In Canada, the summer time brings aboard many great attributes such as hot weather, festivals, and, just recently, a basketball league that is aiming to be more then just about basketball.
Commissioner Chris Campbell and former Martin Grove alum Shawn Gray have established PTR (Pound the Rock) summer league as a crime-stopping program, aiming to keep kids off the streets and in the gym.
“This has always been a dream of mine,” explained Gray. “This year I was able to achieve it.”
PTR is the only summer league that is ran in the Toronto area, with its main focus being flexibility and consistency.
“We wanted to create a league that runs during the week from Tuesday to Thursday after 6 so that all parents, and any kids that do work, could still attend the games,” clarified Gray.
“Without having games on the Monday or Friday we allow for teams to have a long weekend for whatever AAU, or other tournament commitments they may have.”
Coaches have also agreed that PTR gives them a solid outlet to create team chemistry, develop their players, and also face-off against good competition.
The league also gives teams activity who, at this this time last year were sparsely active, only attending some tournaments.
With a little over three weeks left in the summer, PTR has now entered the playoffs.
They have combined age groups such as the grade 5s and 6s, 7 and 8s, then, finally, 9s and 10s.
Garnishing both a gold and silver division, PTR also bring to the forefront a strong responsibility to both competition and opportunity to all programs that play within the league.
Game of the Week
The playoffs for PTR could not have started in better fashion, especially with the Brampton Warriors, GTA Davis matchup in the U15/16 division.
The scrappy tough affair came down to a few key possessions down the end, which ultimately went in favour to the Warriors as they walked away with a 57-51 win.
GTA sharpshooter Jack Foran had himself a great outing shooting the ball, nailing 5 three balls and ending with 18 points.
Foran was able to connect through working off his teammates screens and using his lighting quick shooting stroke to his advantage.
James Yere also played very well for GTA as the point guard was able to net 15 points in the loss.
Yere showed his toughness through his relentless drives to the rim, taking some hard hits along the way.
Colm Heath led the way for the Warriors with a game high 20 points.
Working off a silky smooth midrange jumper, hesitation moves, and the ability to get to the free-throw line, the Brampton point guard had a good outing.
Peter Sammut also was big for Brampton inside, with his rim protecting and finishing touch inside.
Sammut is a rough and tumble type of player, one that you love to have on your team but you hate to play against.
The game served as a solid admission as to what there is to expect going forward.