Shamar Bailey, Ignas Brazdeikis Light Up Pre-Season Canadian Prep Tournament

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The Inaugural OSBA Prep Season tipped off last night with a pre-season tournament in Unionville, Ontario at Bill Crothers Secondary. Last night’s game showed that although there were over 50 high level transfers that left to the States, this country is still producing and budding talent in every region.

The Hill Academy, Father Henry Carr and Orangeville Prep walked away with wins last night and games continue today at Bill Crothers from 9:00 am to 9:00pm.

Bailey’s Big Time Performance

Father Henry Carr’s Shamar Bailey and Orangeville Prep’s Ignas Brazdeikis won over the crowd with their performances last night, registering 29 points, 3 blocks and 24 points respectively.

Shamar Bailey

Shamar Bailey | Courtesy: @RonnieMexx

Bailey led the FHC Crusaders to what would be considered a big win over Athlete Institute 84-66, as the traditional high school power defeated a prep.

Every time they needed a bucket Bailey delivered in a timely fashion and did it with flash. He was feeling himself yesterday as his body language and words suggested.

“They can’t guard me,” were the words he said to teammate Kyle LeFave as he was subbed out for a breather at the end of the third quarter.

From the practices, open gyms and games watched thus far and this early, Bailey is looking like the most improved player on the scene, having extended his game legitimately to the three point line; he went 4/7 from distance last night.

“I’ve been consistently working on my stamina and jump shot so it’s knock down, I got to come out and perform every game…I’m the only big man, but I can’t be the only one rebounding, today everyone was effective on the glass and we pushed,” Bailey told North Pole Hoops.

Pushed is an understatement, they bolted up the court in transition and applied pressure, making Athlete Institute cough up the pill over 25 times last night.

The Crusaders also had strong contributions from Shae Brown, who is expected to be a difference maker for this team as a scorer, distributor, defender and leader.

Overall, although it’s pre-season action, this puts FHC in a ferocious mindset leading into their Early Bird in November. Coach Paul Melnik has his boys working in unisen.

On the other side of the page, Athlete Institute was doing a lot of experimenting last night with multiple pieces getting a chance to be ball handler.

Notre Dame commit Nikola Djogo took over the game at pivotal moments but needed help from other hands. He’ll be used as a combo in the ACC next year and showed last night how combo-esque he is with great feel for spacing, crafty passing and versatile scoring.

2016 prospect Quinton Gray is next after Djogo as primary ball handler, while scoring will come by committee.

Thon Maker is sidelined with a minor sprained ankle and is expected to return in the near future.

Ignas Brazdeikis Lights Up For O-Prep

Orangeville Prep took on the youngest team in the OSBA last night, which was host team Bill Crothers. The game was tight until the end of the third where Ignas Brazdeikis opened it up as he connected from outside on three consecutive trips.

Ignas Brazdeikis | Courtesy: @RonnieMexx

Ignas Brazdeikis

Brazdeikis is no stranger to the basketball scene in Canada. He represented the red and white for our National Team this past summer at the Under 16 world championship for men where he averaged nine points, seven rebounds and two assists.

His development is happening quickly and his size is complimentary to his scoring ability on the perimeter.

Bill Crothers stud Stefan Smith is also a 2018 prospect who affected the game in many ways along with teammate Jayden Coke.

Coke in my opinion is one of the most dangerous dudes on the scene. Length, athleticism, scoring ability and defensive prowess are all there. He will be big time for Bill Crothers.

If Bill Crothers can keep this unit together, it will be a dangerous group for years to come.

Looking Ahead

The most anticipated game doesn’t happen until the regular season tips off, and that’s when Thon Maker and Athlete Institute go up against Justin Jackson and The Hill Academy.

The match ups in this game will be intense and Prep supremacy in Canada will ultimately be on the line.

Hill beat up on SJK last night, expected…but also expect SJK to be surprising some people come mid-season. Coach Borko Popic will have his guys on the same page and competing with the best as he did last year. Yes this year, it’s a much younger squad, but some could argue its the most talent SJK has had.

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