Coach Filion and company take their game to Thunder Bay
by Randy Pascal
One would think that coach Richard Filion would already have his fill of basketball, guiding the Sudbury Jam U19 Girls alongside John
Desormeaux the past few years.
Easter weekend would find Filion and another group of young female hardcourt talent up in Thunder Bay, site of a small tournament hosted by Indigenous
Sport & Wellness Ontario. Events such as these have been put in motion to serve as talent identification opportunities for athletes who might ultimately
compete in the North American Indigenous Games.
Molding a team with players coming from Manitoulin Island (Wikwemikong), Moose Factory, Timmins and Sudbury, the squad of 14 to 17 year olds were in
tough to start, facing a Treaty 3 team that featured a 6'3" post, an athletic point guard blessed with phenomenal defensive acumen, and a second
guard recruited to attend a Division I NCAA school.
Though Filion and company would drop that contest by 21 points, their spirits remained high, evidenced through a bounce-back victory over Pelican
Falls by a final score of 55-14. A rematch the next day produced an equally dominant Sudbury performance, completing the sweep with a 53-25 triumph and
setting up a final versus the Treaty 3 all-stars.
Their opponents came out guns a blazing, building up a 19 point advantage by half-time, but that margin would increase no further, as the locals and
friends rode the leadership of Josée Filion and Mackenzie Innes, completing the contest down by that very same 19 points that Treaty 3 had
"We were super happy with the outcome, receiving silver medals, and were even happier with the way the girls represented the Sudbury and Timmins areas,"
said coach Filion. "This fantastic event enabled our youth to be active on the court, develop new friendships, and participate in our indigenous
Joining Filion and Innes on the roster were Tristen Wapachee, Ava Gustafson, Hope Osawamick, Emma Sutherland, Talia Eusepi, Ava Beatty, Calee Hunter,
Tessa Thomas, Emily Ashamock and assistant coaches Mia Filion and Josh Carpenter.