31 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists.
Nelson Kaputo was simply on fire. From the first time I saw him, I knew he was an elite point guard, and his game against Henry Carr in the St Mike’s final was further evidence.
In my scouting report for Kaputo, he gets a check mark for every desired lead guard trait, very rare especially when you take into account he is only in the eleventh grade.
St Mike’s would go on to defeat Henry Carr convincingly 64-44 thanks to Kaputo’s production, and the Blue Raiders team defense.
“Like I told you, it was all about agressiveness on defense and execution on offense and that’s exactly what you saw,” said Kaputo in the post game.
“My teammates did a great job of finding me Godwin (Boahen) and Jonathan (Kabongo) were looking for me, and I was thankful for that,” he continued.
Danilo Djuricic set the tone early on defense with three big blocks in the first half, sending a message to FHC that they were not going to get anything easy on this night.
Outside of Kaputo’s statistics, his leadership was evident throughout every moment of the game, keeping his team focused and positive.
“The young boy Danilo (Djuricic), he’s a big part of our offense, doesn’t have a lot of experience like me and Godwin have so I try to keep him poised and calm especially when they made their run.”
This game was not only a rematch of last year’s OFSAA championships, but also of the 2013 St Mike’s Invitational where Henry Carr was NPH #1-ranked team in the nation coming in, and SMC at #2. St Mike’s would go on to win both tournaments by close margins.
This time around, the Blue Raiders made it undeniable, in a 20-point victory.
Kaputo made no hesitation when asked about the Canadian high school basketball hierachy.
“I definitely think we’re the best team in the country; I’ve known it from the moment we lost to Oakwood, realized we just had a bad game, and we’ve been looking forward to this tournament since that final buzzer went out at Humber.”
When speaking to the 6’1 floor general, the genuine confidence was oozing from Kaputo, and it was not cocky, but more convinced.
“It definitely builds our confidence, but it’s only reassuring everybody what we already knew, we just had to come out and prove that we are the best.”