Ross Sheppard has the Juice, Favourites at Mike Dea Classic!


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I walked into the gym for my first ever Alberta high school basketball game.

It was Ross Sheppard VS Catholic Central of Lethrbridge. I was very intrigued by Shepp after watching them for two minutes.

Bench engaged, defensive intensity (Everyone in stance), spacing in half court or in transition and of course talent from top to bottom.

Ross Sheppard big man Marco Beasley was beastly

Ross Sheppard big man Marco Beasley was beastly

I thought to myself this could be the best team in the tournament without even seeing the others.

Then, I watched them in their second game of the day against Bev Facey, and what I thought earlier was confirmed–the T-Birds have the juice.

Outside of the fact that they have all the pieces in skilled guard play, inside presence, wing production and overall depth, what stands out to me is their toughness.

They are a confident team that will not back down from anybody, and will likely be the agressors.

Ross Sheppard is my favourite to capture the #MikeDeaClassic but they will have to go through the home team St Francis Xavier squad in the semi-finals — you know the place will be rockin at 8 PM!

Although Shepp has established themselves as favourites, don’t count out St FX, also a well coached team with pitbull guards in Nelson Wani & Mark Tarouna, in addition to the sniper Liam Harrison.

Then of course you have a talented O’Leary squad with size, lead by Ogot Ogot..say it twice for insurance.

O’leary opened the tournament sloppy in game one, but still ended up with a blowout win, however made strides in game two. This relatively young team will certainly grow together over the months as leadership emerges and chemistry builds.

St Francis out of Calgary will square off against O’Leary in the other semi-final game, and it will be a match up of size and athleticism –very interested to see what takes shape!


Semi Final Match Ups

  • O’Leary VS Saint Francis, 6pm
  • St. Francis Xavier vs. Ross Sheppard, 8pm

Off the Court

  • snow stormFirst order of business was meeting the legend, the man they call Mike Dea. It was a great pleasure to meet him and his lovely wife Dianne, who have attended thie event for the last 17 years, and sit on a comfy couach mid court. Mike Dea coached and was a teacher at St Francis Xavier for 35 years. The Dea children, and grandchildren all attended St. FX–thats what you call a BASKETBALL FAMILY!
  • Swiss Donair is now off my bucket list. Tasted it, not too shabby. I give it a solid 7 out of 10.
  • While on the topic of food, the word is that over 30 turkeys will be paying a visit to the Mike Dea Classic for a traditional turkey lunch at the tournament. I cannot wait. Hungry thinking about it.
  • The Snow storm in Edmonton has been massive. It has been snowing forever it seems–to the point where I got back to my hotel only to be stuck in the parking lot for a nice hour at 2AM.
  • I’m excited to be a judge for the jamboree (dunk off) — I promise I won’t be making it easy for the dunkers!

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