The Prairie Duo – Saskatchewan’s Atlee Simon & Jaquin Bennett-Boire
TORONTO,ON–The Canadian National championships serve as a platform for names to be cemented, and stars to be born.
In past years, familiar names such as Tristan Blackwood, Keaton Cole, Papa Oppong, Simon Bibeau, Alwayne Bigby, Kevin Pangos, Duane Notice + more have used this national event to patent their player resumes.
This year, two names that will surely be on the NPH radar moving forward, are Saskatchewan’s U15 duo comprised of 5’11 guard Jauqin Bennett-Boire & 6’0 guard Atlee Simon.
Bennett-Boire is currently posting averages of 20.4 PPG, 11.8 RPG & 3.2 APG, leading the tournament in rebounding and assists while standing at second in scoring, only behind fellow teammate Atlee Simon.
Included in these impressive numbers is a spectacular first game performance that saw Bennett-Boire post 33 points, 12 rebounds and 4 assists.
While he is based out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, JBC will be attending Yale Secondary school in Abbotsford, BC in the upcoming season, setting him up to potentially play for Basketball BC at next year’s nationals.
On the other end, teammate Atlee Simon leads the tournament in scoring with 22.8 PPG and ranks second in helpers with 3.0 APG.
“When I’m playing in high school, I’m one of the best players there, but I come down here and there’s guys twice as good as me,” Simon tells NPH, regarding the level of competition at nationals.
Simon, a two-sport stud [football and basketball], understands that he has much to work on if he is to reach his potential.
“I can’t think that I’m the best…I have to work harder to get better,” explained Simon.
In Saskatchewan’s double-overtime battle with Quebec, with Bennett-Boire fouled out, Simon led the charge and placed his team in a position they had no business being in…pushing Quebec to the limit.
“It was the craziest, longest game I’ve ever played. After Jauquin was fouled out, I knew I had to step up for my team and start making shots.”
That he did, as Simon posted a game-high 30 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and five steals en route to earning player of the game honours in a losing cause.
Although Saskatchewan will not medal at the 2011 nationals, the “Praire Duo” have certainly left their mark.