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!
Montreal’s Bennedict Mathurin commits to Arizona Wildcats
The Arizona Wildcats got a big time commitment from Bennedict Mathurin — Canada’s top guard in the class of 2020.
The 17-year old Mathurin opted to reclassify from the 2021 class — fast tracking his potential NBA eligibility in the process. Standing at 6’6″, 195 pounds, the Montreal native has all the attributes to make an immediate impact at the NCAA division I basketball level — with a NBA ceiling written all-over his resume.
Perhaps not a household commodity, due to his lack of participation in any Canadian FIBA youth sanctioned events — Mathurin was named MVP of the 2019 Canadian National Basketball U17 Championships in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
The Canadian guard/forward led a loaded Quebec team to a perfect 5-0 record — claiming the province’s first U17 title since 2010. Mathurin dominated the entire tournament, including a electric, eye-popping 33 point, 7 assist, 6 rebound performance in the opening game against Team Ontario.
In the championship game against same Ontario squad, Mathurin was equally impressive — scoring 23 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals in the 84-77 victory.
Mathurin is currently showcasing and strutting his growing all-around game in Mexico City as part of NBA Academy Latin America — an elite basketball training center for top male and female prospects across the Caribbean Central and South America.
The Canadian prospect kicked off 2020 and new decade in style with a 30-point, 6 rebounds outburst in a 93-74 win over FC Barcelona U18 team at the Hospitalet tournament.
A lockdown defender with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander like wingspan, Mathurin has the ability to get from the three-point line to the rim with just one dribble. At 6”6′ he’s also able to see over much smaller defenders and is a willing and effective passer that looks to attack at rim can finish with through contact.
Part of the continuous and overflowing rising crop of future NBA talent from Canada’s second largest city — Mathurin may just be the top guard to come out of Montreal since current Oklahoma City Thunder guard Luguentz Dort pledged allegiance to the desert State of Arizona.
Holding multiple offers from the likes of NCAA basketball programs as Virginia, Alabama, Washington State and Nebraska — Mathurin narrowed his decision to the Arizona Wildcats and Oregon Ducks.
“Those two schools were my finalists because the other schools recruited me a little later, and I said to myself, that if I was going to visit other schools it was going to take a lot more time to get to know the coaching staff and also lots of time to get to know for example who (players) was coming back and leaving.” discussed a well spoken Mauthrin in a live french announcement during half-time of the Toronto Raptors’ and OKC Thunder game.
On what tipped the balance between the two finalist schools, Mauthrin added that the “history of Arizona, the style of play and the fact that every player has a role, and that is my style of play.”
For head coach Sean Miller the commitment of Mauthrin is a significant scoop for a player that was just starting to gain national notoriety and will likely mature into another future Canadian NBA player.
Abu Kigab career night powers Boise State Broncos
Canadian Abu Kigab (St. Catherines, Ont.) dropped a career best 33 points, 11 rebounds to power the Boise State Broncos 103-72 past the CSU Northridge Matadors.
The 6’7″, 211-pound junior forward was efficient as a heat pump, knocking down a hot 11-of-16 field-goals, 3-of-4 triples and 8-of-9 free-throws in just 26 minutes — including a two-hand alley-oop — to bring the home crowd to it’s feet while recording his 30th point.
Kigab’s output is one the best performances by a Canadian playing NCAA DI basketball and as per the Broncos’ public relations team “It’s just the 17th 30 & 10 game all-time by a Bronco and seventh in the last 25 years.” Chicago Bulls’ rookie Chandler Hutchison was the last Boise State player to reach the milestone — erupting for 39 points and 14 rebounds at the 2018 NIT.
“We were all making the right play and some nights that’s just how it is,” Kigab said. “I just go out there and try to win the game. I’ll do whatever it takes. Sometimes I might have to score more, sometimes I need to rebound more, sometimes I need to pass more. Whatever my team needs, that’s what I’ll do.”
Highly recruited coming out high school, Kigab was part of the historic Canadian national team that captured the country’s first-ever basketball gold medal at the 2017 U19 World Cup. The hybrid forward averaged a double-double with 14.7 points and 10.6 rebounds — earning a nod in the all-world all-star team alongside MVP RJ Barrett.
Abu Kigab commits to Oregon Ducks
The St. Catherine’s product committed to the Oregon Ducks — playing a season and half before opting to transfer to Boise State. Kigab showed promise in his first three games under Dana Altman hitting double-figures scoring in all three non-conference games before completely falling out of the rotation. In 45 games with the Ducks, Kigab scored just a total of 82 points while playing only 418 minutes.
Since becoming eligible and joining the Broncos starting lineup on December 22, Kigab has helped the team to a 3-1 record — including two straight double-doubles and has scored a total of 64 points.
Based on early results it’s fair to say that the change in scenery and shift from the Pac 12 brand of basketball to the Mountain West Conference (MWC) has benefited Kigab’s game.
The Broncos compete in the tough Mountain West Conference with the likes of San Diego State, UNLV, New Mexico and Nevada. The Conference has a history with Canadians and holds the title of producing former Running Rebel and No. 1 NBA pick Anthony Bennett. The MWC currently features eight Canadians across multiple teams — including Elijah Mitrou-Long (UNLV), Nolan Narain, Sabry Philip and others.
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