CNIT: 17U Division Preview

Over 35 NCAA and USports programs have confirmed attendance for the 2nd live period in July at the Canadian National Invitational, which takes place from the 20-22. There’s about 40 more who will be confirming this week to make it the highest attended CNIT by college coaches.

There is a tremendous amount of talent dispersed throughout rosters that will be receiving offers after this event.

Team Rankings

Ranking Team Ranking Team
1 Grassroots Canada Elite 9 Brampton Elite
2 UPlay Canada 16s 10 Malvern Motion
3 Run N Dunk 11 RWI Kings
4 Mississauga Monarchs 12 Team 519
5 Waterloo Wolverines 13 KW Vipers
6 Hawks Canada 14 Eastern Ontario Elite
7 People’s Basketball 15 Bishop Elite
8 BTB 16 Hamilton Wildcats


The 17U division of the Canadian National Invitational Tournament has a lot of parody this year. Familiar teams and faces have competed against each other at various points of the year but this time of year is for all the marbles.

Jahcobi Neath is a name that is recognizable among NCAA coaches after his experience with the U18 National and a strong season in the NPA. He is the head hanco for Grassroots Canada.
Grassroots has been rising back to the top of the totem pole. This is one of the groups that is going to help them stay on top.

With a strong supporting cast of Luis Pacheco, Jaden Campbell, and Wazir Latiff, this is a team that is pre-tournament numero uno.

The UPlay 16U’s have stepped up a division to play against older competition and will be lead by Joshua Hemmings, Okay Djamgouz, Taryn Todd and Keon Ambrose. Hemmings and Ambrose are coming off of a FIBA World Championship where Canada fell short of a medal against Puerto Rico.

Todd and Djamgouz were final cuts from Team Canada, that’s how loaded this roster is.

All in all, these guys have a fire lit from different angles along with key role players who are set to do damage regardless of age.

Run N Dunk brings in one of the biggest stock risers of the summer. Nick Ongenda is coming off of big offers from the Florida Gators and Oregon State.

This team is not a one man show by any means. Raheem Dennis and Ivan Misic, a 6’7 forward with interest from Davidson are key pieces.

This is the type of team that can go off and go perfect in their pool considering all the pieces they have.

There’s a 6’9 young buck on the team that not many are familiar with including myself. We’ll see what he brings to the table in front of coaches from across Canada and the U. S.

Mississauga Monarchs come in with a well rounded squad. Between guards and forwards, they have a team that can get it done from three point line and create offense for each other through penetration.

They are led by their graduating guard Hafith Moalin, who is in my opinion the best available 2018 who can end up at the division 1 NCAA level or somewhere at USports in Canada.

Moalin will have Joshua Noton as his guard mate and Will Bazuk, Viktor Nausedas and Thomas Chilton who is being sought out by the likes of Bucknell, Dartmouth, St. Joseph’s, Penn, Drexel and others.

Last but certainly not least, Vlad Lukomski has the 3 ball lined up and ready at all times.

This group is familiar with one another and have a lot of chemistry.

Waterloo Wolverines are a team with pedigree, a CNIT 17U Champion from 2016 and a top team every year.

Emmanuel Oteng is locked and loaded. He’s the glue guy for the Waterloo Wolverines. He fills up the stat sheet in multiple categories. He’s looking for a JUCO home.

Dragon Stajic coming back from and injury that had him out for 2 months, enlarged spleen and mono. They got a lot of. This is one of the best teams outside of the GTA.

The post presence for Waterloo is legit. Brandon Aultman is smart and intuitive.

Free flow offense with one set with variations and options from there that allows them to read and react.

Snipers are on deck when it comes to Hawks Canada.

They’re not the biggest physically but the ball moves a lot and they get the shots they want. This is a high caliber perimeter shooting squad.

Hawks Canada has buy in on this team. The ball doesn’t spend a lot of time in any ones hand, in fact rotates in each position and barely uses the bounce. This is a team that USports coaches will want to keep eyes on considering how strong they are academically.

Cole Hager, Ethan Andrew, Cole Newton and Judah Stewart round up the top 4 that have been identified prior to the start of CNIT.

Speed, defense, grit are a few words to help define People’s Baskebtall style of play. One of the highest flying kids in this tournament is Nas Roberts.

Asides from his slashing and above the rim plays, Roberts brings a great deal of strength on the defensive end, which his teammates feed off of.

This is a guard loaded team that will look to push and not let defenses set up.

BTB’s top pieces are Amir Gholizadeh, Marcus Masters and Graddy Kanku. Between the three, you have a long athletic wing in Gholizadeh, an elite pure PG that can score in bunches with Masters and Kanku who’s a super bouncy athlete that can defend multiple spots.

Jalen Menzies starts at PG for Brampton Elite. He was a Jamaican National team member with the U17s where he averaged 14.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg and 2.2 apg.

Owen Shirley is the post presence that will be taking care of second chance opportunities for Brampton.

Shamar Walker and Tah-jai Walters are also two critical pieces on this squad. They’re right around the middle of the pack and could surprise some teams.

Malvern Motion is going to run and gun as their roster is made up of some great speed.

Malik Taylor-Williams, David Muenkat and Daniel Thompson along with key role players like Mikey Reynolds who adds size to the equation along with others that are capable of getting in double figures.

Taylor-Williams is a 6’5 wing with a 7 foot wingspan and he’s a freak athlete to top it off.

This is my sleeper team for the tournament in the 17U age group.

RWI Kings are a quickly growing program running out of the Thornhill area. What started off as a training program has now grown to an 8 team program.

With the shifty guard play of Keith Tennant and the scoring of Kobey Lam the backcourt looks solid.

Javie Joseph who started his high school days with big games averaging over 20 ppg. We have not seen him in a while and are eager to learn how far he’s come.

Kyle Mangroo at the wing adds length and good size for position at 6’5.

Team 519 has some good size with Brett Sloan and John Dhuol and brings in Julian Lepp as a certified sniper.

There are some good scoring options on the starting lineup but depth will be the challenge for this team. If the bigs get into early foul trouble, adjustments will need to be made quickly.

Layee Jabateh of the KW Vipers is tough as nails. He sets the tone for KW on the defensive end. He has recently had a workout with Brock University and will be getting other USports looks.

Turuk Thomas, the brother of Kuel Thomas (University of Waterloo) is a 6’6 forward from the Canadian 2020 class who Coach sees as one of his more versatile pieces. Koat Thomas is a 2023 prospect who will get a chance to play up and show Coach Urosevic that he belongs.

Joshua Haughton is the sleeper prospect in this tournament that is going to be opening up a lot of eyes and likely picking up a few NCAA offers. He’ll be suited up with Bishop Elite.

He’s coming off a 50 point game in Montreal, Quebec where he made a name for himself in the French community.

Haughton was also instrumental in the National Championship game appearance that GTA Prep made against Canada Top Flight in the National Prep Association.

Eastern Ontario Elite was established in 2017, bringing the best basketball players from Belleville all the way to Cornwall together. The epicenter is Kingston, where recent NPH Showcase MVP in Ottawa, Oliver Engen hails from. 

The talent in the Kingston area is budding and the game is developing as rapidly there as it is throughout Canada.

Jack Whitley, Jerred Kinstler, Luka Syllas and Tommy Pendergrast lead the way for EOE.

Hamilton Wildcats are bringing it back to basics with a take what the defense gives you approach. A lot of the personnel on this team eats off of the read and react concept. Keaton, Aidan Jackson and Cameron Hayhoe are the key contributors with the Wildcats.

Cameron Hayhoe stands at 6’10 and holds interest from Ryerson and Algoma.

There will be a lot more previews coming on the other divisions in the CNIT. Stay tuned on for coverage from the only NCAA Certified tournament in Canada.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.