What a time to be a basketball fan in the nations capital of Canada!
The game of basketball has tremendously grown in Ottawa, Ontario over the years and young talented players are finally getting the attention they deserve, with many prep schools, colleges & universities across North America looking to tap into the National Capital region to find their next superstar.
The six straight reigning National CIS Basketball champions Carleton Ravens have certainly helped bring many eyes to the Ottawa Basketball scene. As well as a couple high school basketball teams such as the St. Patrick’s Irish, Ashbury Colts and a few others have been bringing Buzz to the city for their dominance.
About a decade ago the city of Ottawa was not well respected when it came to basketball in Canada. Many superstitions, stereotypes and stigmas followed players, leading some to believe that if you play basketball in Ottawa, it will lead you nowhere. That statement was getting so real that star players like Eric Kibi left the city for New Mexico in America to have a better opportunity to make it professionally. It payed off quite well for him! As he went on to play for Arkansas Little Rock and eventually professionally in Europe for several years and now back in Canada with the London Lightning of National Basketball League of Canada
Players such as Eric Kibi, Yannick Anzuluni, Jaheens Manigat, Johnny Berhane, Olivier Hanlan, and more have paved the way for the new generations of up and coming basketball players from Ottawa looking to make it. That superstition has finally died as players like Marial Shayok, Corey Johnson, Eddie Ekiyor have proved that you can make it from the Nations Capital!
One player who’s made quite a name for himself, by dominating competition on his way to becoming a household name not just in Ottawa but all of Ontario and even Canada is Maxime Boursiquot 6’5″ beast out of Immaculata High School & Kent High School. BasketballBuzz took the time to congratulate and interview the young man who recently committed to attending Northeastern University.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Montreal, but I grew up in Ottawa, on the East side of the city.
Approximately around what age did you fall in love with the game of basketball?
I fell in love with basketball in grade 9, when I first started taking it seriously.
In almost every great young men’s basketball career there is someone behind them pushing them. Who do you credit the most for your success thus far?
I would credit my parents who were always behind me and drove me to practice every night. Aaron Blakely, who has been my Guardsmen coach for four years, Coach Justin Serresse and Marg Johnson who coached me during my time with ONL as well as Neil Purves, my high school strength coach.
What has been a defining moment in your young career?
The best moment during my basketball career was making Team Ontario in the summer of 2012, it was an amazing experience.
Now I know you’ve gotten offered from many universities and schools. What made you pick Northeastern University?
I chose Northeastern because they were the first who reached out to me while I was still in high school, they showed the most interest, they came to my house a couple times and sat with my parents and I. I was excited about the opportunities that would be presented by selecting Northeastern.
As a player from Ottawa what do you think you can bring to their program?
As a player from Ottawa, Canada I think I’ll bring a lot of grit, toughness, and defense.
What are your thoughts on the basketball scene in Ottawa and how it has developed over the last few years?
I think Tony House and Ottawa Elite are doing a great job of developing players and showing they can compete against the top Toronto teams in the CYBL. Lots of Ottawa players are receiving recognition, and I think the city is emerging as the basketball city in Canada.
What would you tell a young player in Ottawa looking to get to where you are?
What I’d say to a player trying to get to where i’m at is that, it takes a lot of dedication and hours in the gym. Also, you’re body is the most important thing, so take care of it.
A special thank you to Maxime Boursiquot for taking the time to get interviewed by BasketballBuzz. Ottawa, Ontario and all of Canada be on the look out next year as we will have another Canadian representing us in the NCAA. We wish him the best! And look forward to watching his basketball journey
Good Luck Maxime!! We will be watching and all of Canada will be cheering!
The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina Ionescu
There’s no business, like unfinished business.
Most great basketball stars take their smartphone penmanship to ‘The Players Tribune’ to announce a change of game and mind move to greener pastures, which seems to be the new trend like Kung Fu Kenny headbands. But not the green duck of Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu. In a pen drop moment she dropped the mic as she made a declaration like Leonardo DiCaprio staring at all that love in the boardroom in ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street’.
“I’m not f##### leaving!”
O.K. she didn’t say it quite like that. Rather more eloquently in the form of a love letter to her state and basketball mind. She may have that Eurostep stop on a dime from downtown that puts in that change and pops the button like James Harden. She may have film broke down by the mamba mentality of the one and only Kobe Bryant. Or articles wrote about her by this writers’ writing inspiration Shea Serrano of The Ringer. She may have even gone number one if she put in her draft card this year.
But the WNBA can wait.
Green with envy and legendary shades she may be the next great of this game like the Storm of Sue Bird to Breanna Stewart. She’s the type of player that’s so good to watch she could even get away with taking more steps than ladders like most of those NBA folks. But no! An inspired Ionescu is doing things the right way. After being made by Baylor, the ducks will quack again. And they will do so with their top billing. Sabrina will return for one last run. She’s got the rest of her playing career to be a WNBA legend for whatever team from the Sparks to Mercury picks her. But the Pac-12 Wade trophy winner has only got one last chance at a Final Four dance after the madness that is March.
Just look at the above picture. She’s only got so long for this. To be a kid. She may be far from ‘Sabrina The Teenage Witch’, but this maturing talent is still young. To be that again, we should just be happy she still has that chance. One chance to make the Ducks mighty again. To have those best years of your life with the best friends you’ll ever meet. These are her memories. Her signed sneakers and scissored nets. Who are any of us to take that away. We can wait. As her parquet paths next year to the big leagues will be like this season’s road to Zion.
The two time Nancy Lieberman award winner will take her L ready 19.9 points, 8.2 assists and 7.4 rebounds averages to one last ride and stand in Oregon. Flying with the 18 record of the most career triple doubles in NCAA history. She won’t be in New York next month, but she’ll be writing in more history books next year as other teams bet it all on some bouncing balls. And if you think this game is all about the big league and the big payday, then this outstanding Oregon statement doesn’t give a duck.
“I won’t predict exactly how far we’re going to go….. but I’ll just say this. We have unfinished business. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart.”
Time to get back to work and take everyone back to school.
R.J. Barrett, Zion Williamson make All-America First Team
Canada’s most-hyped recruit makes history.
Canada’s R.J. Barrett has been named a first-team Associated Press All-American, and finished second in AP Player of the Year voting to teammate Zion Williamson.
Barrett and Williamson, who led Duke to the NCAA men’s basketball Elite Eight this season, are only the second set of freshmen teammates to make the AP First Team.
Kentucky’s John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins were the first to manage the feat in 2010.
Barrett (Mississauga, Ont.) was one of Duke’s most effective players, averaging 22.9 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.
He received two votes for AP Player of the Year, but Williamson — who electrified fans with his other-worldly athleticism — was the runaway winner.
Williamson, the projected No. 1 pick in this summer’s NBA Draft, received 59 of 64 votes for the award.
Murray State’s Ja Morant, Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter and Michigan State’s Cassius Winston were the only others players to receive votes, with one apiece.
Barrett is also a projected NBA lottery pick, and is the most-hyped Canadian recruit since Andrew Wiggins, who went No. 1 overall in 2014.
Wiggins has struggled to live up to the hype that surrounded him in high school, and Barrett has faced similarly colossal expectations.
Barrett entered Duke as the nation’s top recruit after winning a national U.S. high school championship with Florida’s Montverde Academy in 2018.
And there have been gripes about his perceived effectiveness in comparison to the media coverage he has received.
An anonymous survey of 110 U.S. college players by The Athletic this year named Barrett college basketball’s most overrated player.
But in the same poll Barrett also receive votes for “best player in the game,” and he was routinely praised for his performances Duke.
USA Today also named Barrett its 2019 national college player of the year.
“While Zion Williamson might beat Barrett for the No. 1 pick in June’s NBA draft, Barrett proved to be the more impressive college player,” USA Today wrote.
“The freshman carried the load when Williamson was hurt for six games, spearheading the Blue Devils to three wins in March that helped them become the NCAA tournament’s top overall seed.
“When Duke was at full strength, he gave the team a scorer who wanted the ball at the end of the game.”
Some have speculated Barrett’s ceiling as a pro will be similar to that of mid-level stars like DeMar DeRozan and Jimmy Butler.
He is still projected as a top-three pick in the NBA Draft, scheduled for June 20 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Barrett is the son of Canada Basketball general manager and former Olympian Rowan Barrett, and R.J. has been a fixture in Canada’s national program.
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