Attention future female point guards: Simon Fraser’s Dani Langford is the ultimate role model. With two championships, one nicely tucked under each arm, the graduating All-Canadian captain from Abbotsford, British Columbia sets the standard for team leadership.
The Psychology/Kinesiology fifth-year student retired from the CIS after the SFU Clan ran a perfect season of 20-0 including the national championship with a 70-60 win over Winnipeg in the CIS final. After beginning this past year with back-to-back exhibition losses against US Division 1 Texas University, the Clan never lost another game, running a record of 38-2. When a team goes unbeaten for nearly six months of the season, the floor leader and team captain must be at the focal point of the team’s success.
Langford is the ultimate point guard on the court and on the stat sheet. She averaged 5.6 dimes per outing, which was good for third in the country, while dropping 12.6 points in 32 minutes of action, Langford shot 47% from the field while nailing 42% of her three-point attempts. The 5-7 point guard is the second all-time leader in assists at Simon Fraser and holds the record for most treys in a game, a season and a career. If you count all 40 games including league play, tournaments and exhibition games, the Heritage Park High School alumnus led the nation in three-point percentage with 37% and dropped more long bombs than some CIS team’s totals.
Like her stats, the awards for Langford have been piling up as well. This year, she was awarded player-of-the-year in British Columbia and was named the 2005 CIS championship MVP as well as a CIS Tournament All-Star. With her father Bruce Langford coaching her in high school and at Simon Fraser, Langford always kept her disciplined game at the top level. Coach Langford has been named Coach of the Year twice, and has a 121-19 record in four years.
“Dani has exceptional leadership skills as she leads, she makes others around her better and instills confidence in those she takes the floor with” commented Coach Langford, who hopes to have his daughter assist him on the Simon Fraser coaching staff. “With games on the line, Dani is a great clutch three-point shooter, has excellent court vision and is a creative no look passer.”
Dani Langford was playing basketball and working on her skills at the tender age of three. At her father’s practices, the young Langford would sit on the side and drill passes to herself, and became quite proficient with her skills. She was known to be on the court at half-time nailing shots as the real half-time show. Her skills began to fully develop in elementary school and received a major boost while playing with older players on the BC regional teams. She made the U-17 women’s provincial team as a 16 year old and played for the championship Canadian Junior National Team that went to Argentina.
At Heritage Park High School, twenty minutes from her hometown of Abbotsford, Langford was an Honor-Roll student winning multiple awards ranging from academics, to sports and community service. She won the Service and Millennium Scholarship and was named MVP at the AAA provincial level. When she’s not servicing her basketball team on the court, Langford offers up her time to volunteer and help students with special needs at Heritage High School.
When asked about her basketball role models, Dani is quick to come up with an answer. “I’ve always seen Andrea Schneider, as my role model” added a delighted Langford on her return from vacationing in Hawaii. “She was an all-time assists leader at SFU, and was a player that I tried to model myself after. She made everyone around her better and kept everyone happy with an even distribution of assists. And considering all the great influences I’ve had in my life, I only hope to do the same for these young girls that are coming up in the Canadian basketball system.”
Hot shooting Australia Boomers take down Canada
Canada wrapped a two-game exhibition series against 2019 FIBA World Cup group H foe and commonwealth neighbor with a 81-73 loss to the hot shooting Australia Boomers.
Canada started off slow as Australia made their defensive adjustments, limiting the Canadians pick and roll opportunities by going under screens and trailed 13-6 early on but rallied with a 12-5 run to close the first-quarter with a 18-17 lead on a step-back jumper from Oshae Brissett.
The Canadian’s opened up the second-quarter with back-to-back triples from Aaron Best and Kaza Kajami-Keane for 26-19 lead with 7:27 to play. Australia responded with a 9-0 run to re-take the lead before Andrew Nembhard put a halt to the run with a easy lay-up and a Khem Birch inside basket put Canada up 33-30 at half-time after a low-scoring 20 minutes.
The action the picked in the third-quarter as both teams shot the ball extremely well, combining for a total of 56 points. Melvin Ejim scored Canada’s first five points and Khem Birch dominated the paint to give Team Canada a 48-38 advantage with 5:42 to play. Australia quickly found their stroke knocking down three-straight triples on their way to six in the quarter take a slim 60-59 lead after the third-quarter.
Canada’s offense dried-up in the fourth-quarter with just two points scored at the mid-way point as they settled for long jumpers and three-pointers and quickly found themselves down 70-61 with 4:43 to play in the game.
Khem Birch sparked a late Canadian run, scoring 6 straight points to cut the lead down to 3 points at 70-67 with 3:30 to play and finished with a game-high 18 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals. Oshae Brissett added 14 points and 5 rebounds. Kaza Kajami-Keane rounded out Canada’s double-figure scores with 11 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists and Melvin Ejim contributed with 9 points and 7 rebounds.
The Boomers knocked down 12-31 (38%) from downtown, after shooting just 3-for-13 in the first-half. The Canadians were a miserable 7-of-25 (28%) from the outside and struggled with turnovers with 16. The Aussies grabbed 12 offensive boards and won the battle of the glass with a 43-40 edge.
“I thought it was very positive for us these two games, I thought we played extremely well, we competed, we played as a team, last night we obviously shot the ball a little bit better from three-point land but overall I thought it was a very positive two days for us.” – shared Canada’s associate head coach Gordie Herbert after the game.
“We showed a lot of character these last two games, we had some guys not playing, but it was the same on their side. We played really tough, this is a great Australian team, they got a lot of great players and they are going to do very well. But I thought we showed promised and have the ability to compete no matter who we put on the floor.” – added Melvin Ejim.
Australia was led by Jock Landale with 13 points and 9 rebounds. Jonah Bolden added 12 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists and Chris Goulding with 10 points and 3 rebounds on 3-of -7 triples.
Canadian head coach Nick Nurse opted for a starting line-up that featured Andrew Nembhard, Philip Scrubb, Oshae Brissett, Kyle Wiltjer and Khem Birch while resting Kevin Pangos. The Boomers played without Patty Mills and Andrew Bogut.
Team Canada (2-2) will continue its FIBA World Cup preparations with a two-game series against New Zealand in Sydney, Australia on Tuesday August 20 and Wednesday August 21st.
Former Carleton All-Canadian Eddie Ekiyor charged sexual assault, kidnapping
Surely not the headline you and I were expecting, and the news couldn’t get any worse for former Carleton Ravens forward and two-time All-Canadian Eddie Ekiyor.
According to a report from the Ottawa Police , the 22 year-old Ekiyor is facing serious charges of sexual assault and kidnapping of a 23-year old women following an April 7th, 2019 incident that occurred in Ottawa’s west end.
“The charges come after police received a complaint from a woman regarding an incident in the Market-area and the west end of Ottawa on April 7, 2019. A male suspect met a 23 year old female victim at a downtown bar where he plied her with alcohol and drugs. He then took her to a west end address where he sexually assaulted her. Throughout the incident, the female was in and out of consciousness. Following the sex assault, the victim was put in a taxi cab which drove her home.”Source – Ottawa Police Services
Ottawa Police have charged Ekiyor with the following three charges: sexual assault, kidnapping and rare, and extremely serious occurrence of overcome resistance to commit an offence.
The news comes on the heels of the start of new season and new head coach Taffe Charles confirming Ekiyor’s departure that the former U Sports All-Canadian was leaving the national championship program to join the pro basketball ranks.
Why didn’t Ekiyor declare for the 2019 NBA Draft?
Interestingly enough, and perhaps not so coincidental is the fact that Ekiyor didn’t test the NBA draft waters by declaring himself eligible for the 2019 draft — taking advantage of the recent changes in NCAA draft rules that permits players, including U Sports athletes to go through the draft process and return to their respective school if no serious interest is garnered.
A record two U sports players (Kadre Gray – Laurentian Voyageurs, Tanor Ngom – Ryerson Rams) plus a Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA) player declared — in American born Jalen Sykes (Reford, Michigan) who played for the St. Clair Saints in Windsor, Ontario.
However, there was no mention or sign of Ekiyor who had just finished dominating the 2019 U Sports Final 8 Championship which ran from March 7 to 10 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
At this point, questions and commentary started circulating about Ekiyor’s NBA aspirations — given that he joined the Ravens program with the intention of doing just that — and clearly had more upside than all of the three-players that declared and actually went through some stages of the NBA draft process.
Most early-entry NCAA athletes make their NBA declarations around mid-to-late April, as were both the cases with Gray and Ngom.
If Ekiyor and his camp had serious intentions of going pro, why not follow the Canadian NBA hype train and throw his name in the record number of Canadians who did so? After-all the “all gain, nothing to lose” scenario would’ve only benefited Ekiyor’s gam, exposure and further bring attention and recognition to the heralded Ravens program.
Timeline of events
Dave Smart shocked the Canadian basketball world by announcing his retirement on March 19, 2019, nine days after winning his record 14th national championship.
The incident in question as per the Ottawa Police occurred less than month after the National Championship on April 7th and around early May 2019 rumors started surfacing that Ekiyor was looking to leave Carleton to a chase a pro contract.
Those ramblings continued throughout the summer and recently picked-up steam when Ekiyor’s name didn’t appearing on the box-score of the Raven’s first exhibition preseason game against the University of South Florida in Laval, Quebec.
Intrigued by the mystery and lack of details by the both university and professional teams overseas I reached out to new head coach Taffe Charles via e-mail on August 9th 2019 who provided a very brief statement regarding Ekiyor’s status.
“It is my understanding that Eddie wanted to go pro and is in the midst of doing that.”Taffe Charles – Head Coach Carleton Ravens Men’s basketball program
Based on the timeline of events, it will be interesting to know if and when did the Ravens program found-out about the incident and, if it tried to distance itself from Ekiyor with the rumor that he was going pro or weather Ekiyor himself and his camp misled the university.
Ekiyor also pled guilty and was conditionally discharged of a hit and run incident of an off-duty Ottawa police officer in 2016, curtailing his NCAA aspirations.
The Ottawa native averaged 12.7 points and 6.7 rebounds in three seasons with the Carleton Ravens winning two national championships, including being named second-team All-Canadian in 2018 and improving on that mark to claim first-team All-Canadian and the Most Valuable Player of the Final 8 championships in his last year (2019) with the Ravens program.
Out on bail, passport surrendered
According to Mike Arsalides, Ekiyor has been released on bail to a surety and has surrendered his Canadian passport. Further to that, Arsalides reports that “Ekiyor is no longer a member of Ravens team and “he informed the team a couple of weeks ago of his intentions of wanting to purse a professional basketball career — according to an official statement from Carleton University.
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