FISU Games 1/4 Finals Start Saturday
The Canadian ‘World Student Games ‘ Team have qualified for the Quarter-Finals beginning Saturday, as they face Germany. The winner of that game has the tough assignment of facing the USA – Lithuania winner in one semi-final on Sunday. On the other side of the draw, it will be Russia vs Estonia and France vs Brazil.
Playing in ‘preliminary round games in Gwangju, S. Korea (we mistakenly said China last weekend), Canada finished at 4-1 following a 106-41 drubbing of Mongolia on Wednesday, and a cold-shooting (33% FG) 68-61 loss to Russia on Thursday. In the Mongolia game, Coach Barnaby Craddock (U of A) rested a couple of his starters, Chris McLaughlin (UVic), and Johnny Berhanemeskel (Ottawa), and got some floor time for some others.
Alberta’s Mamadou Gueye played 28 minutes (well above previous games), and scored 23 pts/9 rebs, while Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson (Dinos) played his regular starting role, but shot more, scoring 16 pts, 7 boards, 6 assists. Two big men, 6-10 Josh Wolfram (Thompson Rivers), and 6-8 Caleb Agada (Ottawa) both snared 10 rebounds, with Agada also registering 8 assists.
Against the Russians, it was a different story altogether, as ‘OJ’, McLaughlin, and Agada were limited to 1/13 shooting between them, as only Jordan Baker, 13 pts. (Alberta), Tommy Nixon (UBC) 13 pts., and Johnny Berhanemeskel (Ottawa) 12 points hit double figures. The Canucks had previously recorded wins over Sweden – 78-61, Mexico- 81-61, and Montenegro 66-63.
Canada has had some past success in this ‘World Student Games’ (Now the FISU Games). We finished 4th in 2013 in Russia, 2nd in China in 2013, and, with 4 of Coach Ken Shields’ UVic Vikes in the line-up in 1983 in Edmonton, Canada beat the U.S. team which included Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, and Johnny Dawkins. (Credit to the Victoria Times-Colonist).
- 5th year Lethbridge Pronghorns import post man, Brent Watkins, sustained serious injuries in a a car accident last weekend near Butte, MT. We sincerely hope that the young man can recover in a short time, and that he might be able to return to U of L basketball this Fall. (Thanks to David Wells for the information.)
- Former Dinos star, Ross Bekkering, has just signed a 1 year contract with Groningen of the Netherlands Basketball League. Ross, a 6-9 post who struggled through an injury -plagued year last Fall and Winter, says, “I’m planning for this to be my last season as a pro, I think. “ His former Dinos teammate, Robbie Sihota, may have decided to stay in Calgary this coming winter, as he starts a search for his post-basketball career.