Race Begins To Be No. 1 in Boys' Basketball
There are some people who think that with one day left until the local high school football season ends, the attention will then switch from the gridiron to the basketball court.
Let's just say, the transition will be smoother. The reality: basketball, the boys' game, has been going for weeks. Maybe not officially with leagues, but the guys have been practicing since the day school opened and tournaments have occurred earlier than ever.
Have to wonder about gender equity in this sport. The girls' season of tournaments, league and playoffs is barely three months in the Fall. The boys', well, some claim twice as long.
No sooner does the ball bounce, than the opinions start rolling about which guys team is the best in this part of Ontario. Also, what schools have benefited the most from the transfer game - players deciding they suddenly had enough of one school and wanted to be at another because the reputation was better, and I mean for basketball. Recruiting, we won't touch that right now.
I remember the days when students went to the school closest to where they live. No more. Now, players from one part of the big city, and even surrounding regions, are choosing schools clearly across town - and somehow the athletes are getting to play rather than sit out a year.
I am no judge on this, but if it's happening, the people who are supposedly monitoring violations need to seriously think twice about enforcing the transfer rule or throwing it away. Treat everyone equally.
The chatter is also heating up about who will win the Ontario gold medal next March when OFSAA waters down the competition, and excitement, to four playoffs: Quad-A in Oshawa, Triple-A in Kingston, Double-A in Windsor and Single-A in Sturgeon Falls.
I guess there is some merit in smaller schools having their own playoff, but I wonder how teams with losing records get to an Ontario final simply because of the population of the school? What was wrong with one Ontario champion or, an idea tossed around for years, where an invitational event is held for the best teams?
Back to the best teams. Websites and discussion boards are flowing with opinions on who is the team to beat this season.
Let's see, Toronto's Father Henry Carr won its own tournament beating Pickering by 11 points. MVP of the tournament was Carr's Raheem Isaac. How about Loyola, led by another MVP in Rohan Boney? All the Oakville school did was knock off traditionally strong Eastern Commerce in the final of the Pinky Lewis tourney in Hamilton.
This has all been going on during the football season.
There's more. For years the Humber College Classic was just that, but not so sure this year. Brampton's St. Edmund Campion walked off as champs beating Martingrove 69-57 in the final. Matthew Wright of Martingrove could be one of the top players this year, but people are also talking about Campion's Jordan Clennon.
Oakwood will be up there. Mother Teresa too. Maybe Vaughan and on and on. Lots of questions and lots of hoops and one way to see who might end up on top is to check out the tournaments. Last count, some 50 are planned - and that's just in the Greater Toronto Area.