Bonds being strengthened as basketball teams train for Canada Games
Team P.E.I.’s basketball squads have had a busy spring.
I recently bumped into a couple of former Canada Games teammates and it was interesting how in every case, the conversation went to a tournament or an event we participated in to prepare for the Games.
Travelling for competition is a normal part of Canada Games preparation, and is often where the bonds among teammates are strengthened. The men’s and women’s basketball teams have both had a busy spring of competition and travel.
The women’s team had a change of leadership earlier this spring when head coach Katie Hamilton moved to Ontario for an Ontario University Athletics (OUA) head coaching job. Trent Whitty stepped into the role of head coach, and has been busy preparing the team for the Games.
They recently attended the Summer Slam Challenge in Montreal, where they had the opportunity to play against some high-level competition and finished the tournament with a 1-3 record. It came on the heels of the team hosting the Red Rock Classic earlier this month in Charlottetown, where it compiled a 2-2 record.
The team features 12 players from Tignish to Stratford, and will play in a pool with British Columbia, New Brunswick and the Northwest Territories during the first week of the Games. They open the tournament with a familiar foe as they take on Team New Brunswick during the first day of play on July 29 at the Duckworth Centre.
The Reagh Vidito-coached men’s team has been very active this spring by attending a number of tournaments and playing in the Courtside Spring League at Holland College. The team’s identity has really been shaped during these events as the players have displayed great effort, toughness and strong team defence.
Offensively, the team has good balance and spacing, which has led to some very unselfish play.
Earlier this spring the team travelled to Portland, Me., for some games against Division 1 and 2 recruits prior to hosting the Red Rock Classic and competing in the Courtside tournament.
The boys enjoyed some great success during the last weekend in June, winning the gold medal behind John Alex Vos’s 26 points and player-of-thegame performance at the East Coast Games in Saint John, N.B.
The men’s team faces off against Newfoundland and Labrador to open their Canada Games tournament on July 29. Quebec and the Northwest Territories are the other teams in their pool. Francois Caron is the central region co-ordinator for the sport, recreation and physical activity division of the P.E.I. Department of Health and Wellness. He has attended nine Games and will be Team P.E.I.’s assistant chef de mission during the second week of the 2017 Canada Games.
Team P.E.I.’s men’s basketball team won the East Coast Games in Saint John, N.B., in June. Team members, front row, from left, are Zack Wall, Yousef Sefau, Will Vidito, Logan Cameron, Yahya Sefau and Logan MacCallum. Second row, assistant coach Lucas Squires, Adam Ryan, John Alex Vos, Joe Thomson, Parker Roche, Josh Bourque, Thomas Hogan, manager Troy MacCallum and head coach Reagh Vidito.
Team P.E.I.’s Lexi MacInnis, right, drives to the paint during the Red Rock Classic basketball tournament in June in Charlottetown.