North Pole Hoops is proud to announce the ninth member of the National Preparatory Association– Central Tech Prep out of Toronto, Ontario. The team is led by Head Coach Kevin Jeffers, a longtime staple in the Toronto Basketball community.
Jeffers got his start in coaching with the legendary Eastern Commerce program out of Toronto, where he started as an assistant under current Ryerson and Jr National Team Head Coach Roy Rana.
“I spent 14 years at Eastern and then it closed down. It was a great run, I learned a lot and it developed me into the coach I am now,” said Jeffers. “I came in just as the grassroots coach, who knew about who could dunk and who could shoot it, but I really didn’t know about the game, the X’s and O’s. I spent a lot of time with Roy Rana, and he broke down the game for me, and actually showed me what it means to develop players.”
After Eastern Commerce closed down, Jeffers was approached by a couple other programs, and ended up landing at Central Tech. The principal Lisa Edwards was very supportive, and together with her staff they gave Jeffers all the momentum he needed in working towards building an Eastern 2.0.
The program is looking to emulate the success at Eastern Commerce both on and off the court. Not only did Eastern produce quality basketball players, but they also graduated and moved those players on to post-secondary opportunities. With the help of Edwards and the Central Tech staff, Jeffers has been able to implement a mandatory study hall for players, as well as additional support for when it comes to SAT prep.
“I’ve always been a coach that believes that when it comes to the term ‘student-athlete’, student comes first,” said Jeffers. “I’m the type of guy who benches star players if they aren’t performing in the class. We want to hold these young men accountable in all aspects of their life, not just how many points you can score.”
The Central Tech Blues are well on their way to building a strong foundation, including the roster they are putting together.
“I’m happy with our roster, so far we are just like an Eastern team, we are loaded with guards, shooting guards, and wing players, but we are lacking in bigs,” said Jeffers.
Isaiah Cromwell will be one of those guys for the Blues, as he makes his way over to Central Tech from Jean Vanier. Cromwell is a 6’3” combo guard who played with Jeffers’ club program (Peoples Basketball) during the summer, and he’s already gained interest from some schools. Jeffers believes Cromwell is a sleeper prospect, and that the attention he’s already getting will explode this season.
Chris Hankins from Holy Trinity in Oakville will be another guy that will play bigger than he is for Central. Hankins worked with Jeffers when he was very young, and now entering his final year the young man is looking for that extra boost. Jeffers thinks that the NPA will be that boost for him, not only in competition but exposure.
“They are going to be tough, they are going to be grinding it out and hustling,” said Jeffers. “I can’t wait to play everybody and anybody. What I have assembled on paper, I need to see on the court. I think these kids are going to be so tough and gritty, and we have that David mentality, the bigger they are, the harder they fall.”
Central Tech Prep joins Saskatchewan’s Athol Murray College of Notre Dame, British Columbia’s B.C. Christian, New Brunswick’s Rothesay Netherwood, Quebec’s Thetford Academy, Toronto’s St Mike’s and TBA, Ottawa’s Topflight Academy and Sault Ste Marie’s The Tech Academy Titans.
Welcome to the league.
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