The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board’s senior boys’ basketball stars aligned on May 30 and June 4, resulting in a supernova of local basketball talent.
Dispensing with the City vs. Mountain format of previous years, this year’s Senior Boys’ Basketball All-Stars faced off against two prep school teams in exhibition action. The All-Stars soundly defeated Oakville Prep on May 30, 85-64, then knocked off GTA Prep on June 4, 95-77 in front of large crowds at St. Jean de Brébeuf Catholic Secondary School.
SJB Senior Boys Head Coach Jae Dunphy, who organized the events and coached the squad, was not surprised by the two victories.
“The great fundamentals instilled in the kids from our board were on full display during these games,” he said. “Despite not much time together, the team gelled quickly defensively and were able to regularly turn focused defense into free-flowing offense. The performances of these HWCDSB kids is a testament to the coaching they’ve received not only at the High School level, but at the Elementary level as well.”
Dan Quaglia, Head Coach of the SJB Junior Boys’ Team and Assistant Coach of the All-Star Team, was thoroughly impressed by the level of play.
“The results of the games show how much talent there is in our board,” said Quaglia. “I hope it was an eye opening experience for students and parents to witness the premiere basketball talent and competition our schools have to offer.”
The wins were witnessed by several coaches from post-secondary programs and prep schools, and the games posted in their entirety on SJB-TV News’ YouTube channel. Brébeuf point guard Daniel Graham, who has committed to playing for the Mohawk Mountaineers this fall, relished the chance to line up alongside such top-level talent.
“It was great to play with the most skilled players in our league,” Graham commented. “These games let us show the amazing talent that is in our board to those outside of Hamilton who may not be aware of how competitive basketball is in this league.”
Coach Dunphy hopes the exhibition tradition can continue next season.
“It was great that GTA and Oakville Prep were able to come participate,” he said. “For the HWCDSB schools it has to be rewarding to see how well our players stacked up against them and great exposure for our players as we continue to strive to provide them exposure and opportunities that can help them if they want to play at the next level.”
Dunphy added that several initiatives that have been implemented at Brébeuf to shine a light on the Senior Boys’ basketball program at Brébeuf.
“SJB is pleased to announce that, along with Cardinal Newman and Cathedral, we will be participating in the National Senior Circuit this fall which will prove some great opportunities for our players to showcase their abilities,” said Dunphy. “The circuit will feature a mix of the top high school programs in Ontario and Quebec along with some Prep school competition as well.”
Brébeuf is also spearheading a new sports live video production effort this fall which Dunphy said will provide opportunities to integrate athletics with the growing media programs at SJB.
“The SJB Communication Technology program will also be live-streaming basketball and other sports events next year thanks to a forward-thinking SHSM initiative that will provide our students with hands-on experience producing live events for consumption over the web, something no other board in Ontario is doing regularly to my knowledge.”
“Expect to see not only basketball, but football, volleyball, and other events showcasing our arts programs such as Brave Ambition and the SJB Dance Crew. 2019-20 will be an exciting time to be a Brave.”Roster
Daniel Graham (G, SJB)
Ares Cully-Bremner (F/C, SJB)
Cale Calura (G, SJB)
Tyler Guppy (G/F, SJB)
Alban Pllana (F, CN)
Dezayne Mingo (G, CN)
Harnoor Dhaliwal (F, CN)
Ayub Nurhussein (F, STM)
Jojo Lingusi (G, STM)
Jonah Fournier (F, STM)
Adam Kislinsky (F, STM)
Ozzy Ibhawoh (F/C, St. Marys)
Michael Frisina (G, BT)
Cristian Craciun (F, BT)
Leandro Schulte (F, BR)
Tyreik Lennox (G, BR)
See Game 1 highlights at https://youtu.be/UVHtjtAc_Mk