Tyler Ennis Clutch in Game-Winner, Trey Lyles Canadian Debut…Canada Gunning for #1 Spot!
NPH Top Performers
- Andrew Wiggins- 16 pts, 6 rbs, 1 ast, 2 blks
- Xavier Rathan-Mayes- 15 pts, 3rbs
- Jamal Reynolds- 6 pts, 7rbs, 1 ast, 2 stl
- Kaza Keane- 6 pts, 2rbs, 3 ast, 1 stl
- Trey Lyles- 11 pts, 4 rbs, 1 ast, 1stl
- Duane Notice- 10 pts, 6 rbs, 2 ast
- Tyler Ennis- 8 pts, 4 rbs, 1 ast
- Denzell Taylor- 8 pts, 5rbs, 1 ast, 1 stl (4/4 FG)
TORONTO,ON–With the score knotted up at 54, and the ball in the hands of Tyler Ennis, the game was as good as done. You can see it in his eyes, the smirk on his face read, “this is my time.”
And it sure was.
“Coach just told me I was getting a full out isolation, so I just wanted to create and make the right pass if they doubled me,” Ennis told NPH.
Ennis sealed the deal by attacking the heart of the defense, hanging in the air and finishing off glass on the short floater. Team White took the win over Red 56-54, but more importantly this night was a collective victory for Canada.
The remarkable depth of talent was on full display at Humber College for the first ever “Red and White game,” in front of a packed house of supporters, who were rewarded with an inside look on the present and future of basketball in this nation.
While this game featured all-star talent, it was surely not the nature of the game as the coaching staff of Roy Rana (HC) , Scott Morrison (Ast) and Jamie McNeilly (Ast) meant business.
“One thing that I really stressed with the guys was this was not an all-star game. We didn’t want them to get caught up in the environment and make it a showcase…this is to prepare for the FIBA Americas,” explained Rana.
In the process, newcomer and Indiana Commit Trey Lyles (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) is becoming accustomed to his Canadian team-mates, and transitioning quite well.
Lyles, who attends Arsenal Technical HS in Indiana has been playing in America for nine years, however is originally from Saskatoon, where several of his family members reside.
“People ask where I’m from, and I tell them Saskatchewan. They have no idea where its at…I tell them Canada. I claim that whole-heartedly.”
When asking Rana about Lyles’ arrival to the team only three days ago, he answered, “He’s very much like Andrew [Wiggins], soft spoken, an introverted kid, he just fits in, it’s been an easy transition.”
Wiggins echoed Rana’s thoughts on Lyles, “Great kid, he’s comfortable with us 100%, he’s been comfortable since the first day he got here.”
Lyles will be suiting up in red and white for the first time this summer and is expected to play a major role alongside Wiggins, who already holds international experience under his belt.
“Before I was more of a role player…but now I’m taking on a leadership role as one of the main guys on the team, so I know my teammates and coaches need a lot from me,” said Wiggins.
The goals are clear within the Canada Basketball organization from top to bottom. Canada is no longer the rookie entering the league, simply happy to be there…the team looks more like the veteran with nothing less than #1 in mind.
“We relish the challenge. Our goal is to be the best in the world, it’s no longer talking about just making it,” said Rana.
“We can be among the best in the world. We have that talent, & these guys are excited about the challenge.”