Canadian Basketball Festival at Durham College

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OSHAWA,ON–While the 144th birthday of our great nation was being celebrated, a celebration for a game that was invented 120 years ago by a Canadian was running simultaneously. The inaugural edition of the Canadian Basketball Festival was held in Oshawa, Ontario on the campus of Durham College, and was well received by the local basketball community in the region.

“We’re trying to establish not just basketball culture; we’re trying to establish Canadian basketball culture.”

Bill Crowdis, event creator and organizer, who coached at the OCAA level at Fleming College in Peterborough respectively, has moved on to helping Canadian basketball get much needed exposure and celebration.

“I think we’re growing as a country to just kind of following basketball, supporting basketball and supporting our own Canadian players. “

With Whitby-Oshawa MP Jim Flaherty having a Canadian celebration of his own for the region, on the same college campus, the CBF was able to catch the curiosity of some of the local Durham region citizens.    

“This is kind of just the first step, but it wasn’t just about basketball today, the main thing is we actually introduced basketball to a lot people who would have never thought of doing something basketball related on Canada day,” explained Crowdis.

Those who were on hand were treated to exciting competition including an opportunity to watch some of the nation’s top talent who played at the OCAA and CIS level. Courtney Small who played at Durham College, Tyrell Vernon who recently transferred to STFX and Antwi Antuahene who played at Arizona State in the NCAA were amongst those who made it out on the national holiday.

The Durham region squad defended their unofficial home court in the three team tournament beating the Toronto region squad 107-91 in a high scoring, high energy contest.

With the inaugural season of the NBL in sight, many regions like Durham will finally have a consistent basketball presence that will feed the hunger of those who have been starved for so long. Crowdis feels it is great for Canadian hoops.

“Any type of competitive basketball developed is going to be good for basketball in Canada. If that works, it’s going to be a great thing. Hopefully it’s something that we can help be a part of and help develop.”

With the first CBF event in the books there is no question the event is destined for many successful editions in the durham region. Next up for ABA Canada and Durham region will be Saturday July 16th 7:00pm at Durham college. ABA-Canada will play host to a select team from China, with proceeds going to the fight against hunger in communities throughout Canada.

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