Sudbury Five courting Cambrian College connection
by Randy Pascal
The Sudbury Five were making some noise, both on the court and off, with a pair of announcements last week at a media reception at Cambrian
For starters, the new National Basketball League of Canada franchise unveiled a partnership agreement with the New Sudbury based post-secondary
institution, naming the College as the "official practice facility of the Sudbury Five".
In return for the use of the gymnasium, SW Sports and Entertainment will establish a new student scholarship program through the Cambrian
Foundation, as well as offering employment and internship opportunities to Cambrian students.
"With a focus on our students, we are working with SWSE, looking for employment opportunities, but also trying to involve our students in being part of
the bigger community in Sudbury," said Associate Vice-President - Student and Employment Development Alison De Luisa.
"That was big for us, really supporting our community partners to make Sudbury better than it is." There is some irony in the fact that OCAA varsity
basketball programs do not currently exist at Cambrian, though De Luisa stressed not to read too much into this new partnership in that regard.
"We have looked at it and at this point in time, it is not part of our plans to bring back varsity basketball to Cambrian," she said. "We do offer
intramural basketball, so students can get involved, and it will be great to have the semi-pro players around."
Around they were, with the second Sudbury Five announcement related to the first two signings in team history, with NBL veteran and Chicago native
Marcus Lewis and Ryerson Rams alumnus Kadeem Green both signing on the dotted line.
A teammate of new Sudbury coach Logan Stutz with the Niagara River Lions a few years back, Lewis does not anticipate a difficult transition in dealing with
Stutz now from a different perspective.
"Just knowing him, Logan knows that he doesn't know everything," said the product of Eastern Kentucky University. "He is open to learning new
things. It's going to be a melting pot of a lot of the basketball experience that he's had, a lot of coaches that he's known."
"I just feel that this equals winning, because you are drawing on one hundred minds thinking, instead of just one." As for the move to northern
Ontario, Lewis is not particularly concerned with his lack of familiarity with the area, noting that he enjoyed his season that he spent with the
St John's Edge in Newfoundland.
"I consider myself a really mellow guy, I don't need a lot," he said. "I told him (Stutz) that as long as the community is into it, as long as the
basketball is good, I am good to go wherever."
Green can relate to Sudbury basketball fans being "into it". As a member of the visiting Ryerson Rams, he had no trouble recalling the most striking
memories of his trips to face the Voyageurs.
"The crowd," he said with a smile. "There's a pretty crazy atmosphere, from the times that we played at Laurentian. That's one of the craziest gyms that
we played in. I remember them using the pots and pans and all that. If they can bring that over to our games, that would be amazing."
Following his time in the GTA, Green has travelled to play professionally in Lithuania and France, before bringing his skill-set to the Nickel Basin
beginning this fall. "Coach will be looking to me for scoring in the paint, being able to score but also taking pride in my defense, blocking shots,
rebounding, shutting down guys," added Green.
"I would like to be that guy that can bring intensity at the defensive end, but also produce on the offensive end." All in all, the man who is making it
happen is fairly pleased with the progress to date.
"I'm getting to the run and gun, the exciting style of basketball that I want to play," suggested Stutz. "You saw the video highlights, but beyond that,
if you watch the whole game film, you will see these guys that are running the floor hard all of the time, guys that are going to be diving on loose balls.
Kadeem is going to be blocking shots, Marcus will be getting steals."
"That's what I like about these guys, guys that will do the dirty work, but also play the syle I want to play."