Biosteel All-Canadian All Star Game Updates: Jalen Poyser Wins Dunk Off, Corey Johnson Wins 3-point Shootout
Jalen Poyser managed to bring home the hardware for Orangeville Prep during the first day of the BioSteel All-Canadian All Star Event, that kicked off yesterday afternoon at the Athlete Institutes main training facility in Orangeville.
The gym was rife with other activities throughout the entire day, with intense inter-squad scrimmages, an impressive display of talent from Canada’s top ninth and tenth graders during their showcase, and a true three-point shootout that came down to a junior and senior aged guard.
“A big shout out to Johnny Celenza from Biosteel, we spoke a couple months ago and he was asking me ‘is this a crazy idea?’ and I told him no it’s not! Canada needs this proper representation broadcast wise (with TSN) and certain visibility just to have growth, and they need this kind of platform.” – Cabbie Richards of TSN, when aksed on how TSN started to become involved with the Biosteel All-Canadian Game
The festivities kicked off with teams being selected between the red and white squads, with practices scheduled for red from 1:30-3 p.m. and white from 3-4:30 p.m.
By the time I got there, I had a chance to catch the second half of the white squads practice. It was a flurry of high energy, run the floor type drills.
Team White huddling up after an intense workout yesterday leading up to the Biosteel All-Star game tonight. Photo: Ryan Greco
All of the players’ athleticism were on full display. You could tell just by their movements that they were locked in and treating this just as they would any final four or international game.
“We really try to emphasize that practice is even more important than the game…it’s just great to see they have that competitive edge.” says CIA Bounce Founder Tony McIntyre, who was on hand for all the day’s festivities.
It would make sense McIntyre would be there, given his programs amazing track record with former high school stars coming out this country, and Bounce’s current players such as Jalen Poyser and Jamal Murray spending this past school year with Orangeville Prep.
So far, the relationship between McIntyre and the founders of the Athlete Institute, the Tipping family, has been a prosperous one. Whether that continues through the years with this joint venture remains to be seen.
All Canadians Game
Next up was the Future BioSteel All-Canadians game. The game comprised of the top ninth and tenth graders in the country.
I think the important thing to stress about this game was the fact that every single one of these kids was selected from public schools.
“It was a great opportunity for some of these younger guys to show their abilities,” said Rowan Barrett, the Assistant GM and Vice President of Canada Basketball.
“It was also a great chance for them to battle their nerves, and represent their schools and communities in the best way. I think also obviously having all of these evaluators out to watch them is something that will continue to motivate them moving forward.”
The action was intense throughout the future stars game. Team Blue managed to knock off Team White 89-69. Photo: Ryan Greco
Notable players for both teams were Joel Brown of St. Edmund’s Campion in Brampton, Rowan Barrett Jr. from St. Marcellinus in Mississauga just to name a few.
The pace was intense all game in which neither side could get the upper hand.
Stefan smith of Bill Crothers put together a great hustle play in the second half that included a steal, leap out-of-bounds, and pass from teammate Noah Wharton.
Meanwhile, Jaden Bediako showed some nice finesse with back-to-back baby hooks in the paint to put the Blue team up 64-51 with seven minutes left in the second half.
That would prove to be more than enough, as the Blue Team walked away with the 89-69 win.
Meanwhile, Rowan Barrett Jr. walked away with MVP honours for the white team, dropping 24 points in the losing effort.
The effort was enough to even earn some public praise from dad, albeit tempered praise, but I suppose that’s what you sign up for when you enter the family business.
“Obviously as a father you feel proud,” said Barrett Sr., “and I think he played what the game called for. Normally in these games there is little defense, you mostly put on a show. I’m more from the old school where we’re more about guarding people and playing hard no matter if it’s an all-star game or not. It’s a new age now though, so I don’t want to get too critical, so, overall I was happy for him! He wanted to go out and perform well and play well with his buddies and I think he accomplished that.”
Meanwhile, Khaleem Bennett took the MVP honours for team White, pouring in 15.
CIA Bounce Founder Tony McIntyre lays out the rules to all the contestants in the 3 point shootout. Photo: Ryan Greco
Next up was the three-point contest, where according to Orangeville Prep Assistant Coach Younis Hussein declared Harvard commit Corey Johnson to be his favourite entering the contest.
“He’s got a great form and can get really streaky,” said Hussein.
Coach Hussein’s words proved to be prophetic, as it wound up being a battle of young versus old in the final, with St. Mike’s junior age player Kobey Lamb against Ottawa native and senior age Corey Johnson from Vermont Academy.
Lamb put up a valiant effort, pouring in 15 with six consecutive shots made on the middle racks, but Johnson prevented the upset with eight consecutive three’s after missing all five on the first rack, good enough for 16 overall and the three-point shooting title.
Up next was the moment everyone had been waiting for all night, the first annual Biosteel All-Canadian Dunk off!
All-Canadian Dunk Off
The first round was nothing short of impressive to say the least, with all contestants putting down their dunks on the first attempt for the most part.
By the time the final round came together, Poyser eventually came out on top with this clincher below.
However, the dunk of the night easily belonged to finalist [and junior!], Kajon Gordon-Stephens, with this ridiculous display of athleticism from the alleged 6-foot-1 guard [just so were clear, I’m 6’1” and this kid was up to my eyebrows].
So why didn’t he win? Gordon-Stephens failed to complete his second dunk of the final round, thereby forfeiting the title to Poyser.
Poyser deserved it though; he easily finished about twice as many dunks as his competitors in half the attempts.
All in all, the first day of the Biosteel All-Canadian All Star Event can be ruled a success. It turned out some great crowds, big excitement and drama, and just the perfect wetting of the appetite for the big game tonight at the Mattamy Athletics Center in downtown Toronto.