Ryerson Hoops Festival (Toronto basketball fans may want to check this out)
Greetings all. As many people here know (well, some), I live in Toronto (though also have roots in Oregon and get to go there every now and than). Know we have the Raps (was at the Raps/Wizards game on Wednesday), but we usually do not get much domestically in terms of future draft talent (as they all go to the US, for good reason I believe). Well, tomorrow, Ryerson's Hoop Festival has some intriguing things going on.
The headliner is of course the Roy Rana (coach of the International Team at the past two Nike Hoop Summit games) coached Ryerson Rams playing the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, which will take place at the new Mattamy Centre (50 Carlton Street, believe it is actually in the old Maple Leaf Gardens). The Deacons have CJ Harris, Travis McKie and a bunch of intriguing freshman including Codi Miller-McIntyre and Arnaud Adala Moto among others. Think Wake is on the rise and it will be cool to check them out, the Rams/Deacons game starts at 7 pm.
Before, at 5 pm, is a game that I found very intriguing as a hoops fan. It will be a high school showdown between Father Henry Carr and Eastern Commerce, the top 2 teams in the Pre-Season Canadian National HS rankings by North Pole Hoops. I only know two players on these teams going into the game, but they are two pretty big names. For Henry Carr, Tanveer Bhullar has decided to play his last year of HS ball in Canada. He has played in the US the last three years, but I believe he just wanted to be back home, can't really blame him. Well, have seen him up close before (at the U17 Canadian team try-outs) and can honestly say, he is the most massive human being I have ever been near. He is listed anywhere between 7-2 to 7-3, seen his weight listed from 260-300. Have never seen Sim up close, but his younger brother is a mountain as well.
On Commerce, they have a player who many refer to as the best prospect in the Canadian HS ranks since Andrew Wiggins laced them up for Vaughan. This summer, Justin Jackson (Class of 2016, not to be confused with Justin Jackson 2014) was the youngest player playing in the U17 World Championships in Kaunas, Lithuania. Justin actually averaged 11.3 ppg and 6 rpg, better numbers than a 15-year old Wiggins was in the same Tournament (though, to be fair, Canada had a better team in 2010). Also like Wiggins, Jackson had a very strong game against the US with 17 points and 5 rebounds (Game where Canada did get housed). Well, Justin may not be the same athlete Andrew is, but he is listed at around 6-7/190 and appears to have a very bright future. Odds are, he will be one of the top prospects in the Class of 2016 and will more than likely end up at an HS south of the border. Never got a chance to see Andrew live at Vaughan, but will be in the gym for Jackson tomorrow night.
So, wanted to give people a heads up. Hope this spreads awareness that this event exists and that their will be a few likely future Draftees at the Mattamy Centre on Saturday. Picked up my tickets, think they are 12 dollars or so general admission and 25 dollars for preferred seating. If you are there, I will probably be the guy in the Oregon gear. This is the first Ryerson Hoops Festival (hopefully of many) and for more info, check out this link: