U Sports-laden group to tour China this week


Led by Nipissing Head Coach Chris Cheng, a group of recent U Sports graduates and alumni currently playing professionally are in the middle of two-a-day practices ahead of their trip to China later today for the Guizhou Kaili International Men’s Basketball tournament between 21st-23rd July, 2017.  Training camp in Toronto concludes today and the team flies out in time for more training in China between 18th-20th before opening the tournament on 21st.

This international trip has been put together by ACE Sports and Entertainment and Canada’s coaching staff will include Ajay Sharma, Humber College women’s basketball Head Coach and the following 11 players:

6’3″ Jordan Campbell, wing entering his 5th and final season at Nipissing University, 6’3″ Sukhpreet Singh, a two-time OUA All-Star who graduated this past season as the all-time leading scorer in the history of Queen’s Gaels basketball, 6’4″ Jonathan Tull (Regina), who this past season played professionally in Spain, Windsor grad 6’2″ Khalid Abdel-Gabar, who played professionally in Morocco this past season, 6’5″ Christian Casimier (Nipissing), 6’5″ Devin Johnson, a three-time OUA All-Star at the University of Toronto who averaged over 20 ppg this past season, 6’7″ Nick Tufegdzic (York), who has enjoyed several successful professional seasons in Germany, 6’7″ Theon Reefer (Saint Mary’s), 6’6″ Matt Marshall (Brock) who has professional experience in Slovakia and in National Basketball League of Canada, 6’7″ Ryan Ejim of the U Sports National Champions Carleton Ravens and 6’7″ Denzell Taylor, a native of Brampton, ON who finished his collegiate career as the #10 all-time leading rebounder at Old Dominion (NCAA D1).

Guard play is always important internationally and with Abdel-Gabar the likely starter at the point, Canada has a crafty, well-coached veteran who can create for the likes of Singh, Campbell and Johnson.  Up front, Canada has 4 solid bigs led by Tufegdzic, the slick veteran along with Ejim and solid rebounder Taylor.

The four-team tournament includes China’s Bayi Shuanglu Dianchi Rockets (Chinese Basketball Association) and teams from Serbia and USA.

Coach Cheng is excited about the trip and has some understanding of the opposition “(Serbia’s) Head Coach is an Assistant with their Senior National team.  USA has a bunch of current pro players well into their 3-5th years of pro – we will definitely be the youngest team there”

Canada’s Schedule:

Friday, July 21st  Canada vs. KK Dynamic Belgrade (Serbia pro league)

Saturday, July 22nd  Canada vs. USA

Sunday, July 23rd  Canada vs. Bayi Rockets (China).

Good luck to Coach Cheng and our solid group in this international tournament.



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