Freeds Tip Off in Windsor Hosts Top Ranked Teams

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Press release via Catholic Central

WINDSOR,ON–The Freeds Tip Off Tournament has slowly grown into one of the elite tournaments in the province. The tournament has been sponsored and supported by our good friends at Freeds, Ari Freed and Dan Orman for the past 28 years. On November 28th and 29th, some of the top high school teams and top individual talent in Canada will be playing in Windsor.

A big change this year is that the tournament has been moved to the new $28 million athletic complex at St. Clair College and Academy Ste. Cecile. All 48 games will be housed inside these two facilities. The Catholic Central communication class will be webcasting the games out of the main gym at St. Clair College. A link to the webcast, the draw,results and more can be found on the tournament website www.freedstournament.com.

Freeds Stigma Enigma LogoIn addition, through the efforts of Dr. Pat Smith, the tournament has partnered up with Maryvale to help raise awareness for mental health issues among young people. The tournament will now feature a free banquet for all participants and free t shirt with the tournament slogan “Stigma Enigma”. Suicide is the number two cause of death among teens after auto accidents. The committee wants to bring this issue to the forefront for the participants and will have guest speaker Eric Hipple address them at the banquet.

As far as the competition, five of the teams competing in this year’s tournament are ranked in the #NPHTop25 in Canada. Several other teams are ranked among the top teams in Ontario.

The tournament is divided into two flights. The top flight has 16 teams divided into four pools of four teams. Pool Play is on Friday. Teams advance to the medal rounds which is played on Saturday. There are three separate medal round championships on Saturday for the top flight.

Below is a synopsis of the top seeded teams in the tournament.

The top ranked team in Canada and in this tournament is Toronto St. Michael’s. Under the coaching of Jeff Zownir, St. Michael’s has won the Freeds Tournament the past 4 years and return as the favourites to repeat.

This team has already won impressive tournaments this season at Toronto Henry Carr and in Texas. They feature some of the top talent in Canada with one of the top point guards Nelson Kaputo and fellow backcourt phenom Marcus Carr, younger brother of Duane Notice. Danilo Djuricic at 6’ 7” may be the best grade 10 player in the country.

The second ranked team in Canada is Thornlea (Thornhill). Thornlea came out very strong with a dominating win over Father Henry Carr, holding them to only 27 points in their gym. They feature point guard Jaaden Lewis, the speedy Kimberl Saint-Felix and steady forwards Niroshan Surendran and Brandan Persaud.

They lost in the finals of the Henry Carr tournament to Toronto St. Michael’s and they could meet up again in Windsor.

Pine Ridge (Pickering) comes in as the 10th ranked team in Canada, coached by former Windsorite, Cam Nekkers. They return 7 of their top 9 players from last year’s OFSAA AAAA qualifying team and are the defending 3 LOSSA Championships. The big three players on the team are Nevell Provo who played at Huntington Prep with Andrew Wiggins and was a member of the 2014 Jr National Team. Chase Vassell was the leading scorer in Metro Toronto last year with most 25+ games and was a last cut for the Jr National Team. The third player to watch out for is Jordan Henry. He is in grade 11 and could end up being their most talented player.

Freed's at St. Clair CollegeOakville Holy Trinity is presently the 15th ranked team in Canada and they are a young and up and coming team. They medaled at OFSAA in 2013 but are coming with a new crop of talent. They are led by shooter, senior Lucas Orlita. Ignas Brazdeikis may only be in grade 10, but he was a starter as a freshman on the varsity team averaging 13 points per game. Two grade 11’s to also watch are Chris Ankins and Elijah Lostracco.

Windsor Catholic Central is the 25th ranked team in Canada. They have medaled six times at OFSAA in the past 15 years, including Gold and Silver the past two years.

They return a core of the team from last year with 6’3” Malique Calloo as one of the top shooters in the province, 6’ 0” PG, Eriq Jenkins is a first team all star in Soccer, Basketball and Football, so it is no surprise that he is an elite all around. 6’ 2” Donald Mensah, also a first team all star in football, is looking for a breakout year after showing some dominating performances this summer in AAU tournaments and is being recruited by some D1 schools. Donald reminds coaches of anotherformer CCH standout Mychal Mulder with his athleticism and ability to finish above the rim. 6’ 0”, grade 11, Najee Brown Henderson is another player that will be a major contributor to this team. Up front they have 6’3” Raekwon Fazekas, 6’ 5” AkimLolRuot and 6’ 2” Alex Fraser.

The tournament has expanded regionally with the defending Quebec champions Standstead Collegiate. They won several tournaments last year and are now looking to upgrade their schedule and compete in the Freeds Tournament. The Spartans feature 6’ 5” shooting guard Rico Smith and 6’ 3” Point Guard Theodore Thomas and team MVP and captain 6’ 3” PG Sydney Davis.

Beal is perennially, the top team out of London winning eight consecutive league championships and provincially they have medaled at OFSAA in 2008 and 2012. Top returning players from Coach McConnell are big man Franckie Ngakoutou and shooting guard Brandon McGlone. Also, Josh Dinh and HadiAkle are key members of the team.

Cathedral, from Hamilton, is always one of the top teams provincially and this year should be no different with three starters returning from a strong team last season. This year they feature one of the top players out of Hamilton, Kareem Collins-Samuel.

Other teams that could surprise.

Chatham Kent features three of the top players in the area. Ian Smart, a 6’5″ shooting guard can do it all – shoot, drive and finish defend inside and out, block shots and create for his teammates. Grade 11, 6’ 3” shooting guard Marley Blommers is an up and coming talent. The coach’s son, guard Joel Barwickcan shoot it from long range.

Resurrection out of Kitchener is a young talented team. They lost a tough finals to powerhouse, St. Mary’s last year. But with an influx of talent from a very talented junior team, they are looking to get over the next hurdle this year.

Sir Fredrick Banting is always a tough team out of London. They feature all star point guard Micah Kirubel, versatile Bruno Pande and William Charlton.

St. Anne features one of the top big men in 6’ 7” Anthony Zrvnar – 6’7″. As well their backcourt is very strong with coach Andy Kiss’ son Ryan and Blake Ondricko.

Korah Collegiate from Sault Ste Marie is the two time defending NOSSA champions. They feature one of the top centers in Ontario 6’ 11” Jonah Fogg. Jonah represented Canada this year on the Junior National team that won the silver medal at the FIBA Americans. Korah’s point guard, Sam Ivey was a U17 provincial team member. The team also has two premier shooters in Anthony Ivey and Tevon Williams.

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