Friday, 24 September 2010

More Stuff

Another long-time and successful mentor will receive a well-deserved honour as very good friend Peter Campbell will be inducted into the Laurentian Voyageurs Athletic Hall-of-Fame.  Coach Campbell built a mini-dynasty in Sudbury during his 15 season run beginning in the late 80's, compiling a 155-57 record and developing several All-Canadians highlighted by Canadian National team member Shawn Swords (current Laurentian coach), Norm Hann, Corey Bailey, Ted Donglemans and Brad Hann.  A six-time OUA East Coach-of-the-Year, Campbell was recognized as the CIAU Coach of the Year in 1996-97.  The Vees made 6 CIAU National Championship appearances and captured two Wilson Cup banners during Campbell's tenure.  Coach Campbell's Laurentian teams always seemed to have the proper blend of tough Northern Ontario kids and athletes who allowed the Vees to play an exciting, up tempo game.  Campbell built a recruiting pipeline from GTA area, starting with the unheralded 6'3" Bailey from Scarborough Cedarbrae and later brought in such stalwards as 6'1" Kevin "Flash" Gordon, 6'7" Roan Biggs and 6'3" Clifton Edwards among many others.  Ben Avery Gym was a virtually impossible place to win games when the Vees had it going with the loud crowd and transition-oriented team.  Congratulations to Coach Campbell who has had one of the better and longest tenured coaching careers in the history of the CIS/CIAU... Thanks to Barry Hayes from Hoopstars Canada for passing along a link to a Kingston Whig-Standard story announcing that Queen's Golden Gaels 6'7" star forward Mitch Leger has signed a professional contract with a German pro team in the Bundesliga B league.  Leger played the past four seasons with the Gaels and graduated as one of the greatest players ever to come through that program... Regina Cougars recently added to their recruiting class (as also reported by Barry), highlighted by return of 6'7" Paul Gareau, who sat out the last two seasons after being a definite rotation guy earlier in his career.  Expect Gareau to play solid minutes up front.  Coach James Hillis also got in on the transfer game with the addition of 6'2" Jesus Mora, originally from Phoenix, AZ where he finished his high school career at Pinnacle H.S. in 2004-05.  He averaged 12.3 ppg at Scottsdale C.C. in 2007-08 before playing University of Puerto Rico-Mayaquez, an NCAA Division II independent program where he averaged 8.2 ppg in 2008-09.  I hope to catch up with Coach Hillis soon to obtain more information on this season's Cougars... We also owe a call into Alberta's Greg Francis, who just finished a busy season with Canada's National team program and starts his second season at the helm of the Golden Bears.  This will be the final season for the Bears in their historic gym where numerous classic games have been played over the years as the U of A will move into a new gymnasium complex for next season  The new complex will have nine courts including a main court which will likely seat between 2,000 and 2,500.  The project is a massive community/university effort on the U of A's south campus (perhaps two miles from the main campus, but quickly accessable by Light Rail Transit)... One late addition to the CIS pre-season schedule sees Laurentian Voyageurs visit Timmins, ON this coming Saturday for a matchup against the Timmins High School Blues alumni team, featuring several ex-CIS stars including Jon Kreiner, Jeff Szita, Danny Graf and Josh Budd (see game preview story and Blues alumni roster).  Saturday also features a homecoming for Laurentian's freshman Eric Ducharme, who just graduated from Timmins H.S. earlier this year... UBC Thunderbirds received a very early recruiting commitment as 6'8" Mitch Jacobsen has decided to join Kevin Hanson's program, beginning in 2011.  Jacobsen is entering his Grade 12 season at Penticton H.S. after his family moved from Calgary, where last year he averaged 25 points, 11 rebounds and five assists at Calgary's Sir Winston Churchill.  Jacobsen's family moved to the Okanagan over the summer, right around the time Jacobsen learned that he was the final cut from Canada's young men's national team.

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