Monday, 18 June 2007

Chapman, Bakovic, Murphy Impress at U-19 Camp

The final roster for Canada's entry at the FIFA World U-19's in Serbia will not be announced for at least a couple of days however Head Coach Greg Francis already feels his group is coming together nicely with a solid blend of talent and team unity. The pressures of playing for your country in a hostile environment such as what it is likely to be in the Serbian gyms demand a group that is not only talented but plays together through situations when things aren't going very well. To that end, Francis (pictured) feels this group is maturing rapidly in that area. While the group has a number of highly-touted players who are or will be playing in the NCAA next season, Francis also has noted that a group of players with CIS ties are also capable of making an impact with his team. 6'8" Aaron Chapman (Belleville, ON; freshman-to-be at Carleton) has been very good and has a chance to stick on the roster as does 6'7" Boris Bakovic (Toronto, ON; sophomore-to-be at Ryerson), who spent much of the summer working out under the watchful eye of Francis and, being of Serbian heritage, wants desperately to get to play in his parent's homeland. We've already written about the solid work of 6'1" Alex Murphy, who has been playing like a seasoned veteran with post-secondary experience under his belt and has a solid IQ on floor; Murphy has been another CIS player who has caught the coaching staff's eye, taking care of the ball and making good decisions. The final roster should be announced by Wednesday and we plan to have the entire roster for you when it becomes available. Best of luck to Coach Francis, his staff and team on a successful summer.

SENIOR TEAM UPDATES: After missing the initial set of workouts, 6'2" point guard Jermaine "Rock" Anderson came into camp and has been as solid as his nickname warrants. Anderson could likely log big minutes at the lead guard for Canada at the Pan-Am Games in Rio next month. Arguably the best player in camp has been 6'5" Olu Famutimi, who originally attended Chaminade C.S. in Toronto before playing his final 2 seasons of high school basketball in Michigan and then accepting a scholarship with the Arkansas Razorbacks. Famutimi then declared for the NBA draft after 2 seasons and went undrafted but has continued to work extremely hard, attending pre-season camps with the 76ers and Spurs before moving to the D-League. Famutimi appears to have played his way into a prominent role with the program in some capacity, showing a tremendous attitude combined with graceful and effortless style on the court. Let's hope his continued hard work and success leads to bigger and brighter things for this emerging star who is still just 23 years old. Canada Basketball veteran Jermaine Bucknor (Edmonton, AL) has also impressed at the wing spot. Bucknor, who graduated in 2006 after 4 seasons with the NCAA's Richmond Spiders, subsequently attended Toronto Raptors pre-season camp and then played last season in France, has been a loyal player with the program for several summers going back to his junior team days. Over the next few days, we should get word on the rosters for the U-19's, FISU Games squad and the Senior Men's team for the Pan-Am Games. Stay tuned.

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