event, there will be hosts from across the US and Canada, as well as around the world, doing special interviews and having conversations with a variety of interesting guests who represent the shared interest. It’s a celebration of basketball, a celebration of the greatness within people, a celebration of Jamaica and the Jamaican Culture and a celebration of giving. 

For more information or to schedule an interview, please call Rick Turner, 425.281.1704 Scheduled guests include:

John Calapari – University of Kentucky

Dwayne Casey – Detroit Pistons  

Sean Paul – International Recording Artist

Jamal Crawford – NBA free agent 

Marques Johnson – NBA great and Bucks Analyst

Mike Silver – NFL Network   

George Karl – NBA Coach

Will Perdue – broadcaster, former Bull   

Duff McKagan – Guns N’ Roses  

Complete schedule available with more come.

The Art of Hope: Virtual Exhibit Highlights Community Resilience and the Power of Sport during Covid-19

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TORONTO, ON (October 15, 2020) – Today, local artist Ebti Nabag unveiled ‘At Home, In the Game’, a virtual exhibit created in conjunction with community-based basketball organization Lay-Up

Using photography as a medium, it captures the essence of Lay-Up’s summer program, which reached over 300 youth from Jane and Finch, Malvern, Mount Dennis, Regent Park, Rexdale, Scarborough and Thorncliffe, during the height of the pandemic. 

“The concept is to travel from neighbourhood to neighbourhood and see how the landscapes change, to experience the diversity of the communities and the youth who live there,” said Nabag. “I wanted to examine the meaningful connections that can be built using community programming in the time of social distancing.” 

Rooted in research, Lay-up’s virtual curriculum addressed the ever-increasing importance of physical activity in boosting the immune system and positively impacting mental health and wellbeing during the pandemic. 

“We focused heavily on social interaction, engagement and making them feel seen,” said Micaella Riche, Lay-Up’s Basketball Operations Manager. “Ebti brought the program to life and helped switch the lens on how these kids are often portrayed. She reframed them as youth, who are pure intentioned and who love sport.”

Over eight weeks, trained coaches provided a combination of interactive basketball, at-home challenges and creative activities, ingrained in the culture of basketball. Kits with equipment, educational resources and art materials were provided. 

“Lay-up is a great way to get active at home and it’s entertaining,” said 12-year-old Sakina U. “I liked how supportive and how kind they were.”

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The program also met the holistic needs of the communities, which continue to be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, particularly in regards to food resources and access to technology. Working with local partners, Lay-Up provided more than 250 families with healthy food kits, gift cards and food education resources, as well as gifted laptops to 30 families. 

“Lay-Up is founded in the belief that every kid needs a team and this took on extra credence during the global pandemic,” said Chris Penrose, Lay-Up’s Director of Programs and Operations. “We’re extremely proud that this program could provide some hope during a difficult time and grateful to have this exhibit to share the experience with the greater basketball community.”

Explore the exhibit here. Register here to join Nabag and the Lay-Up team next Thursday, October 22 for a virtual tour and talk. 

‘At Home, In the Game’ is generously supported by the Aubrey & Marla Dan Foundation

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Ebti Nabag is a visual artist who works with photography, video and installation, as well as a digital and analogue photography instructor. She teams up with galleries and community centres to develop art programs that provide opportunities for creative self-expression and aid in the development of identity. She is a graduate of Ryerson University’s MFA Program. 

ABOUT LAYUP

Lay-Up is a community-based basketball program designed for children and youth (6-14) of all skill levels, delivered year-round in Toronto’s Neighbourhood Improvements Areas. They provide evidence-based programming, delivered by certified coaches and designed for players of all skills levels to have fun and develop their skills. For more information visit layup.ca or support here

Courtesy Lay-up

Photography by Ebti Nabag Co-Curated by Ebti Nabag and Chris Penrose Design by Trung HoangAudio Editing by Martin Annon Production Support by Marion Mendoza and Micaella Riche Interviews Conducted by Collins Amofah, Mahal De La Durantaye, Matthew Augustine, Christianna Crooks, CJ Bennett, Deidre Beaumont

NSC Platinum Welcomes Brampton’s Excel Hoops Prep to Circuit for 2021 Season

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NSC PLATINUM WELCOMES EXCEL HOOPS PREP (Brampton, ON) @excelhoopsbasketball TO THE CIRCUIT FOR THE 2021 SEASON.

The Excel Hoops Prep program is in its second year of operation and is a member of the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association (OSBA). The OSBA is Ontario’s premier league which has produced several of the country’s most talented players. Excel Hoops Prep combines high level coaching headed by Joram Campbell and NBA level skill development and training by Edson Jones that ensures that students leave the program equipped with the tools to take the next step in their academic and basketball careers. The team is excited for the return of Ben Ezeagu (c/o 2022), Stef Prica (c/o 2022), Ashton Brown (c/o 2023), Isaiah Campbell (c/o 2023), Bronson Chambers (c/o 2023), Nitish Sharma (c/o 2023), Tarik Sodhi (c/o 2023), Ryan Thind (c/o 2023) and Dylan Grant (c/o 2023). “Big Ben” had a great season for the Pride. This 6’6 forward averaged 15 ppg, 11 rpg and 3 bpg – definitely giving the team a strong inside presence. He has proven to be one of the top forwards in the OSBA circuit.  One of the Pride’s bright young athletes is Team Ontario’s 6’5 guard Bronson Chambers.  A well rounded player that can handle the ball, score the ball and has a much improved 3-point shot. This was highlighted in his 22 points (5 threes), 7 rebounds and 8 assists performance against Central Tech.  Finally to round out the team’s core group, Coach Campbell and Lead Trainer Edson Jones has done a great job in landing top recruits Khalfani Hill (c/o 2022) and Gabriel Gutsmore (c/o 2023). Hill, a versatile 6’9 forward/guard that has a complete inside and outside game and will add the depth that the program was missing. He averaged 22ppg, 10 rpg, 2 bpg and had a season scoring high of 32 points for his former school last year.  Gabriel is an athletic two-way lock down defender. He led his high school team in virtually every statistical category, won ROPSSAA Gold and competing OFSAA quarter finals. The future of Excel Hoops Prep is bright and we look forward to having them compete in NSC PLATINUM with their experienced staff, elite talent and championship drive. #TheFutureOfBall

  

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Courtesy NSC Platinum

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