Less than two weeks after announcing its eight founding members, the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association bid farewell to St. Marcellinus S.S. (Mississauga) after it was determined the proper application process had not gone through school or school board (Dufferin-Peel Catholic) administration.
While St. Marcellinus’ decision to remain in OFSAA has impacted the basketball plans of top Canadian prospect R.J. Barrett, it appears the OBSA season will go on as scheduled.
“It impacts the league in terms of the league wanting to have 8 teams,” says Jesse Tipping, president of Athlete Institute (Orangeville), a league member. “So after that, we just go to our list of other schools that applied and look for the next-best candidate, and go through the vetting process with them.”
While refusing to divulge particular high schools on the shortlist, Tipping says the league has set a hard deadline of Oct. 1 to select a new member — with preference to the Toronto area.
“Right now we’re looking mainly at GTA [schools] to make sure the travel schedule isn’t too intense for all the other teams. We don’t want to up the travel budgets for other teams by having a really distant team.”
Along with Athlete Institute, current participating schools — BTB Prep Academy (Toronto), Bill Crothers S.S. (Markham), Father Henry Carr C.S.S. (Etobicoke), Orangeville Prep (Orangeville), The Hill Academy (Brantford) and St. John’s Kilmarnock (Breslau) — are all within a two hour radius.
Barrett, who will attend Montverde Academy (as announced officially Tuesday by On Point via Twitter) in 2015-16, is an example of what the OSBA was designed to prevent — top players leaving the province for greater competition and exposure opportunities. Unlike OFSAA, which has strict transfer rules to maintain relative competitive balance, OSBA allows teams to recruit as they choose.
“Now they have the option, if they live in the Markham area and instead of saying ‘oh, my school’s not good enough’ and going to the States, I can go to OSBA (Bill Crothers) because I know I’m going to be able to play against high-level competition get good training, good support from the school. “
OSBA play begins Oct. 24 with a preseason tournament.
League website: www.ontariosba.ca
Edited by Drew Ebanks
Edited by Drew Ebanks