Published by Jason Gairey on November 28, 2011
Over the years, the most dominate private school program in the GTA has been powerhouse St. Michael’s College, producing such D1 prospects as Bernard Jackson(Cornell)and former NFL star O.J Santiago. None are more popular, however, than former NBA player and Syracuse All-American Leo Rautins. The St. Mike’s basketball program has had a strong hold on the CISAA for decades and this year’s crop is looking to keep that hold. Leading them into what could be their most productive season yet is 6’3″ all-star combo guard Duane Notice, who has been the bread & butter to the squad for the last 3 years. Highly athletic, strong and a prolific scorer, Notice was relied heavily on until the emergence of arguably the province’s most powerful up-and-coming point guard – 6’2″ Malcolm Duvivier. “Duane and Malcolm both have come with a more mature attitude towards both basketball and school.” explains St Mike’s assistant Coach, Nunzio Corrente. “They are really trying to prepare themselves for that next level of play and in turn, help this school stay on top.”
Both representatives of Canada’s National Team system, the two make up one of the province’s deadliest backcourts. Add 6’0″ defensive guard, 15 year old Rayshane Case to the mix, and St Mikes is in prime OFSAA contention and at the top of the pack in the blossoming CISAA. “We’ve been very dominant in this conference over the years, but it is nice to see other schools starting to build solid programs,” says Corrente. “This year however, we have a good mix of youth and veteran players. We feel this could be the year that we make a stronger run at an OFSAA championship.”
Blossoming is exactly what the independent private school league is doing, giving St Mike’s stiffer competition than ever before. St. Andrew’s College in Aurora, ON is having major success lately with many of their sports programs as evidenced by their recent CISAA Football Championship victory.
Villanova College in King City, ON has made a statement with a new sports facility that is highly attractive for multiple sports in order to enhance their student athletes, attract more elite ones and start building stronger programs to compete. So said; so done. Now attending Villanova is 6’5″ guard-forward and 1st Team All-Star representing Team Ontario U15 Gold medalist at this summer’s Nationals, Devonte Campbell. With a motor and length that all kids desire, Campbell will be like his St. David rep program teammate, Egi – something to build around. Add veteran shooting guards Vince DiVito and David Monaco, scrappy forward Gianmarco Luciano and Villanova will be a force in the CISAA. “We are excited about the upcoming season with our core guys aforementioned and (we) are looking on continuing to build on our program.” explains long time Head Coach at Villanova College, Paul Paradiso. He adds, “We will be very competitive in CISAA Division 1 play, with sights on finishing 1st place in the West Division.”
Other programs are following suit such as Upper Canada College and, although this sport may not be as strong as the hockey and football programs you have seen in CISAA, it is evolving and promises an exciting future for basketball amongst the private school programs. Definitely players and teams to keep an eye on this season and down the road.