National Preparatory Association Announces Saskatchewan’s Athol Murray College of Notre Dame as 8th Member



North Pole Hoops is proud to announce the eighth member of the National Preparatory Association– Athol Murray College of Notre Dame. The school out of Wilcox, Saskatchewan, is a co-educational boarding high school (grade 9-12) with an emphasis on a balanced approach to the development of the mind, the body and the spirit all within a community environment.

Notre Dame is best known for its hockey program but it also has a quality university preparatory educational program, along with a full slate of high school sports teams and non-sport programs such as choral, drama and band.

Athol Murray is lead by Adam Huffman, a former University of Regina player and coach with the Saskatchewan Provincial Team.

Huffman started his coaching career while still playing at Regina, and as an Alaskan native he anticipated heading back to the States to get into his coaching career. But after starting a few clinics in Saskatchewan that garnered way more interest than he anticipated, Huffman started Doggpound Training Academy, which was the first high-performance training program in the region.

From there he was hired as the U17 Coach for Team Saskatchewan, where he focused on ensuring the top talent in the province was represented at the national level. His work at the Provincial level lead to his hiring at Athol Murray College of Notre Dame, where he just completed his first year at the helm with the prep team.

The first year for the prep team included an exhibition schedule devised by Huffman against ACAC level competition in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

“The first year we pulled together eight players to come out to Notre Dame, and I was able to place every single one of the guys who graduated. I didn’t have any D1 guys or CIS guys, but I did place guys in the ACAC who weren’t ACAC guys before we started. We were okay from a competition standpoint, but we really needed a league going forward.”

Huffman knew that the structure of programs in Canada was heading more towards elite level basketball, and the program wanted to test itself.

“The reality is I have younger guys, my point guard and shooting guard are 15 and 16, and they’re our best players playing against college competition. I needed appropriate talent for them to be playing against, and they needed more exposure than the ACAC because they are higher than that level.”

Athol Murray College of Notre Dame, or the Hounds as they will be known by, feature two young studs that are competing well beyond their years with the help of Huffman.

Shol Ayach is a 16 year old 6’3” shooting guard who is currently playing with the U17 Team Sask. Ayack is a lockdown defender who has refused to let guards bring the ball up over the course of the National Championship, and will score in double digits purely from steals and dunks.

The Hounds even younger point guard has been turning heads at Nationals, with everyone asking who the 15 year old is running the point for the U17 squad. Adefolarin “Fo-Fo” Adetogun is a 5’11 guard with a 6’9” wingspan, while leading the team in blocks.

Huffman praises him on his communication skills as well as his 90% academic average, all while being an ambassador for the school and working to recruit players to his team.

“He’s the type of player who wakes himself up at 6 A.M. to get in the work. The only slight I can think for him is that if he knew I was coming to wake him up in the morning, he might not wake up the rest of his team because he wants the reps for himself,” Huffman explains with a laugh.

The competitive edge will undoubtedly help the young guard as he navigates the intense competition the National Preparatory Association will bring him next season.

Athol Murray College of Notre Dame will add opportunity and diversity to the league, with reach extending from coast-to-coast.

Notre Dame joins British Columbia’s B.C. Christian, New Brunswick’s Rothesay Netherwood, Quebec’s Thetford AcademyToronto’s St Mike’s and TBA, Ottawa’s Topflight Academy and Sault Ste Marie’s The Tech Academy Titans.

Welcome to the league.

A Nation Inspired. #GameSpeaks #NPA



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