Ottawa, Surronding Regions Represent Rich Basketball Tradition
The Ottawa basketball scene had a abundance of top level talent show out in the grade 6 to 8 age group. Right off the top C/O 2023 Nathan Christopher, Daniel Muila and Nathan Makolo were three Ottawa natives that stood out – all of which will be playing in the NPA at Canada Topflight Academies
C/O 2023 Nathan Makolo was the most athletic kid in the gym showing a unique blend of both strength and hops throwing down some monster dunks and recovering for a few huge chase down blocks. As Makolo continues to add to his skill set and shooting ability he could be one of the big sleepers in the class.
C/O 2023 Daniel Muila encompasses about everything his older brother does but with a solid perimeter game. Daniel showcased his toughness and grit along with a solid on ball dribble package. With continued improvement on his jumper, Muila looks like he will be in the 2023 conversation for a long time coming.
C/O 2023 Nathan Christopher was one of the most lethal shooters in the gym. Christopher was able to showcase his knock down shooting ability all the way from pull up situation to spot up, to coming off of screens. Nathan also had a good handle and was very good in pick and roll situations making the right play time after time. As Christopher continues to work explosiveness here is also a player that will be in the 2023 conversation for a long time coming.
C/O 2024 Oliver Engen of Eastern Ontario Elite and Kingston Impact took home the MVP as the five foot ten Kingston point guard showed off a solid floor game, making all the right passes, knocking down his jumper and also limiting his turnovers. Engen is brand new on the radar and looks to be a force to be reckoned with.
C/O 2023 Grady McAuleyof Eastern Ontario Elite and Kingston Impact was another solid shooter as the Kingston native was automatic from spot up situations. McAuley also had a solid on ball dribble package and a good grasp of spacing and off ball movement. As Grady continues to add to his defensive game, he has established himself on the radar.
C/O 2023 Max Phelan of Eastern Ontario Elite and Kingston Impact also stuck out for the middle school division as the 6 foot 5 inch Kingston forward had a developing perimeter game with a nice shot and knack for getting the rebound. With continued work on his overall game Phelan is also a stock raiser from the Ottawa showcase.
The Ottawa Showcase brought in a large variety of talent from a few different programs in eastern Ontario and Québec. The majority of campers were 2020 classes with the exception of U17 Team Ontario athletes who took time out of their weekend training camp to come ball with us. There was a large amount of young, athletic, versatile talent.
2022 Angelie Ricard showed a high caliber well-rounded skillset with a great feel for the open court with the ball in her hands – gets to the rim every time if you don’t stop her! Transition player with tight handles and simple and efficient attack. Seeks out contact on penetration and gets to the line. IQ player with shooting ability and good recognition of opportunities off ball screen situations.
2021 Jaz Balan was a rebounding machine!! Big body post who showed stamina and endurance superior to posts I’ve seen at her size. Quick learner who showed development throughout camp; learning to finish at the rim in traffic off of O boards. Finishes well with both hands inside, handles contact well, shooting threat within 10ft range, and developing ball control on handles around the arc. Competitive and coachable; applies concepts and high ceiling. I am very excited to follow her progress.
2019 Jade Lyons showed the value in a player who works hard on both ends of the floor consistently. Brought energy, was attentive, coachable, and showed an understanding of the game. Lefty guard who powers to the rim and showed spot up 3 pt scoring ability. Read the defense and got extra buckets on backdoor cuts and moving well off the ball. Intangible factors translated to necessity for her team to have her on the floor – does the little things!
2023 Rosalie Mercille was something I hadn’t yet seen – a sniper as a shooter who is also a complete player.
Rosalie set the bar high with her fundamentally sound shooting with clean footwork and a quick release. Shoots spot up, off the bounce, or pops it behind the ball screen; also showed IQ and poise using the screen. Plays with a chip on her shoulder and contagious energy. Locks up defensively and brings her killer instinct to every component of her game. Her level of competitiveness truly sets a higher standard for the court. Clutch in pressure situations, made big-time plays and hit big time shots! Overall played both ends of the floor with purpose and intensity, showed leadership coaching and helping other campers in drills, remained focused throughout the weekend.
2019 Amanda Gaetano showcased what she does – small crafty point guard who attacks and kicks off penetration, and looks up the floor to push the ball in transition. Good vision and understanding of the game. Quick trigger and versatility shooting the 3; off the dribble, using ball screens, spot up, and loves the stepback to create space.
2019 Athel Malou maximized on an opportunity to be seen! Athletic, competitive, and efficient scoring guard who got to the rim and finished well. Like to get through the defense to clear traffic and elevate off the ground to finish high on the other side of the rim. Slasher type player with handles and a long first step. Competitive spirit, positive energy and a great teammate.
2022 Achol Akot is a pure gamer. Long and lanky high-level athlete with a basketball IQ resembling that of a player who watches basketball. Natural with the ball in her hands and showed great touch finishing in a variety of ways around the rim. Knows where she is on the floor and understands how to attack her defense. Passes the ball well and alters shots defensively.
Last but definitely not least, 2023 Cassandre Prosper demonstrated elite level IQ reading the defense and attacking the rim; finishes with both hands at high speed and in traffic. Utilizes her length and speed to her advantage both offensively and defensively; got in passing lanes and blocked shots. Great body control and coordination, rebounds aggressively, runs hard, and handles the ball well. Scoring threat from the 3 point line.
The Ottawa showcase was the best one yet! The bar is set high and I can’t wait for Toronto Showcase August 1-2 in Toronto!