Thursday, 31 May 2007

UQAM/TWU Recruiting, More on Dalembert

After losing 6'6" Bruno Bernier-Visotzky (who probably will play semi-pro in France as he has dual citizenship), 6'4" MacKenzie Debrosse, 6'4" Pascal Lucky (French citizen who has returned home with the hopes of playing semi-pro) and 6'2" captain/guard Marc-Olivier Beauchamp (graduated - an original from UQAM's first CIS team) from last season's team, Head Coach Olga Hrycak has been working the recruiting trail to replace the lost talent on her UQAM Citadins and has been successful, welcoming at least 3 new probable-impact players for next season. The Citadins won a recruiting battle with several other schools for versatile 6'5" Olivier Boyard from Brebeuf College, probably the most highly touted player in CEGEP "AA" basketball this past season. After playing one season at Champlain College in Lennoxville, Boyard transfered to study in French and erupted on the CEGEP scene with his tremendous athleticism and all-round floor skills, leading his team to the CEGEP AA championship as tournament MVP. Boyard, who can play anywhere from the point to power forward, will study Accounting. Hrycak was also able to bring in Boyard's teammate, 6'3" wing Thierry Justin, another great athlete who can shoot the perimeter jumper and averaged 17 points per game this past season. Justin started CEGEP at Andre Grasset (private "AA" school) before transfering to Brebeuf and finished third in "AA" scoring this past season. Hyrcak describes Justin as an athletic player that can shoot the 3 ball very well. As well, the Citadins will welcome 6'2" Michael Sweeney from College Edouard-Montpetit a combination guard who is also quite athletic and loves to attack the rim. Hrycak notes that the Citadins have a roster full of athletes with no player taller than 6'5" which will allow UQAM to play an exciting, pressing, up-tempo, transition style that Hyrcak loves. "We want to determine pace of game and our latest 3 recruits plus the possibility of Sam Johnson returning (see below) will allow us to play up-tempo which we feel is important given the change to FIBA rules." Hyrcak also is talking to at least two more possible recruits who fit the same athletic profile the Citadins are modelling themselves around.

JOHNSON COULD RETURN: UQAM could also welcome back Citadins' captain, 6'2" Samuel Johnson, who was sidelined all season long in 2006-2007 with an herniated disc in his back. Johnson, currently completing his teaching field work in South Africa, is feeling stronger each and every day, doing his conditioning daily and is progressing to be fit for play in the fall for what will be his final year of university basketball. Johnson is a mentally-tough combination guard who epitomizes the Citadins running and pressing style as he finish in transition and has great instincts shooting the gaps in a pressing "d".

Kamloops This Week reports on Thompson Rivers Wolfpack welcoming back 6'6" forward Brent Traxel to their program Traxel returns to Wolfpack lineup As well, Thompson Rivers announces another pair of recruits for next season as per the following press release: KAMLOOPS-Two outstanding athletes have committed to the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men's basketball team for the upcoming 2007-08 season. Zach Anderson, a 6'2" point guard from Fort Fraser, BC, who also plays hockey, baseball, volleyball and soccer, has received the Fraser Lake Elementary Secondary School's "most athletic" award since grade 7. His hockey team won district playoffs in the 2005-06 season, he plays on the Prince George regional elite basketball team, and he was named tournament MVP in five basketball tournaments this past year. As well as being an all-around athlete, Zach has attained honour roll standing. He will be pursuing an arts degree at TRU. "Zach is a true point guard," said TRU WolfPack men's basketball head coach Nevin Gleddie. "He has great vision and instincts, and looks to create for others. He strong and tough, which will help him make the transition from Single-A ball to the CIS. I believe that Zach will surprise a lot of people. He has a lot of potential," he added. Kyle McMurray, a 6'2" guard was a Sardis Secondary grad. In addition to basketball, he plays soccer, golf and volleyball, and won four BC top-ten track and field awards for high jump, hurdles and pentathalon. Kyle will be pursuing an arts degree at TRU. "Kyle is a very athletic guard who will be able to do a lot of things at both ends of the court for us," said Gleddie, adding, "With his strength and athleticism I expect he will become one of the better defenders in the league. He can also score off the dribble and the pass and is a good three-point shooter. With the CIS moving to FIBA rules, I believe Kyle will be a great asset to this team." (with thanks to Bronwen Scott, Media & Sports Information Coordinator, Thompson Rivers University)

Burnaby, B.C. - On Saturday, June 2, the Simon Fraser University Clan men’s basketball will host the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles in an exhibition game, their first ever game in SFU’s brand new West Gym (1:30 pm). The game will also be the final opportunity to see Clan star forward Aaron Christensen in an SFU jersey. Christensen played his fifth and final season this past year with SFU, earning a first team Canada West All-Star nod, and will dawn Clan red for a final time on Saturday. The Ateneo Blue Eagles currently play in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) and finished second last year after dropping their final game to the UST Growling Tigers. The Blue Eagles are currently training in Las Vegas before traveling to the Lower Mainland to face off against SFU. Ateneo has finished second the past four years in the UAAP, winning a league championship in 2002-03. Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Champion and Hall of Fame coach Norman Black, in his third season with the Blue Eagles, leads Ateneo. Black will have returnees Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Jai Reyes, Zion Laterre, Johann Uichico and Claifford Araoto leading his team against SFU. "This is a great opportunity for our team to have a game against some top quality international competition," says SFU head coach Scott Clark. "It’s going to be an honour to coach against coach Black and his team, and I know our players are really looking forward to this game." Saturday’s game will be live on Clan Radio (; pregame will begin at 1:20pm, with tip-off taking place at 1:30pm. The game is made possible with the support of the Alumni Office of the University of Ateneo, The Ateneo Alumni of BC, The Ateneo Alumni of Washington, Simon Fraser University, FILCANSA, and Filipinos in British Columbia. Proceeds of the event are going to the AAABCs Scholarship and SFU’s Basketball Scholarship Programs. With thanks to Scott McLean, Media Relations Coordinator, Simon Fraser University Recreation & Athletics.

CANADA BASKETBALL SENIOR MEN'S NEWS: Another article, this time from the Philadelphia Daily News on the possibility of Samuel Dalembert being able to suit up for Canada in this summer's FIBA Americas Olympic qualifying tournament in Las Vegas. Dalembert eyes Team Canada

CANADA BASKETBALL TO UNVEIL BOYS’ NATIONAL ELITE DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY Canada Basketball has scheduled a teleconference for Friday, June 1st (tomorrow) to announce the National Elite Development Academy (NEDA) boys’ program and roster information. NEDA is a national training centre program held at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, bringing together 12 of the top development athletes, aged 15-18 years old from across Canada. NEDA athletes participate in a central training curriculum under the national team program strategies through the academic year (September to June). Greg Francis, Canada Basketball’s Junior Men’s National Team head coach will also serve as Head Coach for the NEDA boys starting in September. Stay tuned for a complete list of the roster as it becomes available.

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