Monday, 23 April 2007

In the News and other tid-bits

Congratulations to University of Toronto Varsity Blues Head Coach Mike Katz who recently was inducted into the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) Hall-of-Fame. James Christie from the Globe and Mail had a small tribute to Coach Katz Shrine Beckons Humber hoops mentor

Many will remember that for over 40 years, no one embraced basketball in Canada quite like Bernie Offstein, who captured the heart and soul of the sport and was affectionately known as the "Commissioner" in Toronto basketball circles. To honour Bernie's memory, the Varsity Blues program announced that the inaugural "Bernie Offstein Memorial Golf Tournament" will take place on Wednesday, August 1st, 2007 at Lionhead Golf & Country Club in Brampton, Ontario (just north west of Toronto). For further information, please contact Tournament Chairman Rick Matthew at (416) 835-4667 or by email at

It was great to hear from ex-Laurentian Voyageurs star and former Canadian National team member Shawn Swords, who is in the midst of a very successful pro career in France. Shawn tells us that at 33 years old, he still feels pretty young and full of energy at practice. Swords has been the captain of Mulhouse in the French "B" league for 3 years now and, although he feels it will be his last season in that city, he still feels he may some basketball left. Swords adds that he has had a great career overseas, playing in many countries, experiencing different cultures and met many lifelong friends.

A note from Neate Sager regarding Calgary's Allan Tollestrup, who is joining the Lethbridge Pronghorns this season. Tollestrup is from a very athletic family - as mentioned his father Phil Tollestrup, a CIAU All-Canadian at Lethbridge and a member of Canada's National team in the 1970's who played for Canada at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, is a member of the University of Lethbridge Hall-of-Fame Phil Tollestrup Profile . Allan's cousin, Dalin Tollestrup, was the CIS football rookie of the year as the quarterback for the Calgary Dinos, although he's taking his Mormon mission for the next two years.

NCAA Labour Day games update: The greater Calgary area is in for a tremendous weekend of basketball on the 1st and 2nd of September as the Lethbridge Pronghorns and Calgary Dinos will face a pair of NCAA Division 1 teams in a pair of doubleheaders to be played at the University of Calgary gym. The CIS Central Division programs will meet Weber State Wildcats from the Big Sky conference and Creighton Bluejays from the Ohio Valley conference on those days, part of numerous CIS vs. NCAA games across the country on that weekend. In addition to those already announced on, many teams on both sides of the border are still in the midst of finalizing plans for Labour Day. Stay tuned to the site for a comprehensive list of Labour Day games across the country once it is finalized.

AUS Updates: In addition to the four seniors that Memorial loses to graduation and exhausted eligibility, the Seahawks recently announced that reserve guard James Saxby has also graduated from his academic program and will not return. The Seahawks have yet to formally announce any recruits for next season. Dalhousie coach John Campbell tells us that 6'3" wing Josh Beatty from C.T. Allen H.S. in Bedford, NS has committed to play for the Tigers next season. As well, the Tigers will welcome 6'3 Juppe Knudsen, a swingman from Copenhagen, Denmark next season. Knudsen, just 19 years old, was teammates with former Tigers All-Canadian Dean Thibodeau, who spent part of his playing career in Denmark. The Tigers are still waiting on a couple of solid verbals commits as academic acceptance letters begin to filter out to possible recruits. Cape Breton is the winner in the recruiting battle for athletic 6'5" Al Aliovic from Milton (ON.) Bishop Reding, an Ontario Provincial team player who has range beyond the 3 point line and is a solid scorer.

QSSF News: Defending Quebec champions Concordia Stingers will travel to Isreal on May 24th to compete in the Friendship Games in which 16 countries will be represented. The Stingers will travel with this past season's team, meaning Patrick Perrotte will play. Coach John Dore tells us that this tournament is a low D1, high D2 calibre. Serbia-Montenegro captured the title at the last Friendship Games basketball event. The Stingers also announced their first recruit for next season as Decee Krah, a 6'0" guard from Hamilton Cathedral has committed to the Stingers.

Ontario News: The uOttawa Gee-Gees announced their first recruit for this coming season: 6'6" Marvin Bazille, an athletic, rebounding forward from CEGEP John Abbott, winners of the Bronze medal at the recent CCAA Nationals in Truro, Nova Scotia. The Gee-Gees expect Bazille to help offset the loss to graduation of 6'5" Curtis Shakespeare and 6'5" Jermaine Campbell inside. On the heels of the recent news out of Kingston regarding Queen's new facility, word is that the University of Guelph is planning an ~$300 million, 10 phase project to construct modern athletic buildings on campus including a proposed 3,500 seat convocation building that will house basketball and volleyball including bowled seating surrounding the entire playing area. The plan goes to be approved shortly; stay tuned.

Canada West: 5'9" Dylan Gatner, the starting point guard on B.C.'s provincial team, will attend University College of Fraser Valley. As well, a motion to reduce the number of league games in Canada West's Pacific division down to 18 from the current 23 games will go to vote soon. Currently, Pacific division teams play each other 3 times with alternating extra home games each year. Add that to the playoff format in Canada West in which all series are Best-of-three and teams can play as many as 6 league games against the same opponent. Stay tuned for the results of the vote and the potential impact on Canada West team schedules for next season.

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