With another successful season in the books, this year’s Nike Signature League seems to have had it all.
From unlikely underdogs to stories of redemption and fierce on court battles it was a 2017-18 playoff weekend to remember.
The Giant Killers
We must start off with recognition for where it is due in the grade 7 division with the Mississauga Monarchs.
From session to session, the Monarch’s growth, steady progression and rising stock peaked at the right moment.
This team, that in session one resembled more of a chess board with different individual moving pieces morphed, by this playoff weekend, into a engine were each part relies equally on the other.
After winning a play in game against Halton Basketball, the Monarchs took care of business in very convincing fashion.
En route to their second championship in this age group in as many tears, the Monarchs defeated both the first, North Toronto, and second, Team Breakdown, teams in the league.
In the three games mentioned above, the Monarchs won by an average of 16.5 PPG.
Abdur-Rahmaan Willie, the driving force on the offensive end all season for the Monarchs continued his stellar play earning himself finals MVP honours.
Willie is a speedy point guard who is as fearless whether he is going to the basket, or jumping a passing lane for a steal – he plays very hard.
All Star Game MVP Daniel Thompson also led the Monarchs with his tough rebounding, scoring inside, and ability to block shots.
On the other end for Team Breakdown, League MVP Raequon Pryce did all he could, as did team Breakdown despite being without one of their best perimeter player Kahlil Henry.
Sean Blake stepped up for team Breakdown in the final game, proving to be their best option on the perimeter for both scoring the ball and getting others involved.
Redemption for Grassroots
After being undefeated heading into last years finals before being upset by the Vaughan Panther, Grassroots took care of a hungry Halton basketball club defeated them 78-63 claiming the Signature League Championship.
C/O 2023 Elijah Fisher, the only member of last year’s team that lost to Vaughan, made sure that this year there was no upset this time around putting up a monstrous 35-point performance.
This included a variety of different looks as Fisher got to the free-throw line 20 times making 15, knocked in a three-point jumper, and in typical fashion had some exciting break away dunks.
On Halton’s end C/O 2023 Marquis Joesphs put on a great performance as well knocking in 22 points and keeping Halton in the game with a majority of timely baskets.
After a relatively close game in the first three quarters, Grassroots ran away with the fourth, outscoring Halton 24 to 9.
League MVP and All Star Game
In the all-star festivities it was Max Voorpool and team Grey that ended up winning coming out on top 97-93.
Voorpool stole the show for team grey as the point guard from the Scarborough Blues put up 28 points nailing 6 threes with some great finishes.
Jahsemar Olemebe and Elijah Fisher were also fiercely competitive with one another as both players took turns attacking each other on both ends.
Fisher ended up with 35 points and 13 rebounds for team Blue, while Jahsemar scored 22 points had 2 rebound and 2 assists.
Grade eight league MVP was also announced as C/O 2024 Jacob Theodosiou claimed the titled along with 3 months of training with Bobby Allen.
Theodosiou, who unfortunately missed out on this weekend’s festivity with an injured thumb, led the league in scoring with 25.4 PPG all while playing a year up.
The 5’5, 100 pound guard from the Waterloo Wildhawks took the league by storm with his consistent three point shooting, fearlessness in attacking the rim and overall pound for pound production.