Thursday, 13 March 2008

All-Canadians Officially Announced

CIS men's basketball

Carleton's Doornekamp named player of the year

March 13, 2008

OTTAWA (CIS) - Carleton University fourth-year forward Aaron Doornekamp of Odessa, Ont. is the Canadian Interuniversity Sport men's basketball player of the year.

Championship website:

Doornekamp keeps the Mike Moser Memorial Trophy at Carleton for the third consecutive year, a first in CIS men's basketball history. Former Raven great Osvaldo Jeanty, who graduated in 2006-07 as a five-time national champion, had claimed the award the past two seasons.

Other major award winners announced Thursday night at the Congress Centre in Ottawa were Wilfrid Laurier's Kale Harrison of Stratford, Ont., who received the Dr. Peter Mullins Trophy as rookie of the year, Brandon's Yul Michel of Montreal, named the nation's top defensive player, Toronto's Mike Katz, who claimed the Stuart W. Aberdeen Memorial Trophy as coach of the year, and Winnipeg's Matthew Opalko of Winnipeg, who received the Ken Shields Award recognizing his excellence in basketball, academics and community involvement.

Doornekamp averaged 15.6 points and 8.3 rebounds in 27 minutes of court time per game this season as the five-time defending CIS champion Ravens posted a 22-0 conference record for their third unblemished campaign in five years. The six-foot-seven commerce major, who was also successful on 73.6 percent of his free-throw attempts during the regular schedule, stepped it up a notch in the OUA playoffs as he averaged 18.7 points per contest while capturing game-MVP honours following both the OUA East final and the OUA Wilson Cup title match, an 81-65 victory over Western. He was also named tournament MVP at the 18th House-Laughton Classic back in October after the Ravens won their own tourney for the seventh straight year.

A three-time national champion and the gold-medal final and tournament MVP at the 2007 CIS championship, Doornekamp earns a spot on the first all-Canadian team for the first time, after receiving a second-team nod in 2005-06 following his sophomore season. He is a member of the 18-men national team roster and represented Canada at the 2007 Pan-Am Games in Puerto Rico.

A nephew of Carleton head coach Dave Smart, Doornekamp followed in the footsteps of his older brother, Ben, who played two seasons for the Ravens in 2001-02 and 2002-03. The newly crowned CIS MVP joined Carleton out of Ernestown Secondary School where he played for current teammate Stuart Turnbull's father, Tom.

"Aaron is one of the most competitive people I have ever coached and the time he has spent working on his game on his own time during the off season is really starting to show in his play this season," Smart said. "Aaron is one of the toughest match-ups out there, because of his ability to step out and shoot it and put it on the floor, but also his ability to score in the post."

Harrison, a six-foot-five, 175-pound forward becomes the second Golden Hawk to claim the Mullins Trophy following Chris Keith in 2001-02. The business student was Laurier's go-to player as a 17-year-old in his rookie campaign as he led the team in minutes played (30.3 mpg), scoring (17.3 ppg), rebounding (6.7 rpg) and three-point shooting (47.9%). He was named to the OUA West second all-star team after finishing 10th in the OUA in scoring and 13th in rebounding. Harrison was a team MVP and athlete of the year in high school with the Stratford Sonics.

"Kale's accomplishments on the court have exceeded everyone's expectations," said Laurier head coach Peter Campbell. "He has quietly and consistently led the team in scoring and rebounding throughout the season. In spite of the defensive attention, Kale's ability to remain calm allowed him to be a major contributor."

Michel is the first Bobcat to be named CIS defensive player of the year, a distinction that was presented for the first time in 2004-05. The six-foot-one, fifth-year guard was one of the main reasons Brandon ranked second in the Canada West in team defence allowing only 71.8 points per game en route to compiling a conference-best 20-2 record and claiming the bronze medal at the conference Final Four.

The physical education student, who helped the Bobcats reached the national final a year ago when he was named a championship all-star, finished third in the Canada West with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.53 while averaging 1.8 steals and 3.9 rebounds per contest. The second-most utilized Bobcat with over 31 minutes of playing time per game, Michel also chipped in on offence with 15.2 points and 5.1 assists per outing.

"Yul is one of our most intense players," said first-year Brandon sideline boss Mike Raimbault. "He had an outstanding senior season and varsity career as a Bobcat and we will miss him dearly."

Katz is only the second UofT coach to receive the Aberdeen Trophy since it was first awarded in 1972-73. Ken Olynyk was the recipient in 1994-95. In his fourth campaign at the helm, Katz led the Varsity Blues to a 17-5 mark in the regular season, their best conference record since going 10-2 in 1995-96. The Blues took second place behind 22-0 Carleton in the ultra-competitive OUA East, improving from back-to-back third-place finishes the previous two seasons. Toronto, which went on to drop a heartbreaking 63-60 decision to Ottawa in the OUA East semifinals, was third on offence in the 16-team OUA averaging 77.8 points per game and fifth on defence with 69.1 points allowed per contest. Prior to joining the Varsity Blues, Katz led Humber College to a 503-175 overall record over 19 seasons, guiding the Hawks to the Final Four every year, winning seven provincial championships and five national titles. He is a four-time OCAA coach of the year and a three-time CCAA coach of the year and was inducted into the Humber Varsity Hall of Fame in 2004.

Katz, who played three years for the Blues and graduated in 1972 with a B. Comm., was also the assistant coach of the Canadian national basketball squad, and took part in the 2000 Olympic Games and the 2002 and 1993 world championships. In 1997, he guided Canada's team to a silver medal at the Summer Universiade in Sicily.

Opalko is the first member of the Wesmen to receive the Ken Shields Award since its inception in 1993-94. The six-foot-six post was second on the team in both scoring (13.9 ppg) and field goal percentage (47.7) in his fifth and final varsity season. An academic all-Canadian in education each of his first four years at Winnipeg, Opalko has made an ongoing contribution in many areas of the community, as a Habitat for Humanity committee member, a Boys & Girls Clubs of Winnipeg volunteer, an "I Love to Read Month" volunteer, and a spokesperson about sportsmanship and fair play. A student-teacher at Valley Gardens Middle School, where he coaches Grade 6 basketball and teaches social studies and physical education in Grades 6 to 8, Opalko was also involved with the outreach program in the Athletes Village at the Universiade in Thailand last summer. "It is great to see Matt named as the winner of this CIS award," said Winnipeg head coach Dave Crook. "He has been a big part of our program, a leader on and off the court and he highly deserves this recognition as a true student-athlete."

The all-Canadian teams were also announced on Thursday.

Joining Doornekamp on the first CIS squad are Laval fifth-year forward Jean-Philippe Morin of Aylmer, Que., Alberta fifth-year guard Alex Steele of Edmonton, Acadia third-year forward Leonel Saintil of Ottawa, and Saskatchewan fifth-year forward Andrew Spagrud of Saskatoon.

Morin, Steele and Saintil were all conference MVPs this season. Morin, a member of the second CIS team a year ago, led the nation in scoring averaging 24.5 points per game, while Saintil led the country in rebounding with 13.9 boards per contest. Spagrud, a former CIS rookie of the year in 2003-04, is selected to the first team for the third time in four years. He was also a member of the second group in 2005-06.

The second all-Canadian team is comprised of Windsor fourth-year forward Greg Surmacz of Peterborough, Ont., Winnipeg fifth-year guard Erfan Nasajpour of Winnipeg, Concordia third-year guard Damian Buckley of Montreal, Cape Breton fifth-year forward Eric Breland of Cooksville, Md., and Brock fifth-year point guard Brad Rootes of Niagara Falls, Ont.

StFX forward Islam Luiz de Toledo of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Calgary guard Tyler Fidler of Calgary, Laval guard Xavier Baribeau of Quebec City and Victoria guard Ryan MacKinnon of Comox, B.C. join Harrison on the all-rookie squad.

The 2008 CIS men's basketball championship, hosted by Carleton University at Scotiabank Place, gets under way Friday with the quarterfinal round. The gold-medal final is set for Sunday at 3:30 p.m., live on The Score Television Network.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Aaron. The award is well deserved for all his hard work. He's is a tough match up for sure and adds makes the Ravens a multi-dimensional offensive team.

Good luck this weekend.