Wednesday, 23 May 2007

In the News

Our good friend Dave Larkins from the Brandon Sun, a tremendous supporter of CIS basketball, has had his nose to the ground on a breaking story involving a potential big name recruit to CIS finalists Brandon Bobcats. Dave has a solid blog called The Point After and recently issued this report which appeared in the Brandon Sun on the Bobcats recruiting... posted with permission of the author.

The past few weeks have been quiet on the recruiting front for Brandon University's basketball teams but a few very big announcements could be bubbling underneath the surface.
Both men's head coach Barnaby Craddock and women's head coach Jaime Hickson have been active in getting on the road to find more faces to fill out their rosters for 2007-08 and Craddock may very well have the gem of the Canadian recruiting class at his fingertips.
Multiple sources requesting anonymity have told the Brandon Sun that 6-foot-7 Vancouver product Bol Kong — who played in the all-Canadian high school game in 2006 and drew significant NCAA Division 1 looks — has shown notable interest in attending BU next season. Kong, who was at one point being recruited by the likes of Santa Clara and Iowa, has had trouble gaining the necessary paperwork to cross the border and one reliable west-coast source told the Sun that if that paperwork doesn't eventually go through, Kong will come to Brandon.
The chance of getting Kong, a tremendously athletic slasher with pull-up and perimeter ability, is still a bit of longshot, but there is significant talk around the country that Kong could, fortuitously for the Bobcats, land in the Wheat City.
Craddock was out of town on a recruiting trip and unavailable for comment.
Kong's name is far from a secret in basketball circles. Clips of the St. George's High School star have made the rounds on Internet broadcasting site YouTube and posts on online message boards have even — if hyperbolically — discussed his potential as an NBA prospect should he land in the NCAA.
Craddock is also in hot pursuit of another point guard in the event that veteran quarterback Yul Michel does not return for his final season. Michel is back home in Montreal for the summer and a number of issues — from personal to scholastic choices — remain a stumbling block for getting him back in blue and gold. To that end, a possible option is former Manitoba Bisons guard Tarik Tokar who is reportedly interested in BU. Tokar played two seasons with the Herd after taking over in 2004-05 for Taylor Cherris-Wilding, who played with BU this past season.
Hickson, meanwhile, hasn't been shy about pounding the pavement either. The soon-to-be second-year head coach was following the Ontario Basketball Association provincial club championships earlier this month.
"It was productive in the sense that I saw a lot of kids in a really short amount of time," she said. "It was productive in establishing contacts and understanding what the talent range is out in Ontario and sort of getting a feel for what is it going to take to get Ontario kids to come out to Canada West."
Hickson has already announced the commitments of Glenboro shooting guard Dayna Prost and Winnipegger Chelsey Hiebert. However, Hickson has not made any secrets about her desire to land more shooters as well as beef up on the interior.
Hickson wouldn't comment on specifics, but what is known is Nicisha Johnson, a 6-foot-2 post from Toronto who played briefly at Central Florida Community College, visited Brandon during the men's playoffs and both sides remained interested in trying to make her status as a Bobcat a reality.
In the meantime, Hickson has a three-day, four-session identification camp planned for next weekend and hopes to unearth another potential athlete.
"It's important that some of these Winnipeg kids are coming in ... so these rural kids can see how they compare to the Winnipeg kids," she said. "It's an opportunity not to play in a team situation but to go one-on-one. So I think it's going to help them and I think it's going to help me."

Some recent recruiting news to pass along... the University of Toronto Varsity Blues will welcome 6'6" Drazen Glisic to their program this coming season. Glisic played at Northview Heights C.I. in North York and should add depth to the Blues front line next season. Glisic's high school teammate, 6'9" Paul Campbell, recently signed with NCAA Division 1 Hawaii Warriors. The Blues hope to have 1 or 2 more recruits in the fold by the end of the summer. Laurier Golden Hawks will welcome 6'4" Nick St. John to the program in the fall. St. John led Cornwall St. Joseph's H.S. to "AA" OFSAA at Perth this past March and is a big, strong forward with a football body who should add strength and depth to the Hawks front line. The Hawks are waiting on one or two more recruits.

Canada Basketball has officially announced the coaching staffs for their three men's programs this summer (Senior Men's, FISU games and U21 teams) in a press release and subsequent article from Canadian Press Canada Basketball confirms men's coaching staff

Short note on a Syracuse-based blog on shooting guard Andy Rautins and the possibility that he will play for Canada's national team this summer Rautins to play for Canada

Several news sources out of New Zealand are reporting that Canada's Aaron Olsen will retire from basketball. Olsen, who played at the University of Victoria and Eastern Washington University, was a founding member of the New Zealand Breakers of the Austrailian Basketball League and played for the New Zealand National team "Tall Blacks", playing as a native New Zealander (his mother was born in New Zealand). Olson makes shock retirement

Don 'Butch' Steponchev, a basketball official for the past 43 years, Monday received Sports Officials Canada Fox 40 award for his "significant contribution to officiating at the and inter level." Long time official honoured

Mississauga native Ryan Wright, who earlier announced he was transfering from UCLA, has decided to continue his collegiate basketball career at Oklahoma. Wright transfers to Oklahoma

Finally, an article from a Binghamton, New York newspaper reporting that 6'9" Ian Milne, originally from Manitoba, will not return to Binghamton University's basketball program, primarily due to multiple injuries including post-concussion syndrome which limited the rising junior's playing time last season. The article seems to imply that his playing career may be in jeopardy. Ian Milne career in jeopardy?

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