Monday, 27 July 2009

Articles of note

Young slam dunking worldwide from Peterborough Examiner

Peterborough's Jesse Young has a busy summer ahead of him with Canada's national men's basketball team.

Young, a graduate of Peterborough Collegiate and George Mason University who plays professional basketball in Murcia, Spain, is participating in a six-day training camp at To ront o's Air Canada Centre which ends tomorrow. The camp is preparation for a trip to Italy for an exhibition series against national teams from Italy, New Zealand, Portugal and Turkey.

Canada is using the series to prepare for the FIBA Americas Championship Aug. 26 to Sept. 6 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The top four teams in the 10-team tournament qualify for the 2010 FIBA World Championships in Turkey.

Canada will hold a second camp at the ACC Aug. 12-16 to prepare for the four-team Tuto Marchand Cup in Puerto Rico. It's a final tune-up prior to the FIBA Americas championship. Canada won the 2007 Tuto Marchand Cup competing against Argentina, Brazil and Puerto Rico.

Young player making strides

The summer of 2009 has been a real eye-opener for Patrick Pilato.

The 15-year-old St. Catharines native made it through a tryout camp and two sets of cuts to end up as a member of Ontario's 12-player under-15 basketball team for the national championships Aug. 2-9 in Kamloops, B. C.

The Grade 10 student at St. Francis attended one of eight open tryout camps across Ontario and was one of 45-50 players invited to a tryout camp. The roster was then cut to 20 before the final dozen were chosen.

"Patrick has been challenged this entire summer," Team Ontario coach Brad Rootes said. "He would even tell you that this is the highest level he's ever had to play and compete at consistently. He's always been the best player on his team for the most part."

Competing against GTA players, the 6-foot-1 guard has had to adjust quickly.

"The game is a little quicker and a little more physical," Rootes said. "At the start, he wasn't nervous but he was tentative. The more comfortable he gets, the better he is doing."

Pilato has had to work hard.

"It's people from all over and I'm used to being the go-to guy. On this team, it's all all-stars so it's a different game," the 2008 Standard tournament all-star said.

He knew right off it would be a challenge to make the team.

"As soon as I got to the top 50, I saw the competition and I knew I had to step it up."

Rootes says Pilato's strength is his outside shooting but his other skills are starting to show through. He's one of Team Ontario's best spot-up shooters and his point guard experience at St., Francis enables him to handle the ball.

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