Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Njoku is New AD at ABU; Bobcats Reload with new coach, recruits

Congratulations to former CIS star Will Njoku, (pictured) who played at St. Mary's in the early 90's and was drafted by the Indiana Pacers of the NBA upon graduation, for being named Athletic Director at Atlantic Baptist University in Moncton, New Brunswick. ABU, a small, 700 student university has a Men's basketball program which competes in the Atlantic colleges conference and the team is coached by former Calgary Dino and Ottawa Gee-Gee Greg Maillet. In fact, Maillet, who doubles as an English professor at ABU, and Njoku competed against each other on several occasions in the early 90's when the Gee-Gees and Huskies met. Maillet, who admired Njoku as an opponent but also was able to carve out his own solid games (once scoring 35 points against SMU and Njoku at the Naismith Tournament in 1993), actually recruited Njoku to the Moncton university when the Athletic Director opening became available. There is plenty more to read on this story by clicking on the following link ABU Hires Basketball Standout

It was great to hear from new Brandon Bobcats Head Coach Mike Raimbault who took time out of the busy tryout period to stay in touch and provide a view of the coming season for his Bobcats. As many already know, Brandon loses a pair of sharpshooting guards to graduation in 6'3" Chad Jacobsen and 5'10" Taylor Cherris-Welding. However, the 'Cats return the remainder of their CIS finalist team including All-Canadian candidate 6'3" Dany "Rip" Charlery, stellar 6'1" pg Yul Michel, underrated 6'6" forward Adam Hartman and a pair of tough centers in 6'10" Yuri Whyms and 6'9" Stevens Marcelins. The Bobcats also added some significant talent on the recruiting trail led by 6'1" guard Tarik Tokar, a transfer from Manitoba who averaged 13.2 ppg, 3.3 apg for the Bisons in 2005-06. Tokar should add depth and leadership to an already solid backcourt. Raimbault also added a pair of Winnipeg high schoolers to the mix in 6'6" Kevin Oliver from Silver Heights H.S., who brings a reputation as solid outside shooter and a player with a high basketball IQ; and 6'4" Kyle Vince from J.H. Burns H.S., a swingman who will add depth to the roster. Brandon also added 6'5" Martin Lawrence, originally from Toronto who has played in the U.S. at NCAA Division II Minot State-Botineau and Sauk Valley Community College. Lawrence is a long, athletic big man who should complement Hartman, Whyms and Marcelins up front. Raimbault's final recruit came in the late summer as 6'3" Nikosey Quick returns to the Bobcats after an absence of 4 seasons. When right, Quick is a proven CIS scorer who played two seasons at Brandon including 2002-03 when he was a Canada West First Team All-Star, averaging about 14 ppg. According to Raimbault, Quick, who had a reputation as a player with a short fuse during his first go-round with the 'Cats, has shown a "real maturity on and off the court" yet still has retained his competitive fire on the floor. Quick could add yet another dynamic to one of Canada's top teams. As far as new Head Coach Raimbault, a Brandon native, graduate of the University and an assistant on last season's successful team, he is very appreciative of the opportunity to lead the 'Cats: "Without a doubt, it is a tremendous honor to join the coaching ranks at this level and to work with such a tremendous group of student-athletes. It is an absolute pleasure to work with a group that has the character of the guys on this team.". Raimbault, beginning his first season as the youngest Head Coach in the CIS, feels the team can build on last season's success, "We have a veteran group of guys returning who are hungry to compete for a championship. We have tremendous leadership on our team and we are focused on the process that it will take for us to get where we want to go." Brandon has added quality recruits at guard, on the wing and up front to an already-powerful lineup that should once again challenge for a top ranking in Canada.

Finally, here is the latest Thomas Report, authored by Jim Thomas, long-time publisher of the "All-Ontario Scouting Service" and posted on the hoop-la.com web site run out of Hamilton, Ontario by Kirk Alfaro.

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