Saturday, 9 June 2007

Back after some time in the basement

A bit of layoff due to family and work committments however first of all congratulations to Shawn Swords for being named Head Coach of the Laurentian Voyageurs earlier this week. I recall when Swords was a freshman at Laurentian and I was responsible for the Voyageurs scouting report as an Assistant Coach at Ottawa U. He came out of high school as a guy who wanted to get to the rim more than shooting it and, up to that point in time, I thought of him as an inconsistent outside shooter. So we told our kids to defend the drive on him and doesn't he get himself open at the end of the game to nail a three that helped win the game (also partially explaining why I write about CIS basketball rather than coach it). Shawn was a fierce competitor whether it was playing for Laurentian, for Canada or in a local summer league and I'm certain he will bring that same competitive spirit to Laurentian and the OUA East, which is arguably the toughest conference to play/recruit/compete in. Neate Sager added his thoughts to Ottawa native's Swords hiring in a recent post on his blog With Swords Paddling, Vees won't be up the creek and finally here is a story from the Sudbury Star announcing the hiring Swords to lead LU; Former Voyageurs standout returns 10 years later to coach

In other Laurentian-related news, former Lady Vees All-Canadian Sue Stewart (pictured in action playing for Canada's National women's team), a native of Toronto who played for Laurentian in many of the same years that Swords did, has suffered through some cancer-related health issues over the past few years and as Alison Korn reports in a recent Sun Media column, Stewart is finding ways to overcome her challenges Sue Stewart: More to Life than Hoops thanks to Neate Sager from Out of Left Field for this link.

Concordia Stingers spent the past 2 weeks in Israel and made Canada proud by winning a pair of tournaments including the second annual Friendship Games. There are several links summarizing the trip beginning with a Concordia-in-Israel trip recap from Concordia web site Stingers win Friendship Games in Israel also a note from the Friendship Games web site quoting coach John Dore and providing the entire set of results Friendship Games blog An article highlighting the social importance of these games and why it was so important to have Canadian representation at these games Israelis and Palestinians play ball for peace Quebec's largest English weekly newspaper, the Suburban, pays tribute to the Stingers and their tremendous showing in Israel with a lengthy article Stingers play ball in Israel

A nice story by John Kernaghan from the Hamilton Spectator on the inclusion of Ray Jones into Canada's Basketball Hall-of-Fame along with the other members of the 1976 Olympic team, including current St.FX Head Coach Steve Konchalski who had a lot to do with correcting the oversight Jones Headed to Hall: Basketball Canada corrects oversight against manager/trainer

A nice piece that recently appeared on about Canada Basketball's NEDA program which has attracted their first group of student/athletes in time for this coming fall Kids chase Canadian basketball dreams Another solid piece by Larry Moko of the Hamilton Spectator on the NEDA boys team NEDA Boys

The Abbotsford News reports on the latest in the search for the next UCFV men's basketball head coach Door is open for Lee and Antil to return to UCFV basketball team

Ryan Pyette from the London Free Press reports on Saturday's All-Star Charity classic at Fanshawe College in London Fanshawe hosts All-Star contest

Prince George B.C.'s UNBC Northern Timberwolves from the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association have announced a tremendous addition to their basketball programs UNBC adds a heavy hitter

Calgary-based team gets off to rough start at Kansas summer tournament Canadians get rough start at MAYB

Queen's University recently hired ex-Canada Basketball Executive Director Leslie Dal Cin as Director of Athletics. The hiring comes at a time when there is unprecedented financial support for Queen's athletics including a new building being constructed to replace Bartlett Gymnasium as the home of the basketball Gaels. Claude Scilley of the Kingston Whig-Standard provides more insight in this recent article discussing the hiring A winning personality; 'Outsider' boss could shake up Queen's athletics

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