Kicking it all off at noon was the first of six separate coaching clinics, conducted by the Ontario Basketball Association featuring staff from both the Ryerson Rams and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons basketball teams. Each one of the sessions focused on a different section of basketball development, ranging from strength and conditioning to various portions of offensive and defensive skills. The afternoon saw 22 coaches from local and provincial teams come out to participate and learn from the expert OUA and NCAA coaching staffs.
Following the coaching clinic Shawn Burgess and Kelly LaFontaine of OBA led the Mega Hoops Clinic for children under 12 with a focus on developing skills and positive feedback for the young hoopsters. The clinic is part of the OBA's focus on bringing more coaching and education to grassroots pockets in Ontario in order to broaden the game of basketball. "The clinic is meant to be developmental and offer a new perspective to kids, while reinforcing teamwork and fundamentals," said head clinician Burgess.
The clinic was attended by 48 athletes, many of whom were drawn by the opportunity to practice with the Rams' varsity athletes. Showing their support, these athletes gave the younger players someone to look up to and emulate based on their successful basketball careers. That incentive could see some of the youngsters continuing to practice these skills that can enrich their own basketball lives down the road at high school or university. Burgess was excited having the participation of Ryerson and its student-athletes and felt they enhanced the experience tenfold. "Having the community coming together for cross training, athletes helping these kids and giving them a chance to them in real life is huge," Burgess said.
In the middle of the afternoon the court took centre stage as the Rams women's basketball team hosted the Memorial Seahawks from Newfoundland. In a tight back-and-forth battle that saw multiple ties and lead changes, it was the Seahawks who held on for a 51-50 win when the Rams' final shot hit rim as time expired.
The second game on the schedule featured Father Henry Carr Secondary School going toe-to-toe with Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute. The two men's teams had a strong up-tempo athletic contest featuring traps and presses from both sides leading to multiple fast break opportunities. In the end the Carr Crusaders held onto the lead they steadily built, downing the Saints 61-54.
The main event of the trio of basketball games started at 7:00 p.m. when the Ryerson Rams took to the court against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons from the Atlantic Coast Conference in the NCAA. The Rams held a 39-37 edge at halftime but could not hang on in the second half, dropping the matchup 88-80.