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University basketball teams hitting the court in Timmins

Hometown players Jack and Owen Hagerty will be playing in the game featuring Nipissing and Algoma
Owen, left, and Jack Hagerty both play for the Nipissing University Lakers basketball team. The brothers are also Timmins High alumni.

On Saturday, Sept. 16 at 2 p.m. at TH&VS, the school is hosting a CIS men's basketball game between Nipissing University and Algoma University. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and for more ticket info you can contact Blues coach Peter Graham at [email protected] or 705-360-3982. Tickets are also available at TH&VS main office during school hours.

In conversation with Graham, he mentioned that ticket sales have been steady.

I asked him how this game came about and he replied: "To the best of my knowledge Timmins has never hosted two university teams in any sport. Both coaches (Ryan Vetrie of Algoma and Thomas Cory of Nipissing) have come to our high-performance camp for the last few years and when I presented them with the idea they both agreed immediately."

I subsequently asked him what they hope to achieve by hosting this game. The always enthusiastic Graham was quick to respond with the following: "We want to give the citizens of Timmins and surrounding areas an opportunity that is always available in other areas of Ontario. We want to continue to grow the game of basketball in Timmins and show kids that if you work hard in the classroom and on the court you could have the chance to play at this level. Nipissing has two Timmins High alumni playing for them — Jack and Owen Hagerty."

The game will feature the highest skill level and play at the amateur level in Canada. With Canadian Basketball on an ever-increasing trajectory, this is a great chance for the community to witness high-end basketball. Having two locals in the game makes it even more appealing

On the subject of basketball, the 2023 World Cup has provided some riveting and exciting play on the global stage. Canada's quarterfinal win over Slovenia now assures our best showing at the event. Coupled with Canada's qualifying for the upcoming Olympics (after years of agony and frustration) the red and white has experienced another hard-earned and deserving success for Canadian sport.

There has been no shortage of stars for the Canucks at this event, with everybody on the roster contributing critical minutes. A true team effort. But I'd be remiss not to mention the impact super pest (understatement) Dillon Brooks play and antics have contributed.

Just ask a frustrated Luka. (Who was quick to recognize Brook's stellar play.) Doncic found himself constantly under pressure and tight coverage from Brooks.

He's that guy that the opponents and fans love to hate. And he relishes that. But he is the type of player teams love to have. Well as long as he knows where and how to draw the line.

Anyway, Canada is not finished at the world's with a semi-final date with Serbia on the horizon. A medal is truly a realistic achievement.

As a coach and player, there is one trait I am always on the lookout for. Body Language. If it's a player on your own team, a sulky, mopey or why me? Body language display can eat up your teammates. The true superstars in any sport don't project negative body language (or very rarely) when things aren't going well. They knuckle down, focus, put in more reps, stay positive and provide leadership at all times, but especially when things are rough.

Opponents are like sharks when they witness poor body language. They will harass, grind out, and find motivation to knock a player(s) even further down. “We are getting to him(her) … or they are struggling, don't let up" are common refrains heard on the bench.

Part of being a consummate pro is never to display poor body language. Repeated displays of such are counterproductive at best.

Oh and by the way … I can't tell you the number of kids who scouts will avoid after witnessing more than one episode of poor body language. Few teams need that negativity in their program. 

So coaches, nip that negativity from a kid's demeanour as soon as possible so it doesn't come back and nip them later.

Adult pros … Tighten' up man. You're not doing you or your teammates any favours

Positivity is contagious. 

Later skater.

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