Special to On Point Basketball By Charles Vanegas (@charlesvanegas)
Canada Basketball announced today the 12-man roster that will represent the red and white at the FISU (Fédération internationale du sport universitaire) Games in Gwangju, South Korea in July.
Canada will be led by five 2014-15 CIS All-Canadians, including 2015 OUA and CIS player of the year Johnny Berhanemeskel (University of Ottawa, 5th-year guard, Ottawa, Ont., OUA and CIS-first team) and Canada West player of the year Chris McLaughlin (University of Victoria, 5th-year forward, Oakville, Ont., CanWest and CIS-first team.)
“It’s pretty special,” said Berhanemeskel, who led all OUA scorers with 23.2 PPG on 55.5% shooting. “I’ve never gotten to do any of those things, growing up, even for Team Ontario playing provincially, so playing for Canada is going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Joining Berhanemeskel from the OUA will be Gee-Gees backcourt-mate Caleb Agada (3rd-year guard, Burlington, Ont., OUA-first team), Carleton guard Connor Wood (3rd-year guard, Guelph, Ont., OUA-second team) and a trio from Ryerson.
Jahmal Jones (5th-year point guard, Mississauga, Ont., OUA-first team, CIS-second team), a member of the 2011 FISU team that won silver in Shenzhen, China, will line up next to Rams teammates Adika Peter-McNeilly (3rd-year, Scarborough, Ont., OUA-second team) and Aaron Best (4th-year, Scarborough, Ont., OUA-first team).
“I can’t wait,” said Peter-McNeilly. “It was Jahmal’s last year [with Ryerson] so these games are some more that we get to play together. It’s amazing to have those guys there.”
Chris McLaughlin, Connor Wood, Jahmal Jones
Four other CanWest All-stars join McLaughlin, with Calgary’s Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson (5th-year point guard, Winnipeg, Man., CIS-second team, CanWest-first team), UBC’s Tommy Nixon (fifth-year forward, Vancouver, CIS-second team, CanWest-first team), Thompson Rivers’ Josh Wolfram (fourth-year forward, Kamloops, B.C., CanWest-first team) and Alberta’s Mamadou Gueye (second-year forward, CanWest-second team)
Representing RSEQ is former conference player of the year and second-team CIS all-star (2012-13) Bishop’s centre Mike Andrews (5th-year, Oakville, Ont.).
University of Alberta Head Coach Barnaby Craddock will lead the team. He’ll be assisted by University of Toronto Head Coach John Campbell and Laurentian Head Coach Shawn Swords, with Brock Head Coach Charles Kissi serving as team manager. Canada will hold its training camp at the University of Kansas, who they will also scrimmage against, from June 19-29, before heading to South Korea for the 8-day tournament.
Written by Charles Vanegas
Photos by Charles Vanegas & Jenelle Seelal