--- Lainy Dow ---
The St. Thomas University men’s and women’s basketball teams will be hosting the annual Ken Gould invitational tournament October 19 – 21 at the Lady Beaverbrook Gym. This action-packed weekend full of exciting competition is something these athletes and coaches look forward to year-round.
On the men’s side it will consist of four teams including the Tommies, Dalhousie AC, Crandall, and UNBSJ will make for a well-rounded tournament. This will be the first taste of pre-season action for the Tommies. Head coach Scott Macleod feels this tourney is important to have because it starts off the season with a chance to get a feel of how the season will go.
“The tournament is a great pre-season opportunity to see teams such as UNBSJ and DAL AC in action,” said MacLeod. “Both teams will be must- wins for us to move forward in the league this season. This tournament will give us a good look at our own strengths, tendencies, and abilities. Additionally, it will help the coaching staff narrow down top line-ups, player rotations and be able to test our game strategy.”
The Ken Gould invitational tournament is a long-time event and something 4th year veteran Travis Valanne has participated in four consecutive years.
“Having the opportunity to be apart of this tournament is a big honour,” said Valanne, one of the team’s captains. “I’m looking forward to seeing what our group of guys can do this year and can’t wait to put on a show for the fans.”
Just like Ken Gould, Travis has shown great leadership during his time at STU and has been a huge impact for the Tommies these past 4 years.
Rookie Michael Otoo, who has recently transferred from Mount Allison University, has also been a part of this tournament in the past and feels very excited to be a part of it now being a part of the team Ken played for.
“I’m super excited to play at the Ken Gould tournament. My last three seasons at Mount Allison, I felt I played very well throughout this exhibition play and was on the winning side of many games. It’s nice to be on the home side for once and I’m just as excited for the team, to be able to show what we can do.”
The women are set to square off against rival Mount Saint Vincent University for the opening game of the weekend, followed by playing Crandall and Mount Allison University. Having played four pre-season games in Quebec a few weekends prior, head coach Fred Connors still believes there is a lot of work to do and is excited to see what these teams have in store for his team to kick off the season.
“I feel we had a great weekend of games in Quebec, and are moving in the right direction,” Connors had to say about his team. “It’s going to be great to play on our home court and see some good competition. It’s always an honour to be in Ken’s tournament and we look forward to growing as a team as we head towards the regular season.”
3rd year post Christiana Richardson has been a part of this tournament for the past two years and is excited to see what this weekend will have in store for the team.
“I’m really excited to play against the teams in our league at the Ken Gould tournament,” said Richardson, a veteran on this team. “We’ve played four pre-season games already and have made tremendous growth as a team. This tournament will really show us what the season will look like, and what we have to continue to work on as a team.”
Rookie point guard Vanessa Soffee, much like Richardson, is very excited to play in this upcoming tournament.
“This is my first year playing in this tournament, and I’m very excited to play in front of family and friends in my home town,” said the Fredericton native. “I’m also excited to see what our team can do against some of the top teams in the league.”
Tournament Passes, Basketball Season Passes and All-Season Passes can be purchased at the J.B. O'Keefe Fitness Centre or at the admissions table during the tournament. For more information visit https://www.gotommies.ca/fan-zone/tickets.
Fri. Oct 19th
2:00 MTA vs Crandall (W)
4:00 UNBSJ vs Crandall (M)
6:00 STU vs MSVU (W)
8:00 STU vs. Dal AC (M)
Sat. Oct. 20th
12:00 MSVU vs MTA (W)
2:00 Dal AC vs. UNBSJ (M)
4:00 Crandall vs STU (W)
6:00 Crandall vs STU (M)
Sun. Oct 21st
10:00 MSVU vs Crandall (W)
12:00 Dal AC vs Crandall (M)
2:00 STU vs MTA (W)
4:00 STU vs UNBSJ (M)