With the conclusion of Seneca’s historical win over Douglas College in the CCAA finals, being crowned national champions for the first time ever, it seems as if the program has finally made “it”.
Winning their first ever National Championship has been a journey, one that has been endured by coach Jay McNeilly.
Three years prior, coach McNeilly had come on as an assistant coach, eventually being appointed as the head coach after Darrell Glenn left the program to pursue an opportunity at the USport level.
“Seneca has a very rich tradition in athletics and (the entire staff and I) are very thankful to be a part of it,” said coach McNeilly.
“The athletic department is very supportive of our program and we are grateful of the support.”
As McNeilly inherited the team, he knew that changes would have to be made in his pursuit of excellence and history for the program, however most of the changes were off the court, not on it.
“We don’t do anything advance as a basketball team,” explained McNeilly. “When we took over the program in 2015-2016 we had to make a lot of adjustments with simple things such as being on time, not missing practice or study hall, saying good morning, good afternoon, good night, thank you, your welcome.”
Continued education was also a key for the program as the coaching staff had weekly off court lessons that were called the ‘Hive Jive’.
The team would speak to their players about life lessons, have special guest come in, or dive into more unique ways of learning such as a old folk or country song.
Each case the coaching staff wanted to share the importance of what or how each different lesson can be useful in life.
As for the future McNeilly has a very clear vision that looks to help both his players and the basketball community as a whole.
“For the upcoming years we want to continue to build the culture of our program,” said McNeilly. “Our ultimate goals at Seneca is to give the student-athlete an enjoyable experience, get them ready for their careers, and build the Canadian college basketball culture.”