NPH Ontario Showcase Day 1: Putting in Work!


Follow Marko Mrkonjic on Twitter @m_mrkonjic and NPH @Northpolehoops

Shavon Gayle with ACTS Trainer, Jesse Tipping

Orangeville, ON- Day one of the first annual NPH Ontario Showcase concluded in monumental fashion. Held at the ACTS Athletic Institute, this state of the art facility provided players with a rare opportunity to showcase their talents on a platform that is not frequently seen in Canada.

Led by the head of the basketball performance center at ACTS, Jessie Tipping and renowned skill development specialist, Chris Ward, participants were put through unique training methods that targeted various skills including core strength, agility, footwork, ball handling + much more.

Many of the players had no idea what to expect as they walked through the gymnasium doors, but they quickly realized it was going to be no joke. The first half of the showcase dealt with various combine drills, while the latter part focused on skill development. It was clear that hard work and perseverance were common themes, as the kids made it count on every rep.

Some of the early standouts for day one included Jalen GriffithsShavon GayleMychal Mulder and Myles Charvis. It must be noted that several underrated and lesser known players made their presence felt as they travelled from all across Ontario with one goal in mind, making a name. A plethora of cities in the province had representation including London, Windsor, Oakville, Hamilton, Mississauga, Pickering, and several other regions.

Chris Ward Instructing Drill at NPH Ontario Showcase

NPH had an opportunity to catch up with Chris Ward to get his view on the state of Canadian basketball, “You Canadians have some talented kids, just a lot of them aren’t getting enough exposure and if they are, there heading down south. One of my reasons for coming up here is to put the focal point on having some of these kids stay at home to make Canada basketball relevant” he explained.

Ward possesses an extensive resume that includes training countless players at the NBA, NCAA, High School and Middle School levels.

When asked what advice he would give to the aspiring Canadian ballers, he emphasized, “They still need to break down the basics, their still like any kid; don’t think that basketball in America is any different than it is in Canada. You have talented kids everywhere; it’s just getting the right program to harness that talent. There just as talented as any group in the States.”

If the kids took anything away from day one it was that, “Working on positive things is key. Don’t work on things you see on television. If you work hard on the court, take it off the court and work on being a good person, that’s the most important thing,” Ward stressed.

The NPH team was honored to be in the presence of such a great basketball mind and a pioneer of this great game.

Stay tuned for coverage on Day two and three of the NPH Ontario showcase! Players will take the floor against each other with intense competition.

No plays off…it’s game time!

Garrison Thomas Training with Battle Ropes


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