The Sun Youth Classic is an absolute can’t miss if someone is a basketball fan, a scout or collegiate level coach. This year Rodney Skerrit and the Sun Youth Organization put on a show for the community with another top tier pool of talent from Quebec, Ontario and New Hampshire, U. S. A.
This event is right before Christmas because there’s more than just basketball happening at the Sun Youth facility. The program is always giving back to it’s community, having helped thousands of low-income families and new immigrants get ready for the holidays with Christmas baskets being donated. The spirit of giving is felt throughout the building and the athletes themselves get to take part in that process.
Its not the first time, nor the last time that we’ll see this much talent assemble in Montreal for this tournament. In it’s 36th edition the stage is set for a finals at 2:00pm between Quebec’s own Thetford Gold as they take on the disciplined, high IQ team of Kimball Union Academy (NH).
Kimball Union got by one of the province’s top CEGEP programs in Vanier College in the semi finals. Elon University commit, Duje Rada was a major part of the win, posting 28 points, a handful of rebounds and a block.
Eze Dike, a fellow Montrealer, made the move to Kimball Union this year and was actually originally committed to attending Vanier if he were to stay in Canada so there was a bit of tension in that regard.
Dike got the last laugh with a poster that he threw down on a Vanier defender that lit up the gym and had people jumping out of their seats.
Dike is becoming more of a known name among NCAA coaches and fans in the New England area but he hasn’t truly unleashed as of yet.
Most see him as a combo guard, yet he has his mind set on a developing into a lead guard for the collegiate level. The ball handling is tight, speed is there and he can defend really well.
Dike’s leaping ability adds to his stock in a significant way, not only because of the plays, like the one you see North of this paragraph; but also because he can rebound in bunches with very little gather needed for his second jump.
He is the 14th ranked Canadian in the 2018 class with room to climb depending on if the full transition can be made to PG. His passing ability, vision and placement in transition or top notch.
If he remains in the combo category there is nothing wrong with that either. His shooting ability and first step make him an excellent off ball option. Dike thrives in transition, uptempo college teams would love him in their lineup.
The challenge for Dike lies ahead today at 2:00pm in the Championship game as Kimball Union tries to take the trophy across the border.
Thetford Gold is a serious force in the province of Quebec. What Igor Rwigema has built in Thetford Mines is a power house CEGEP program with talent from in province, out of province and International prospects from France.
They have been a favourite from the start of the event.
It starts with play of Quincy Guerrier, a top 10 player in the Canadian 2019 class.
He’s a 6’7 guard with a tool box that ranges from above the rim finishes to shooting it from distance with high efficiency. By game’s end, he usually tallies up numbers in every statistical category as a result his activity and wider understanding of the game.
Canada basketball has taken notice and will have him out at camp in 2017.If Kimball Union doesn’t know who he is, they’re about to find out. There is going to be a mismatch with whoever is guarding Guerrier.
Ottawa product Lock Lam is also a major piece for Thetford. From his days at St. Patrick’s until today his game is night and day.
Now at 6’9 and versatile enough to stretch the floor he will tough to defend, even for Kimball Union’s Rada who did a terrific job containing Arnaud Boyer-Cillis.
Lam is being recruited highly by the CIS. When I say highly, I mean that nation’s number one program and coach Dave Smart of Carleton University wants him in a Raven’s uniform.
Asides from having these two studs on the team the Thetford roster is loaded and deep with guys coming off the bench that can drop 15 points no problem.
Eyes peeled for highlights and other coverage from the 36th Sun Youth Invitational.