The 4th annual Fullcourt Press Northern Exposure Camp was held this past weekend (November 6-7) at Rundle College High School in Calgary, Canada. This event featured about 60-plus players from Calgary and other areas of Alberta, Canada (including Edmonton) as well as players from British Columbia and Saskatchewan. The camp was directed by John Hegwood (a former Gary IN native, University of San Francisco star and professional player now living in Calgary) and continued with several competitive rounds of games that showcased the talent present.
Calgary with 1 million-plus residents is one of North America’s most modern and diverse cities and there is no reason why this area can’t produce enough college-caliber players to warrant future recruiting attention at all levels - especially when a past NBA MVP like Steve Nash (a Western Canada native) continues to be a great
source of inspiration. Recent NCAA Division I players from this area of Canada include 6’9” James Johnson (Virginia), 7’2” Jordan Bachynski (Arizona State) and 6’0” Ryan Wetherell (USC). One of this camp’s recent standouts Okotoks AB native 6’8” Braeden Anderson (now at a New England prep school) will sign with DePaul this month.
The camp’s top 24 players were selected by me and were showcased in the “cream of the crop” game held at the conclusion of the event. Joe De Cima and John Hegwood Jr. led their squad to victory and were named co-MVPs of the Top 24 game.
Listed below are five players that stood out:
John Hegwood Jr. 6’4” 2012 Bishop Grandin (Calgary AB CAN)
Skilled wing with emerging combo-guard skills is evolving into a high-major prospect. “LJ” is young for his grade, has a size 15 shoe and it is very evident that he is not done growing. Dad 6’6” John Sr. is a Gary IN native that played college ball at San Francisco and professionally in Calgary. Combining an impressive perimeter stroke to go along with growing athleticism (had several dunks at this camp), LJ is definitely a player on the rise in the 2012 class.
Joe De Ciman 6’3” 2012 Leboldus (Regina SK CAN)
Physical defender uses strength and athleticism well to slice to the basket. Strong wing played on the Canadian Cadet Junior National squad that recently placed 3rd at the FIBA 17u World Championships in Hamburg, Germany last July. Mid-major-plus potential.
Dave Morrison 5'9" 2012 Bishop McNally (Calgary AB CAN)
Speedy point has an excellent feel for the game and the ability to run a squad effectively.
Jalen Gardener 6'1" 2011 Bowness (Calgary AB CAN)
This athletic lead guard was arguably the most improved player in the camp compared to a year ago. Gardener has an impressive first-step off the bounce, a confident handle and a refined jump shot that makes him one of Canada’s top 2011 sleepers.
and a refined jump shot that makes him one of Canada’s top 2011 sleepers.
Edgar Ndayishimiye 6’4” 2011 St. Mary’s (Calgary AB CAN)
Thin but skilled wing-guard has really improved his perimeter shot as well as his ability to slash to the basket. Long arms and nice length makes him a potentially good defender as well.
Other Top 24 Game players include:
Mark Fernandes 5’10” 2012 Bishop McNally (Calgary AB CAN)
Don’t let Fernandes’ thin build fool you, Mark has a scorer’s touch and the ability to beat defenders with regularity off the dribble.
Strahinja Kucinar 6’5” 2011 Western Canada (Calgary AB CAN)
Serbian 3-point shooter with a soft touch has nice size for an off-guard.
David Kapinga 5’9” 2013 St. Mary’s (Calgary AB CAN)
Ultra-quick young point is difficult to contain off the dribble.
John Traboulsi 6’3” 2011 Western Canada (Calgary AB CAN)
Productive shooting guard has a strong build and was a consistent scorer all camp long.
Deiter Posein 6’7” 2012 Bishop Grandin (Calgary AB CAN)
Rugged post-man is a work-horse on the boards and an improved back-to-the basket offensive player. Emmanuel Joshua 6’4” 2012 Notre Dame (Calgary AB CAN)
Strong lefty wing forward rebounds well.
Ryan Sandhu 6’3” 2012 Western Canada (Calgary AB CAN)
Crafty off-guard has real ability to knock down outside shots.
Matt Thygesen 6’0” 2011 Bishop Grandin (Calgary AB CAN)
Hard-working combo-guard can knock down perimeter shots and is a max effort guy.
Nicholas Molina 5’10” 2013 Bishop McNally (Calgary AB CAN)
Although Molina was not always consistent, this young playmaker did display a nifty mid-range game as well as quick ball skills.
Other campers of note include 6’6” junior Dallas Karch (Wisewood/Calgary AB CAN), 6’3” senior Payton Karch (Wisewood/Calgary AB CAN), 5’4” junior Matt Johnson (Bishop Grandin/ Calgary AB CAN), 6’6” junior Joe Sykes (Western Canada/Calgary AB CAN), 6’2” soph William Konybai (St. Mary’s/Calgary AB CAN), 5’10” soph Tony Wolter (Bishop McNalley/Calgary AB CAN), 6’0” senior Sawyer Brown (Bishop Grandin/ Calgary AB CAN), 5’10” senior Natnell Abdo (St. Francis/Calgary AB CAN), 6’5” soph Jordan Lalonde (Bishop Grandin/Calgary AB CAN), 6’4” senior Sean Bloomfield (Western Canada/Calgary AB CAN), 6’1” soph Martin Sawry (St. Mary’s/Calgary AB CAN), 5’7” junior Sean Persaud (Western Canada/Calgary AB CAN), 6’0” junior Cory Crowfoot (Aenlay/Edmonton AB CAN), 5’5” soph Vincent Ma (Springbank/Calgary AB CAN) and 6’0” freshman Zach Skoko (St. Marguerite JHS/Calgary AB CAN).
This year’s camp also included a junior division as well as a girls division. Girls division standouts included 5’4” junior Shanice Govia (Diefenbaker/Calgary AB CAN), 6’1” freshman Teneshia Davison (Okotoks/Okotoks AB CAN), 5’9” sophomore Madison Laurin (Western Canada/Calgary AB CAN), 5’4” soph Manesha Sidhu (Western Canada/Calgary AB CAN) and 5’7” senior Simran Gill (Western Canada/Calgary AB CAN). In the junior division, it was 5’2” 8thgrader Jesse Tam (Woodman JHS/ Calgary AB CAN), 5’2” 8thgrader Nolan Willet (St. Joane of Arc JHS/Calgary AB CAN), 5’4” 8thgrader Chan De Ciman (St. Matthew JHS/Regina SK CAN), 4’7” 6thgrader Victor Ma (Springbank JHS/Calgary AB CAN), 5’3” 8thgrader Amrit Gill (FFCA JHS/Calgary AB CAN) and 5’5” Branden Sandhu (Western Canada HS/ Calgary AB CAN) that showed excellent future potential. .
** special thanks go out to John Hegwood, Jackie Portsmouth, Steve Molina and the entire Calgary Elite and CYDC family for their great hospitality and for again making my trek to Calgary a worthwhile experience. .