Sault Ste. Marie–The Bill Crothers Colts are building themselves an extensive team resume over the course of the season, with quality victories over both American and Canadian competition.

In Sault Ste. Marie (Northern Ontario), the Colts have added the Guy Vetrie tournament championship to their trophy case. BCSS out of Markham defeated Mississauga’s Clarkson Secondary 69-61, lead by tournament MVP Jamal Thomas’ game-high 29 points.

“I’m really excited, this is my first one [MVP]…what can I say,” paused Thomas. “It’s an unbelievable feeling, that we actually finished and we did exactly what our coach wanted us to do, which was come out on top and show everybody how hard we’re working.”

Jamal Thomas - Guy Vetrie MVP

Jamal Thomas – Guy Vetrie MVP

Bill Crothers Head Coach Charles Hantoumakos, who has been preaching unity all season to his team, spoke about what Thomas means to the Colts.

“He brings it every game, he’s been our most consistent guy all year, and the team is proud of him…definitely a big moment for him.”

Never too high, never too low, right in the middle.

We’ve talked about the importance of composure before, and after watching Thomas throughout the tournament, it became clear that the 6’2 scoring guard embodies this trait.

No matter the situation, Thomas feels no need for a celebration; whether he’s driving the lane for an emphatic jam or hitting a clutch three-pointer, the facial expression of the Pensacola State (JUCO) Commit remains neutral.

“For me it’s not about getting amped about what happened, it’s more about the win,” Thomas told NPH. Simply put, he’s a gamer.

For Clarkson, Jameel Brown (2014 6’4 SG) came alive in the second half to help his team hang around, scoring 20 of his team-high 23 points in the third and fourth quarters. Brown hit multiple difficult shots off the bounce, including a fade away three in the fourth to make things interesting down the stretch.

On the flip side, the Colts proved to be possibly the deepest team I’ve seen all year, consistently racking up victories with multiple contributors. In the Guy Vetrie championship game, three players hit double figures.

With star lead guard Trae Bell-Haynes out of the line up (ankle), Rashawn Browne (12 points) stepped up, spoon-feeding his teammates for easy buckets, and constantly beat defenders off the dribble to make a play, while defending at a high level. I did not see anyone all tournament that was able to stay in front of Browne; when he makes up his mind to attack, he’s going to get into the lane and cause havoc.

6’6 Nick McKee, who we’ve seen evolve over the year due to his strong work ethic, came off the bench to add 12 points, and a couple sweet assists–establishing himself as one of the best passers in the class of 2016. McKee stepped up, as Gavin Pearce (Crothers defensive stopper) was in foul trouble.

As I learned more about the Bill Crothers program over the weekend, I’ve come to the realization that the Colts represent everything that basketball should be about through their actions–discipline, accountability, family, leadership and development.

Congratulations to BCSS on a well-deserved Guy Vetrie championships title.


Bill Crothers Vetrie


Guy Vetrie Tournament Awards



Jamal Thomas


  • Rashawn Browne (Bill Crothers)
  • Khali Johnson (Clarkson)
  • Gavin Pearce (Bill Crothers)
  • Jordan McDonald (Clarkson)
  • Oman Sillah (Clarkson)
  • Rontez Allen-Shabazz (Still Water)

White Pines Takes Junior Guy Vetrie Gold


Two local teams from “The Soo” duked it out in front of a packed house, as White Pines defeated St Basil’s 46-44 for the Guy Vetrie junior championship. Tristan Olar registered a game-high 20 points in the victory for White Pines.

“It was definitely an exciting game, both teams had their opportunities to win it and White Pine capitalized late…gave the crowd a game to remember,” explained tournament convenor Jeff Giovanatti.

The junior division of the Guy Vetrie is only in it’s second year of existence, however the tournament organizers are welcoming elite competition from the Greater Toronto Area.

“We want to continue to increase the talent level in the tournament,” continued Giovanatti. This year, with Bill Crothers in the senior division, it gave local teams a chance to see where they measure up, against arguably the top team in the country.

“If we’re going to continue to raise the talent level in the region, you have to get a bench mark of where you stand. Sometimes being in your own bubble doesn’t allow to gain a realistic sense of where you are.”

Building the game in the North

“We have to inform ourselves, and be at our best as coaches because we’re those role models. We have to put in some programs, some developmental pathways for the kids. Basketball is drawing more interest form parents and kids.”

“I think the junior finals was an indication of the talent, because that was a great game.”

Special Thanks to Jeff Giovanatti, the Guy Vetrie tournament staff and the Sault Ste. Marie basketball community for welcoming @NorthPoleHoops with great hospitality; a top-notch tournament that will surely continue to grow moving forward.




Tariq Sbiet

Written by Tariq Sbiet

NPH National Scout, tracking Canada's TOP prospects from high school to the NBA. With a genuine passion for the game, you will find Sbiet in the bleachers of most major tournaments and events across Canada & the United States -- Discovering talent from coast-to-coast, while absorbing knowledge at every opportunity. Sbiet has covered the game at every level, combining a basketball and media background with a degree in Media & Journalism from the University of Guelph-Humber. *Inspiration is the spark plug to success*


6 thoughts on “Bill Crothers Colts Win Guy Vetrie Championship, Jamal Thomas Earns MVP

  1. the truth says:

    Pretty easy to win when all ur players come outside your schools area both teams in final what a joke

    1. Tariq Sbiet Tariq Sbiet says:

      Talk is cheap. Winning at the level they have is never easy. The most elite programs have players coming from all over the world. BCSS is not your typical HS. If you knew the work that these kids put in at Crothers, I think you would re-consider that comment. BCSS is a strong program on the rise, with their best days ahead of them. Gotta give credit where it’s due! 

    2. Derrick Stryker says:

      Why do people have to frown upon things when something is done differently. Different isn’t bad. Not everyone needs the same thing. Student athletes sometimes need a different environment to be motivated, be engaged in education and succeed. If an alternative competition league/structure is present I am sure teams with competitive advantages would opt in. It all comes back to resistance to change. 

    3. john says:

      Are you kidding me? You’re a joke my friend and so are all theses other sub par basketball programs. Recruiting has become a necessity in high school basketball to win, if you can play with the best..why not? This is the only way Canadian high school basketball can catch up to US
       programs. All top programs in the US recruit players from out of the area..heck out of the country even! Findlay prep, St benedicts, Huntington and now BCSS Prep. Do not be jealous that BCSS has now established a top tier basketball program that can legitemately contend with our neighbours in the south. Soon enough most schools in Canada will start recruiting otherwise Canada will always be regarded as subpar for basketball. All players know now if they want to join to legitement top tier prep program in Canada BCSS is where to go. Please take your envy and jealousy somewhere else.

  2. Ryan says:

    Maybe these STUDENT athletes came to Bill Crothers not only to excel in basketball, but to set themselves up academically as well. BCSS gives student athletes the best opportunity to succeed on both the playing field and off. 

  3. Coach says:

    One of the all tournament team selections for Still Water prep ( not a real school) just a “club type team” was arrested and charge with assault on female in July of 2014 he was listed as 20 years old then, so he was over 20 when he played in the Vetrie in February of 2015. Do not allow such foolishness to occur anymore , request birth certificates and check to make sure its a real school before letting them play in the event.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

©2016 North Pole Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Canadian Basketball Recruiting Services | NPH Showcase Circuit | Privacy Policy | Contact Us