The CYBL’s second session took place this past weekend at Hillfield Strathallan College in Hamilton, Ontario.
Of all the action that took place there were a few things I had to jot down on my notepad.
Parent, Community Support
The parents’ support plays an instrumental role in building an exciting atmosphere in the gym for the players.
This atmosphere is undoubtedly a great factor for these youngsters who are getting accustomed to playing in front of bigger, rowdier crowds.
Along with the elite venues, the overall flavour of the CYBL helps player’s transition to a more realistic game flow.
Outside of the gym, the parents had also set up picnic like food stations, a gathering points for all the fans of these club teams to meet, eat, and greet each other.
As another year of the CYBL has kicked, the league is in great hands with strong community support helping push along the sport.
The field has been widened in the league as the expansion of teams in both the grade 7 (16 teams) and 8 (18 teams) divisions has a new dynamic.
A real positive is that teams need to bring it every game, there are no adjustments to one teams style of play, or coaching strategies after the fact as teams may only see that opponent once until the showdown.
Of these two divisions, four teams and 3 programs remain undefeated.
In the grade 8 division, Key Hoops Cory Joseph (8-0) has been absolutely dominant winning their games by an average of 43 points a contest.
The team does everything well, from the defensive end to offense, the game comes effortlessly to them.
Their size and skill are also something that sticks out as most of the players are very advanced at this stage of the game.
As a first year program, head coach Richard Scott has done a phenomenal job at gathering the right talent, and helping them play selfless, defensive basketball.
The DC bulldogs have shown that both their grade 8 and 7 teams are a force to be reckoned with, as both squads remain undefeated at 8-0.
Nkosi Adams has built a great program where both teams are able to go deep into their benches.
To round out the grade 7 division, Grassroots and head coach Nathan Ferguson has also gone a perfect 8-0.
Playing a hounding style of full court defense, the team is great at picking opposing player’s pockets, and transitioning those steals into easy lay-ups on the other end.
And although they lack immediate height, they make up for it in heart, hustle, and determination.
They will be a pleasure to watch for the remainder of the season.
Although these are the undefeated teams this does not take away from teams in the divisions that are still highly competitive.
In grade 8 Grassroots, Canada Elite, 21 Hoops East and UPlay have put together solid squads that will be able to battle for top spot on any given weekend.
Canada Elite, led by head coach Corey Niles, always seem to cook at the right time.
As witnessed in last year’s CNIT, Canada Elite starts off slowly, but builds momentum down the stretch of the weekend, expect much of the same here at the CYBL.
21 Hoops East has been an exciting team to watch.
Here is a team that has added a few pieces this year but has also developed their core from a season ago.
Getting off to a quick start is exactly what the team needed, and their presence inside and out has helped them become one of the better-rounded teams in the CYBL.
Grassroots and head coach DeShawn Montaque have had a very strong run.
Grassroots also had one of the more exciting comebacks, defeating 21 hoops after trailing by as many 23, before eventually winning by 5.
This is a very well disciplined and talented group of players who can beat you from the three-point line, as well as on the defensive end of the ball.
In the seventh grade, team breakdown, Ottawa elite, and marksmen also have some top talent and great coaching on the sideline.
Team breakdown and Lloyd Dixon had a pretty tough week, schedule wise, at the CYBL playing both Durham City and Grassroots.
Here is a team that has great size and athletes.
They are always trying to match the other teams strengths, as they are well rounded enough to run with the best, but can also grind it out.
Marksmen are always a tough team to beat especially with coach Cedric Carter.
Carter has his guys playing, and firing on all cylinders, as he continuously brings the best out of each of his players, individually.
Ottawa Elite and coach Aaron Blakely are also on a positive note as the team has a great feel and intelligence for the game.
Blakely has the team recognizing the other teams plays and sets, and counter acting them with their own fire power.