Raptors 905 rally late, defeat Canton Charge 106-97 in Lorenzo Brown’s return


(Mississauga, On) Tensions flared midway through the fourth quarter when Shevon Thompson and Grant Jerrett got into each other’s faces and earned double technical fouls. However, it was this much needed energy and the Raptors 905 prolific three-point shooting down the stretch that brought the crowd back into the game and ignited the home team to the finish line at the Hershey Centre.

The Raptors 905, who had not seen game action in a week, were trailing for most of the game, but rallied and defeated the Canton Charge 106-97 on the second annual Filipino Heritage Game. They now have a 27-17 record and sit just one game behind the Westchester Knicks for first place in the division.

Lorenzo Brown, who returned after missing the last six games with an ankle injury, did not appear to lose a step. He led the Raptors 905 with a team-high of 34 minutes and also had 30 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

“I felt good, ankle isn’t 100% but I’ll deal with it right now,” said Brown while soaking his ankle in an ice tub.

Lorenzo Brown

This was the first time that the 905 flexed its war chest of depth by suiting up all three assignment players (Nigel Hayes, Alfonzo McKinnie, Malachi Richardson) and both two-ways (Brown, Malcolm Miller).

The Raptors 905 have had success moving the ball and had recorded over 20 assists in the last seven games. This game was no different as they were particularly good at making on-time and on-point passes to the drift man in the corner off of dribble drives. They would finish the game with 25 dimes.

“It’s pretty easy,” explained Brown who made many plays late in the fourth quarter. “Once someone drives, we have a hammer set on the opposite side of the court. That pass is pretty much right there most of the time.”

Bench lineups were effective in closing the scoring gap and ultimately pulling away late. Reserves Fuquan Edwin (12 points, 3 steals) Kaza Kajami-Keane (11 points) and Thompson (14 points, 7 rebounds) were instrumental offensively and carried the scoring burden before Brown took over.

“We play the best lineups that will help us win games,” Raptors 905 head coach Jerry Stackhouse said referring to the team’s depth and next man up philosophy.

For the away team, Jerrett (25 points), Marcus Thornton (22 points), and JaCorey Williams (21 points) paced the Canton Charge.

Kaza Keane

The Raptors 905 also hosted Durham Rising Suns, a non-profit basketball organization participating at both recreational and competitive levels for a friendly game on the Hershey Centre court prior to tip-off as part of the Filipino Heritage Night festivities. Additionally, the team unveiled special jerseys for the occasion in partnership with RISE. This was a remarkable afternoon in which the Hershey Centre was fairly packed with screaming fans.

“Just to bring a different community in and for us to give a crowd a good energy, we love to have everybody come on out and support us,” said Brown.

Shevon Thompson echoed a similar sentiment. “The fans were awesome. I [could] hear them. They kind of gave me a boost. [When] I can feel that energy with the fans here, I got to go hard.”

Aaron Best

Following the game, the Raptors 905 and Let’s Get Together! hosted Aaron Best, Kajami-Keane, Kennedy Meeks, and Thompson to speak about growth mindset among other topics to children and parents in attendance. The panel discussion included many teachable moments and honest stories as players shared about the sacrifices they had to make and keys to achieving their goals.

Next game for the Raptors 905 is Tuesday, March 13 vs. Greensboro Swarm.

Written by Conrad Chow

Photos by Trung Ho



Humber dynasty continues as they win fourth straight OCAA title


It was more of a struggle to score for the top seeded Humber Hawks (20-0, 1st-OCAA West) in the gold medal game of the 2018 belairdirect OCAA Women’s Basketball Championships at Humber College. But that didn’t stop them from winning a fourth straight OCAA title.

Humber, in front of a sellout crowd, sent their fans home jubilated following a 69-54 win Sunday night at the Humber North Campus Gym over the Fanshawe Falcons (17-3- 2nd, OCAA West), using the strength of a dominant first quarter. The win also extends the Hawks’ record winning streak to 81 games.

“It never gets old and we think about it every day when we practice,” Hawks head coach Ajay Sharma said. “This is an extremely special moment when you get to climb the ladder and cut down the net with confetti falling (down). There’s nothing better.”

Aleena Domingo led four Hawks players in double figures with 17 points and a game high 14 rebounds and was named a Tournament All-Star; eight of her 17 came in the fourth quarter alone.

“Give it up to Ali Vlasman on Fanshawe (because) she really did a good job defending me but my teammates kept finding me,” Domingo said. “They still passed me the ball and trusted me to make those shots in the fourth quarter and I kept taking them. You gotta shoot your shot.”

Tournament All-Star Aleena Domingo

Miea Campbell-Johnson was named Player of the Game for the Hawks after finishing with 13 points and a game high three blocks while Leticia Lopez scored 10 points and was also named a Tournament All-Star.

Ceejay Nofuente filled up the stat sheet, finishing three assists shy of a triple double (11 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists, three steals) and along with All-Star honours, was named Tournament MVP for the third year in a row. Nofuente put up big all-around numbers throughout the tournament, averaging 10.6 ppg,12.3 rpg, 7.6 apg, 5.6 spg, and 2.3 bpg.

Vlasman led all scorers with 20 points and 10 rebounds for the provincial silver medalists while Chuot Angou was named Fanshawe’s Player of the Game after finishing with 13 points on a perfect 7-7 from the charity stripe.

Mikhaila Wright finished with 10 points and three blocks in defeat as she and Vlasman rounded out the Tournament All-Stars.

Humber fed off of the energy from their raucous fans and burst out of the gates as they went on a 16-4 run to start off and behind two 10-0 runs in the quarter, led by 18 (26-8) after a quarter. Domingo had six points while Nofuente was on triple-double alert already, getting six points, six rebounds, and four assists in the quarter alone.

Both offenses, however, stalled in the second quarter as they only managed to score just 13 points each with Humber shooting 20 per cent and Fanshawe shooting 17.6 per cent. The Hawks went into the break, up 39-21, as Vlasman (12) and Nofuente (10) were the only players in double figures at the half.

OCAA Silver Medalists Fanshawe Falcons

It looked like the Hawks would go on their usual third quarter onslaught to put the game away as Humber scored the first five points of the quarter to take their largest lead of the game at 23 points after Jahnae Gyles hit a triple and a jumper from Campbell-Johnson.

But Fanshawe had other ideas, closing out the quarter on a 19-8 run, as the Falcons finally got their offense going, shooting 50 per cent from the field (7-14), on the strength of Angou’s seven third quarter points. Meanwhile, Humber continued to struggle offensively, shooting just 21.1 per cent from the field in the quarter as Fanshawe cut the lead to 52-40, heading into the final quarter.

“Coming out of halftime, I felt like we lost our energy,” Sharma said. “Maybe we were tired.”

Wright had a glorious opportunity for the Falcons to cut the lead to single digits to start off the fourth quarter with a wide open triple but couldn’t capitalize. Humber took advantage, scoring 11 straight points to take a 63-40 lead and held Fanshawe scoreless until a jumper from Vlasman finally ended the Falcons’ scoring drought.

“It was huge,” Sharma said about shutting the Falcons’ offense down. “We substituted some people in and the pace came back to us. We needed to stop them and rebound and it was over. And they did it.”

“Whoever was on-ball, off-ball, or in help, we were all, as a team, in the right spot at the right time,” Domingo said.

The Falcons scored the last eight points of the game to make the final score respectable but at the end of the day, Humber was not going to be denied on their home court as they stormed the court and the Hawks coaching staff were doused with ice.

“All of them weren’t expecting it,” Nofuente said with a mischievous smile.

OCAA Champions Humber Hawks


Despite shooting just 33.3 per cent from the field and 20 per cent from beyond the arc, it was the defense of the Hawks that came through when it mattered, limiting Fanshawe to just 28.6 shooting from the field.

“I think playoff basketball is like this. Your points per game drop and it becomes a defensive battle,” Sharma said. “We jumped out early and guarded them.”

The Hawks also had the edge in rebounding (62-52), assists (15-9), second chance points (13-7), points off of turnovers (18-12) and bench scoring (10-3).

Three point shooting hurt the Falcons as they shot a paltry 13.3 per cent (2-15). And although Humber didn’t shoot much better from three, hitting 20 per cent, they did outscore Fanshawe, 15-6, in that category.

However, the Falcons used their excellent free throw shooting (12-13; 92.3 per cent) to keep the deficit reasonable.

Humber Hawks Ceejay Nofuente


For Domingo and Nofuente, the gold medal game marked their final OCAA games as members of the Humber Hawks. It was fitting that they won the provincial title in front of their fans at the Humber North Campus Gym.

“It’s incredible. Being here for five years, after tearing (both of our) ACLs (and winning) four championships,” Nofuente said. “It couldn’t have ended any better.”

“To end it off on our home court in our last years, it doesn’t seem real,” Domingo said.

It has been a career season for the fifth year forward from Toronto, Ont., as Domingo averaged 16.4 ppg and 10.3 rpg (both career highs) with a field goal percentage of 53 per cent and was named an OCAA West First Team All-Star for the first time.

“When I first came here, I would say I only had athleticism,” Domingo said when speaking about her improvement as a player at Humber. “I want to give a special shoutout to Coach Kern (Lewis); he took the time to train me every day (with) new moves, new shots, new everything. Just a new perspective on basketball and he made me a better player two years after I tore my ACL.”

Meanwhile, for Nofuente, tonight caps off a five year OCAA career in which she has earned numerous accolades, including three time CCAA All-Canadian and OCAA Player of the Year along with back to back CCAA Player of the Year honours. She finishes her OCAA career with an 89-0 record and had her jersey retired just before the Hawks’ final home regular season game on Feb. 17th.

“For me, it was basically chemistry, learning who your players are, knowing what their strengths and weaknesses are, and using that to (the best of) their and your abilities,” Nofuente said about her improvement as a Hawk.

Tournament MVP Ceejay Nofuente

Nofuente’s stats this year were Jason Kidd-like as she averaged 17.4 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 7.0 apg and 7.5 spg while shooting a career best 50.2 per cent from the field. Her 140 assists, 149 steals, and 4.5 assist-to-turnover ratio paced the OCAA.

“Shoutout to my team. I couldn’t be here without them, just giving me that stat line and trusting me with the ball,” Nofuente said, reminiscing. “Rebounding, assists, steals, everything; (I’m) just trying to be an all-around player and get my team involved.”

Sharma says that having Domingo and Nofuente as leaders of a Hawks dynasty have been a blessing, given that Aleena has improved her game every year and that Ceejay played for Team Canada at the World University Games last summer in Taipei.

“Ceejay came in pretty polished and was a pretty good player. We added some things to her game, we gave her the keys to the car, and she’s led us for five years,” Sharma said. “Aleena came in and really got better every single year and she was doing whatever she wanted when she wanted tonight.”

Nofuente ended her storied Hawks career averaging 16.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 6.4 apg, and 5.1 spg. Domingo, meanwhile, finished her Humber career averaging 12.7 ppg and 7.6 rpg.

“Both of them are once-in-a-lifetime players in our program (that) we’ll never see again,” Sharma said. They’re unbelievable.”

Humber Head Coach Ajay Sharma & Miea Campbell-Johnson


As jubilating as this was for the Hawks to win another OCAA title, there is a bigger goal for them in mind as they head to Mount Allison University from March 15th-17th in New Brunswick to play in the CCAA Championships for a chance to win a national title.

“We’re looking at it as a three game tournament; we’re going to look at our opponent, dissect them and prepare,” Sharma said. “But really you win by the things that you do everyday so we’re going to go there and be us.”

Domingo says that the little things will be crucial for Humber to win their second ever CCAA title.

“It’s really easy to fall out of habit when you’re tired and forget all the small details that (coach) Ajay and the rest of the coaches have told us to do from the beginning of the year,” Domingo said. “And (they) keep stressing that those little details are going to give us whatever we want. Those details are key and I think that’s what’s going to make a difference.”

It remains to be seen who they play in the quarterfinals but the Hawks head into nationals as not only the top ranked team in the OCAA but also in the CCAA.

Tournament All-Star Leticia Lopez

Written by Kajan Thiruthanikasalam

Photos Courtesy Humber Hawks



NPA Semis are set as Notre Dame, GTA Prep, Central Tech & CTA all vie for the title


(Brampton, On) In the first semi-final game at 7 pm, the Notre Dame Hounds (Saskatchewan) will be battling GTA Prep, followed by Central Tech Prep playing against the defending champions, Canada Topflight Academy (Ottawa) at 9 pm.

Though Ontario is the hub of Canadian basketball, the Hounds will be doggedly determined to bring the NPA hardware to the Prairies. Star player, Jashon Henry, has received only one mid-major offer from St. Bonaventure, and teammate, Fofo Adetogun, has received no D1 offers yet. Despite the Hounds being undefeated in the regular season, they will play against GTA Prep with an underdog’s mentality.

In the quarterfinals, GTA Prep emerged victorious after a back-and-forth affair against a tough Crestwood Prep squad. Key plays in the 4th quarter were both made by Brampton natives, A.J. Lawson and Kaosi Ezeagu. With 52.1 seconds left in the 4th quarter, A.J. Lawson pulled up for a quick three off an inbound pass and buried it with the foul. He made the free throw, giving GTA Prep a six point lead.

With less than 35 seconds left, Ezeagu made a statement defensive play; Crestwood’s Jahcobi Neath stole the ball and attempted a lay-up, only to have Ezeagu pin the ball against the glass. This was the biggest block out of the 6 he had in the night. Standing 6’10’’ and weighing 230 lbs., he has a pro’s build. His athleticism will shine at both ends of the floor — the ability to slam back his monster offensive rebounds and his defensive presence in the paint will change the flow of any game he’s involved in.

A.J. Lawson’s stock continues to rise, having recently showcased his talents at the FIBA Basketball Without Borders Global Camp in Los Angeles during NBA All-Star Weekend where he was named a tournament All-Star. In the quarterfinal game, he ran coast-to-coast like a track star and effortlessly got to the hoop. He was a dangerous scoring threat from beyond the arc, but most impressively, he resorted to his playmaking ability when he struggled. In the 1st quarter, he had only 1 point, but his ability to push the offensive tempo created many easy baskets for his teammates.

In the second semifinal, Central Tech will play Canada Topflight Academy. Central Tech does not have a star player at the calibre of Henry or Lawson, however, Central Tech is greater than the sum of its parts. Each player has an indispensable asset, summed up in one word that they contribute to the team.

Deiondre Reid: Energy. Matthew Daves: Hustle. Raheim Sullivan: Speed. Isaiah Adeboboye: Clutch.

Reid and Sullivan will relentlessly attack the hoop. Daves is a strong inside presence and also executes the pick and roll perfectly. The Blues may rely on its undersized guard, Adeboboye, for late-game heroics and other scoring options exist in Khalid Ismail and Nas Roberts.

Despite Canada Topflight Academy (CTA) winning the inaugural NPA championship last year, Toronto’s basketball success overshadows Ottawa’s. They will rely on David Muila inside and will play with a chip on their shoulders, looking to etch Ottawa basketball into the national prep basketball consciousness once again. Stellar player and NPA Canada Academic Player of the Year Aiden Warnholtz will also look to exert his will from the point guard position for CTA.

The battle for the national crown will continue in the semi-finals Saturday March 3rd.

The NPA National Championship final will be at 5 pm on Sunday March 4th at Sheridan College Davis Campus, Brampton Ontario. Click HERE for Map/Directions.

Written by Teru Ikeda


Rams upset the higher ranked Badgers booking ticket to Wilson Cup final vs. Carleton


In one of two OUA semi-final games Wednesday night, the 3rd seed Ryerson Rams defeated the 2nd seed Brock Badgers 69-63 in St. Catherines, booking a trip to the OUA Wilson Cup Championship game as well as the U Sports Final 8 National Championships in Halifax.

Earlier in the day, the OUA announced the major awards and all-stars, and five of them graced the hardwood: Manny Diressa (Ryerson, First Team All-Star), Dani Elgadi (Brock, First Team All-Star), Cassidy Ryan (Brock, Second Team All-Star), Kascius Small-Martin (Brock, All-Rookie), and Tanor Ngom (Ryerson, All-Rookie).

The first three quarters told the same story – Ryerson would lead each quarter and Brock would play catch up. In the fourth quarter, Brock twice inched within three points, but a triple by Ryerson’s Filip Vujadinovic iced the game for the visitors.

Manny Diressa led the Rams’ scoring with a quiet 19 points, going 10-11 from the charity stripe. But it was Ryerson’s supporting cast of Vujadinovic (16 points), Myles Charvis (15 points), and Roshane Roberts (7 points) who collectively shined brighter than their star player.

Manny Diressa

In the second frame, Charvis was a menacing offensive threat off the dribble; including four consecutive drives, opening up options for Ryerson’s offense. He first penetrated the paint and found an open teammate for a field-goal attempt. On the next possession, he dribbled, drove, and scored. On the 3rd possession, he drew contact and hit both free throws. On the fourth consecutive play, he used a Ngom pick and finished a reverse lay-up.  A few minutes later, he finished a strong lay-up and found Jean-Victor Mukama for a wide-open corner three point field-goal attempt.

The third quarter saw little action as both teams registered only 12 points apiece. Vujadinovic finished the third quarter the same way he ended the second by blocking a shot and following up with a made basket. In the game, he converted four points off his two blocks, scored nine points beyond the arc, and made 3 free throws, culminating in 16 points.

Dani Elgady, Cassidy Ryan, Kascius Small-Martin, Manny Diressa, Tanor Ngom

In the fourth quarter, a Brock comeback twice seemed within arm’s reach. Early in the final frame, a triple by Badgers’ Johneil Simpson pulled Brock within three points, but Rams senior guard, Roberts, stepped up, hitting a tough layup and then making a 3-ball, widening the gap to eight. When Badgers’ OUA First-Team All-Star forward Elgadi, hit a step-back jumper, Roberts answered back with a deuce, maintaining the Ryerson lead at 60-52.

Unabated, the Badgers kept chipping away. Brock forward, Cassidy Ryan, hit his only deuce of the night after the ball moved excellently into his hands. Badgers’ All-Rookie guard, Kascius Small-Martin, subbed in for Simpson after he fouled out and had a mid-range jumper off an amazing drive-and-dish by Tyler Brown. It was, yet again, a one possession, three-point game with the Badgers trailing 61-58.

With 1:16 left in the fourth quarter, Elgadi coughed up the ball on the biggest possession of the season. Ryerson capitalized by executing a picture perfect play as Diressa drew a double team at the top of the arc, dished it to Roberts who found Vujadinovic for the open corner three. With 55 seconds left, Vujadinovic iced the game, hitting a shining moment triple as he has done so many times in the regular season.

The Ryerson Rams will head to the Carleton Ravens’ Nest on Saturday, March 3rd, seeking to three-peat as OUA champions. To defeat legendary Coach Dave Smart and his Ravens, however, will require zero room for error. In the Wilson Cup Championship Ryerson cannot afford to commit turnovers and have the scoring droughts that plagued them against Brock.

Ryerson will face the best team in the country and whoever claims Ontario holds the keys to winning the national championship. Saskatchewan is the only out-of-province team to win a national title in the last 16 years and Carleton has won 14 of them.

Written by Teru Ikeda

Photos by Trung Ho


Brandon Jennings firepower not enough to take down the surging 905 in 129-119 victory


The lower bowl at the Air Canada Centre, packed with 9,147 fans, witnessed the Raptors 905 defeat The Wisconsin Herd and Brandon Jennings 129-119 this past Sunday on Chinese New Year Celebration day (Year of the Dog), improving to 24-15 on the season.

The Milwaukee Bucks G-League affiliate team plays in the town of Oshkosh, known more for children’s winter jackets than reviving NBA careers.

Jennings (28), a former Milwaukee Bucks star who was drafted 10th overall in 2009, played in his third game for the Wisconsin Herd.

Brandon Jennings

The Compton, California native is trying to return to the NBA after a stint in China playing for the Shanxi Brave Dragons of the China Basketball Association, finished with 29 points vs. the 905 and his scoring ability was on full display. He poured in 14 points in the 2nd quarter and continued to get to the rack with lightning quick speed well into the 3rd. With 2:02 left in the 4th quarter, Jennings hit the second of back-to-back trey balls (a mean step back 3 point jumper) to close the margin within 7 points, but it wasn’t enough to the beat the home squad.

Though he shot 33% from the field and had the lowest +/- in the game, Jennings also displayed great court vision, assisting teammates cutting to the basket and finding open ones right after getting a pass. His unwavering aggressiveness will be recognized in NBA front offices and he will continue to pound their doors until he cracks a roster.

Negus Webster-Chan

Back when he broke into the NBA, Jennings was a trailblazer, being the first high school player to skip college to play overseas professionally. Negus Webster-Chan, who is of Jamaican Chinese decent, also took an unconventional route to the G League and potentially the NBA, having been a two-and-done NCAA college player before turning pro after stints at Missouri & Hawaii. Against the Herd, Webster-Chan went 3-5 from 3-point territory (the 905 shot 41% from the 3pt range) and finished the game with a respectable 11 points.

The 905 victory, was keyed by the offensive firepower of Alfonzo McKinnie (27 points), Kennedy Meeks (23 points), and Davion Berry (18 points).

Written by Teru Ikeda

Photos by Fazlur Malik of Faz Visions


Canada defeats Bahamas to conclude second window of FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers

NASSAU, BAHAMAS (February 25, 2018)  Canada’s Senior Men’s National Team defeated Bahamas 113-67 on Sunday night to wrap up the second window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers.  With the win, Canada improves to 3-1 and currently sits in second place in Group D.
Brady Heslip (Burlington, ON) led Canada with a game high 19 points, including five three-pointers, while Melvin Ejim (Toronto, ON) added 15 points.  Anthony Bennett (Toronto, ON), Adika Peter-McNeilly (Toronto, ON) and Thomas Scrubb (Richmond, B.C.) each chipped in 10 points in the victory.Click here for the box score.

Canada came out of the games firing, knocking down six three-pointers in the opening frame and led 25-21 after the first quarter.  Thanks to an 11-0 run, their largest of the night, Canada saw their lead grow to 36-23 and entered the half with a 21 point advantage.  Canada showed no signs of slowing down in the second half as they cruised to the 113-67 win.

Click here for the full team roster.


“Thought after Thursday’s game we had things to improve on.  We addressed it in a video session and practice and I thought the players did a great job executing and coming out and improving on those things that we talked about.  Very proud of the team.  Great motivation, great character, great togetherness.  I like to say we were group strong.  Twelve guys working together, playing together.” – Gordie Herbert, Head Coach

“We knew it was going to be a challenge playing against the home team in their country.  Coach prepared us for the game and we improved on the things we didn’t do well in the first game and we were able to just play good defence and make some shots and get the win tonight.” – Brady Heslip


Canada’s pursuit of a FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 berth will continue at home on Friday, Jun. 29 at 8:30 p.m. (EST) as Canada hosts Dominican Republic at Ricoh Coliseum.

Canada will then travel to TD Place in Ottawa to conclude the first-round on Monday, Jul. 2 at 1:30 p.m. (EST) against U.S. Virgin Islands.

Click here for more information on the Americas Qualifiers and follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.

Courtesy of Canada Basketball

Canada defeats U.S. Virgin Islands as FIBA Basketball World Cup Americas Qualifiers Continue


NASSAU, BAHAMAS (February 22, 2018) – The Senior Men’s National Team defeated U.S. Virgin Islands 118-89 on Thursday evening to improve to 2-1 in FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers. 

Melvin Ejim (Toronto, ON) led Canada with a game high 28 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two blocks while Brady Heslip (Burlington, ON) added 22 points on 6/13 shooting from beyond the arc.  Anthony Bennett (Toronto, ON) also had 13 points, while Dyshawn Pierre (Whitby, ON) led Canada with six assists in the victory.

Click here for the box score.

After a slow opening quarter, Canada bounced back in the second frame, outscoring the U.S. Virgin Islands 32-21 to enter the break with a 53-48 advantage.  Canada came out firing in the second half, knocking down eight three-pointers in the third en route to a 17-point advantage heading into the fourth.

Click here for the full team roster.


“I thought we responded well coming out.  I thought the first three to four minutes of the second half was a real key.  We came out strong, made some shots and got our defence a lot better.” – Gordie Herbert, Head Coach

“We started off kind of sluggish.  They were being really aggressive in the first half.  I think we played better defence in the second half and we were able to get some stops and really open the game up.  They played really hard and got a lot of buckets in transition so we got to work on that.” – Melvin Ejim


Canada will take on Bahamas this Sunday at 8:00 PM ET to conclude the second window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers.

Click here for more information on the Americas Qualifiers and follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.

Courtesy Canada Basketball

Dave Smart Named Head Coach of Boys U18 National Team


TORONTO, ON (February 20, 2018) – Canada Basketball is pleased to announce the hiring of Dave Smart as Head Coach of the Boys’ U18 National Team.

“We are excited to have Dave lead Canada on home soil at this summer’s FIBA U18 Americas Championship 2018 in St. Catharines,” said Michael Meeks, Manager, Youth Player Development.

One of the most accomplished coaches in U SPORTS (formerly CIS) history, Smart has led the Carleton Ravens men’s basketball team to a record breaking nine OUA Championships and twelve national championship titles in the past fifteen years.  Since taking over the Ravens program in 1999-00, Smart has earned the Stuart W. Aberdeen Memorial Trophy as U SPORTS Coach of the Year a record eight times.

Smart was named the assistant coach of Canada’s senior men’s national team in 2012 and a year later led the development men’s national team (DMNT) to a perfect 9-0 sweep of the Four Nations’ International Invitational Tournament.

In 2015, Smart returned to the Canadian bench as an assistant coach as Canada finished third at the FIBA Americas Championship in Mexico City, Mexico and was a member of Canada’s staff at the 2016 FIBA Rio Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Manila, Philippines.

Most recently, Smart was back with the team this past November as an assistant coach for the first window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers.

“Having the opportunity to coach Canada is always special, but the chance to lead some of Canada’s top age-group athletes at home is truly an honour,” said Smart.

Smart is trained in Canada Basketball’s train to compete certification.

Smart will be present at next month’s U18 Selection Camp in Toronto and will lead the team this summer’s FIBA U18 Americas Championship 2018 (June 10-16, 2018) in St. Catharines.

Canada Basketball has partnered with the 2021 Canada Summer Games Host Society, along with the City of St. Catharines, to bring the ten-day event to the Niagara Region, as the top eight teams from the FIBA Americas zone compete for a place on the podium and a berth in the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup.

Canada has found themselves in the top three in each of the past five tournaments dating back to the 2008 edition in Formosa, Argentina, including back-to-back silver medals in 2014 and 2016.

Canada’s youth men are currently ranked 3rd in the world and 2nd in the Americas.

Courtesy Canada Basketball

Roster announced for second window of FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers

TORONTO, ON (February 19, 2018) – Canada Basketball is pleased to announce the 12-man roster for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers games against the U.S. Virgin Islands and Bahamas.

Canada returns to the court on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 4:30 p.m. (EST) against the U.S. Virgin Islands before playing its final matchup of the second window on Sunday, Feb. 25 versus the Bahamas at 8:00 p.m. (EST).Both games will be played at the Kendal G. L. Isaacs National Gymnasium in Nassau, Bahamas and fans can catch all the action streaming live on DAZN.

Following the previously mentioned games, Canada’s pursuit of a FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 berth will continue at home on Friday, Jun. 29 at 8:30 p.m. (EST) as Canada hosts Dominican Republic at Ricoh Coliseum.  Canada will then travel to TD Place in Ottawa to conclude the first-round on Monday, Jul. 2 at 1:30 p.m. (EST) against U.S. Virgin Islands.

Canada currently sits tied for second place in Group D with a 1-1 record following the first window of competition.


Name Position   Height   Hometown Current Club
Jermaine Anderson Guard 6’2” Toronto, ON Free Agent
Joel Anthony Centre 6’9″ Montreal, QC Free Agent
Anthony Bennett Forward 6’8″ Toronto, ON Maine Red Claws (G-League)
Aaron Best Guard 6’4” Scarborough, ON Raptors 905 (G-League)
Melvin Ejim Forward 6’7” Toronto, ON Unics (Russia)
Brady Heslip Guard 6’2″ Burlington, ON Trabzonspor (Turkey)
Kaza Kajami-Keane Guard 6’1″ Ajax, ON Raptors 905 (G-League)
Kyle Landry Centre 6’10” Calgary, AB Buducnost (Montenegro)
Adika Peter-McNeilly Guard 6’3” Toronto, ON Ludwigsburg (Germany)
Dyshawn Pierre Forward 6’6″ Whitby, ON Banco di Srd (Italy)
Thomas Scrubb Forward 6’6″ Richmond, B.C. Scandone AV (Italy)
Jevohn Shepherd Guard 6’5” Toronto, ON SLUC Nancy (France)
Name Position Hometown
Gordie Herbert Head Coach Toronto, ON
Michael Meeks Assistant Coach Brampton, ON
Jack Sikma Assistant Coach Kankakee, Illinois
Nathaniel Mitchell Assistant Coach Toronto, ON
James DePoe Team Manager Toronto, ON
David Grundman Team Manager Toronto, ON
Dr. John Philpott Team Doctor Miramichi, NB
Samuel Gibbs Athletic Therapist Toronto, ON
Jason Meehan Athletic Therapist Toronto, ON
Charlie Weingroff Strength and Conditioning Coach Newark, NJ
Dipesh Mistry Video Coordinator Phoenix, AZ
Phil Jevtovic Performance Analyst Toronto, ON
Matt Walker Communications Manager Ancaster, ON
Dr. Peter Jensen Sports Psychologist Toronto, ON
Canada vs. US Virgin Islands February 22 Nassau, Bahamas
Canada vs. Bahamas February 25 Nassau, Bahamas
Training camp in Bahamas is closed to the public.
Courtesy Canada Basketball

Stackhouse praises the Toronto Raptors coaching staff, particularly Head Coach Dwane Casey


(Mississauga, On) Raptors 905 Head Coach will be in L.A. for NBA All-Star Weekend with the Raptors coaching staff led by Dwane Casey. After the 905’s last home win over the Maine Red Claws, Stackhouse talked about coach Casey and the staff deserving this accolade and why Casey deserves to be rewarded for what he has done to make the Raptors one of the best teams in the NBA.

Stackhouse: “Man, it’s awesome. It’s awesome for Case to get 300 wins and to be able to represent the staff and everybody at All-Star. We’re excited. We’re gonna go out there and have some fun. You know Case. He’s probably gonna be somewhere watching film of whoever we’re playing after the break. He’s consistent in that way. You know, he always says success is fleeting and that’s what I try to stick by as well. I know that success is fleeting and you got to continue to work and he’s the one that shows that and displays that everyday, you know with his approach. So great for him. Happy for him. Happy for all those guys over there. Rex (Kalamian), with the job he’s doing with the defence and offensively things that Nick (Nurse) has done and our P.D. staff, with Jama (Mahlalela) and Big Cat (Jamaal Magloire) and all those guys. They deserve this weekend and we’re gonna have some fun.”

Game time: Sunday February 18, 2018 at 8pm EST. from the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, CA.

Per NBA.com/raptors press release on January 28th, 2018

Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey and his staff will coach Team LeBron at the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, which will be played Sunday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. ET at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Casey is the first coach in franchise history to earn the honour.

Under Casey’s leadership the Raptors have won three Atlantic Division titles and advanced to the postseason in a franchise-record four consecutive seasons. He has guided the club to a 294-230 (.561) regular-season mark in seven seasons, including the only two 50-win seasons in team history. Casey is the longest tenured coach in franchise history and is the team’s all-time winningest coach. He has earned the NBA Coach of the Month award five times (Dec. 2017, Dec. 2016, Jan. 2016, Nov. 2014, Dec. 2013). Casey is the only coach in franchise history to win the award multiple times.

Los Angeles will mark Casey’s third NBA All-Star Weekend. He was a member of Seattle SuperSonics head coach George Karl’s staff who coached the Western Conference All-Stars in 1998 (New York) and 1996 (San Antonio).

Drew Ebanks

Photo by Trung Ho