DRC Invitational Recap: Okolie Dominates
Published by Gilbert Muako on December 6, 2010
Whitby, ON – Father Austin high school was the host of the Durham Region Catholic Invitational, the two-day event saw some solid hoops, we had a chance to have a first look at teams such as Notre Dame, Holy Cross, All Saints, Pope JP II, Dennis O’Connor and more. However, the most entertaining aspect of it all was the dominance of 2013 standout star forward Agunwa Okolie.
Apart from Father Austin’s scare, Pope John Paul II pretty much cruised their way to the championship win. Thanks to Paul Creeden and his staff for putting on a wonderful event.
Agunwa Okolie 6’7″ F Dennis O’Connor 2013 – Though playing with lower-level competition, Okolie was terrific and showed how much he has added to his game in the past year. He has really developed his perimeter game a whole lot, was able to makes moves and take his man off the dribble to the hoop and finish around and over defenders. Okolie was strong with his back to the basket, was a lot to contain scoring down low with both hands, cleaning up the offensive glass with put-back jams, or kicking out for second-chance baskets. When he did face the hoop and he knocked down plenty of mid-range shots and even looked solid extending out to the three-point line, though he’s not yet consistent from there. Okolie impressed with passing ability and was very unselfish setting teammates up for open looks due the attention he attracts once the ball’s in his hands. He runs the floor extremely well, there were times he rebounded the ball and then went end-to-end for strong and-one opportunities, drop it off to teammates for easy baskets or make a highlight reel dunk over a defender. Okolie’s game is coming along quite well and he appears to be a big-time talent. He put up 28 points and 13 rebounds against Holy Trinity and poured in 31 points to go along with 14 rebounds during his matchup with Holy Cross.
Hassan Abdullahi 6’3″ G/F Pope John Paul II 2012 - Abdullahi is picking up right where he left off last season, becoming more of leader on this Pope team. He struggled a bit in a tough semi finals battle against Father Austin due to foul troubles but came back large with a 31-point performance to lead his team in the championship victory. He was excellent scoring the ball in transition, finishing at the rim with either hand. He also shot the ball quite well from behind the arc; most noticeably when left open in the corners. At his size it was good to see how hard he crashed the offensive boards showing a lot of toughness pursuing rebounds inside. Abdullahi needs to tighten up his ball-handling and become better creating his own shot. He is real thin as well, adding some size would be beneficial.
Aaron McGowan 6’0″ PG Pope John Paul 2011 – Here’s a point guard that will definitely have a solid senior campaign and should make some noise this season in the Ontario scene. McGowan was really impressive as a lead guard pushing the tempo while making sound decisions, making the game easier for his teammates. He was consistent knocking down shots from the three and also used the ball fake a lot to get to the middle range for pull-up jumpers. He has good speed, quickness and ball-handling ability. Adding a bit more size and strength would help him a ton.
Tyler Persaud 6’4″ SF Pope John Paul 2012 – It’s clear Persaud has some work to do but he showed he was capable of nailing long-range jumpers from beyond the arc. His energy and consistent play couldn’t go unnoticed. Persaud does have the chance to actually be solid guy with continued work, he did tons of good things on the floor.