The future looks bright for Canadian hoops
January, 22, 2010
By Mike LaPlante
College recruiters are always searching for the next great source of talent; coaches have traveled the globe in exploration of a hidden gem that could help lead their team to prominence. It always seems that there is an intriguing European, African or Australian player that bursts onto recruiting scene generating a lot of buzz and heated recruiting battles. European and Australian players can be difficult to deal with because of amateur issues involving club team play and African kids usually require so much red tape and middle-men that most coaches don't want to deal with the hassle. With its obvious language and geographical advantages, one of the hot up-and-coming areas is Canada. Many universities from Border States have found a player every now and then, but with the on-slot of Division I level players that have migrated to private schools in the U.S. with the hope of gaining exposure, a lot more college's eyes have been opened to the level of play from our northern neighbors. Canada is and will always be hockey dominated, but basketball (especially in the urban areas) is beginning to gain popularity and has begun to produce its share of prospects. After watching the outstanding play of Findlay Prep's Canadian imports Cory Joseph (No. 21 ESPNU) and Tristan Thompson (No. 11 ESPNU) along with St. Benedict's junior phenom Myck Kabongo (No. 9 ESPNU) at the 2010 Spalding Hoophall Classic , I thought it would be interesting to check out some of the future talent from north of the border. There are many factors for the recent talent surge of Canadian players at the Division I level. According to Ro Russell, who runs the Grassroots Canada program and is also the Head Coach at Christian Faith Academy in Creedmoor, N.C., "It has been a combination of development and exposure. Through the summer basketball circuit players have had a chance to prove themselves against high level competition."