The connection between Milton and Canadian basketball has one common denominator – development.
Just as Canadian basketball has started to spread its roots through the nation, Milton has become relatively new, nourishing soil.
Nestled right in the middle of Oakville, Burlington, Guelph, Georgetown and Mississauga, Milton garnishes a population of around 84,000 people.
Milton is still considered a town, one that is undoubtedly exploding in industrial and basketball development.
The first player that demonstrated the rise of Milton basketball is Christian David, the 2014 Toronto NPH showcase MVP.
David was a soft-spoken, multi-talented prospect turning heads at the speed of light.
His length, athleticism, and skill were undeniable; our coaches at the camp were in awe.
We wanted to know everything about David, especially where he was from.
Now a region can have elite level players, but without an elite level program or coach, the development of such players cannot take place.
Enter the recruitment, improvement, and evolution guru of Milton basketball, Shane Bascoe.
As one of the many Milton citizens pushing the game, Bascoe brought forth an impressive resume to the town.
During his four years at Sheridan, Bascoe was a league all-star in each season, along with being named an all-Canadian three times.
He won two OCAA championships (1998 and 1999) and earned the MVP award during Sheridan’s 1998 championship.
Bascoe became apart of S-Elite (aka Milton Stags) basketball program, and was asked to come on board and help take the program to the next level.
His first order of business was to help the program’s philosophy.
“You can’t have all these different philosophies within a program”, explained coach Bascoe.
“I taught one philosophy, that was to be consistently taught throughout the entire program.”
Bascoe garnered much success from his son Joshua’s S-Elite team, as they started to become so proficient that they had to go exclusively south of the border to find competition.
With this success, Boscoe was added on to Bishop Reding Secondary School’s coaching staff.
This was just as David was entering his 10th grade season, and that summer he knew he had to get better.
So he and his parents reached out to Bascoe.
The meeting took place at Montana’s as David, accompanied with a pen and paper took down strict instructions from Bascoe.
“I set up a program for Christian,” said Bascoe.
“First year, Christian worked on his ball handling, second year was his shooting, both off the dribble and catch and shoot and third year it was weight lifting.”
Bascoe was also aware of David’s label of being soft, so he instated one golden rule that was never to be broken.
“Christian wasn’t allowed to play in leagues that had lower level talent, and he could only compete against the high level, older, tougher guys,” emphasized Bascoe.
“I had to change his mentality.”
David’s improvements were so vast that he earned himself an offer to play for Vermont prep academy.
“I give all the credit in the world to Christian” explained Bascoe.
“He does everything the coaching staff asks and consistently proves people wrong.”
This year David will be suiting up south of the boarder, gaining the exposure and high-level competition that will only bolster his growth as a prospect.
But just as David leaves Milton, new prospects from the region are starting to emerge.
2018 point guard Jalen Warren, the 2015 NPH showcase underclassmen MVP, is primed for a big season at Bishop Redding.
2020 rising young buck and Milton native Addison Patterson will also be at Bishop Reding this season.
2021 point guard Joshua Bascoe is set to make a splash this year, building a reputation as one of the best players in his respective class.
With endless names to be brought to the table when discussing Milton basketball, S-Elite will also be on the rise as a program.
“The vision for S-Elite is that it is a program in Canada that consistently prepares players to contribute right away for the next level,” explained Bascoe.
“It is all about the kids and the end of the day.”
The basketball talent, program, and foundation will make its presence felt within the region.
When you navigate Milton, outdoor basketball courts are not difficult to come by, adding opportunity for youth to excel in the sport.
Milton’s soil is showing that it is ready to nourish Canada basketball’s roots for years to come.