Scarborough Blues Prep: Building more than top athletes
The Scarborough Blues is a rep sport program and a non-profit organization. It’s a program that focuses on developing players both male and female.
SBA was founded in 1996 by Sam Moncada and helps run the program alongside Vice President Josie Sullivan. They have helped build many careers in the game of basketball including Cory Joseph and Tristan Thompson.
Developing and maximizing a player’s career is always a top priority for SBA, however they also want their athletes to grow into great people off the court.
Lady Blues head coach, Tamara Nembhard wants to see her players flourish in all assets of life and is doing her part to see that come to fruition.
“I want to get all my girls to play at the highest level, scholarships, whether it be here in Canada or in the US. I want to do my due diligence behind the scenes and grind for them and teach them hard work so I can set them up for success.” Nembhard continued to say, “Any player I come across, I look at how I can impact their lives positively on and off the court. I don’t just care about what they can do athletically. I care about their school life, their home life and their mental well-being. These girls are like my 2nd family and I will do anything for them.”
Nembhard’s time with SBA began as a player when she was a teenager. She returned to the program as an assistant coach under Chris Baron. It was under his guidance that Nembhard learned and decided to dedicate herself to become the head coach of the Lady Blues.
Nembhard’s incredible playing career saw her inducted into the Seneca College Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame but coaching proved to be a tougher battle.
“There’s that constant battle of trying to get players to buy into your philosophy, then when they buy into it, getting them to translate what they know and have learned into games. I have had lots of ups and downs as a coach. My first year coaching we won the Silver medal in Division 2, 2nd year, we made it to division 1 and lost all of our games at playoffs,” said Nembhard.
Last year, all the right pieces came together and the Lady Blues ended up winning the Division 1 Championship. Nembhard describes that team as “unstoppable.”
“Last year our team dominated the OBA’s as my core group stuck it out together. We added a few pieces and we just worked as hard as we could. It paid off because there was no one in the whole entire OBA league that could stop us. We had a 44-1 season, which included league play, tournaments and games in the US, we were unstoppable.”
This season, the Lady Blues have started where they left off last year and currently hold a 3-0 record in the JUEL League and sit at the top of the JUEL of Ontario.
Tamia Laborde-Sutton: Her great speed, strength and agility on the court make it difficult for teams to keep up with her. She’s tough as nails.
Enaiya Herdsman: She’s a finesse guard and has a smooth playing style that is great to watch.
Onika Leveridge: She is a powerhouse. There isn’t a person out there that can guard her. She has the height and strength of a forward but the speed and agility of a guard. She can play inside or out.
Tianna Leveridge: She is our best defender on our team. There is not one person she will back down from guarding. She prides herself on her in your face defence.
Majda Lojpur: She is a knockdown shooter and a sniper from behind the arc. She’s long and crafty.
The Lady Blues will be in action on Feb. 3 against the Kingston Impact. To see the full schedule check out juel.ca