Thursday, 19 July 2007

UCFV Names Nickelchok New AD; Canada names Pan-Am Roster

Following a path blazed by his CIS men's basketball Coach-of-the-Year at Brandon this past season, Rick Nickelchok has left the Wheat City university to take the Athletic Director reigns at University College of Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, B.C., joining newly-hired Head Coach Barnaby Craddock. After 4 years at Brandon, Nickelchok moves on to take the lead role at UCFV which has had its fair share of churn since the end of the school year, finding a new Head Coach for men's basketball and AD. One of Nickelchok's key initial tasks is to replace outgoing Sports Information & Marketing Co-ordinator Mike Tucker, who is moving on to take a similar role at the University of Victoria. As most know, Nickelchok and Craddock spent the past 2 seasons together at Brandon and the Bobcats returned to national prominence this season with a silver medal at the CIS Nationals. Nickelchok's move from Brandon will officially happen in late August and one of his final orders of business is to fill Brandon's Head Coaching position, for which an application process was started in late June. The leading candidate for the Brandon job, which should officially be announced shortly, is last season's assistant, Mike Raimbault. Nickelchok becomes the fourth CIS Athletic Director in the past few months to start at a new institution, joining McGill's Drew Love, Acadia's Brian Heaney and Carleton's Jennifer Brenning. There are at least 2 open Athletic Director positions in the CIS currently with Simon Fraser and now Brandon looking to fill those spots. UCFV Names New Athletic Director
Earlier today, Canada Basketball named their 12 man squad that will represent Canada at the upcoming Pan-Am Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil and the roster is full of names that successfully made it through the Durham College camp in May. The Canadians will be led in the backcourt by 6'2" Jermaine Anderson, who should log the majority of the minutes at the point. Also likely to see time at the point are 6'4" Ryan Bell and 6'2" Ozvaldo Jeanty. All 3 players bring complementary skills as Anderson has NCAA D1 and professional experience running the point, Jeanty has proven over a 5 year career in the CIS that all he does is play winning basketball and Bell is a big guard with length that helps make him an above average defender, enough savvy to stay within himself and usually make the proper decision offensively and the ability to make open jumpers when left alone. This group should prove to be a capable trio. On the wings, Edmonton's 6'6" Jermaine Bucknor, who played his first season of professional basketball in Poland (na zdrowie) after a stellar 4 year career at Richmond, has returned home with a much more polished game and will looked upon to be one of Canada's go-to guys offensively. 6'7" Aaron Doornekamp, still only 21 years old, is rapidly developing the prototypical international game with his ability to face people up offensively, knock shots down from beyond the arc and mix it up inside to create rebounds, loose balls and take charges. As well, as CIS observers know well, Doornekamp plays with an edge that is the normal order of the game at the international level and will not be intimidated, another plus when playing in hostile international environments. 6'5" Andy Rautins provides the raw perimeter shooting skills that are a necessity in international play and with his size he should get good perimeter matchups when playing one of the wing spots, enabling Canada to stretch the "d". 6'5" Paul Larmand came into the Durham camp after playing in Australia and he should provide support as the 11th or 12th man in the rotation. He shoots the ball and understands well the offensive and defensive systems Canada is likely to employ this summer. Up front, 6'10" Sean Denison, coming off a tremendous season at Santa Clara, leads a solid cast of forwards. 6'10" Vlad Kuljanin provides strength and tenacity around the basket, although he is currently battling an ankle injury. Another solid forward, Montreal's 6'8" Sheray Thomas, spent the past 4 seasons at one of the NCAA's most storied programs at Kentucky and playing for Tubby Smith, knows how to defend. Veteran national team player Jesse Young appears to be over his season-long injury troubles and is ready to contribute. Finally, another national team veteran, 6'8" Rans Brempong, returns to provide his usual defensive presence in the paint and rebounding ability. This initial tournament should give the coaches an excellent opportunity to assess which players can compete for time at the FIBA Americas Olympic qualifying tournament in Las Vegas in late August.

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