Basketball Bears host Cougars in St. Albert
Alberta plays Mount Royal in pre-season CIS men's hoops Friday at Bellerose Composite High School
By: Jeff Hansen
| Posted: Saturday, Oct 20, 2012 06:00 am
The Alberta Golden Bears will hoop it up in Canadian Interuniversity Sport pre-season action Friday night at Bellerose Composite High School.
Tipoff is 7 p.m. between the defending Canada West champions and the Mount Royal Cougars of Calgary, the newest CIS team.
Admission is free, but donations will be accepted in support of the St. Albert SLAM Basketball Club.
The Bears will also sign autographs after the game.
“It’s very exciting to have the Bears play in St. Albert,” said SLAM president Gerry Salcedo. “It gives our young athletes in the city a chance to see what post-secondary ball is like. Hopefully it will inspire them to work hard at their game and strive to be a better student athlete.”
Salcedo is expecting past and present SLAM players will fill the stands, as well as fans of the Bears and CIS basketball.
“We’re going to get a lot of support, especially when we get two teams like Mount Royal and the Bears come here to play,” he said. “It’s first come, first serve because even though Bellerose is probably our best high school gym in the city there is limited seating capacity.”
The Saville Community Sports Centre was unavailable for the Bears to host Mount Royal, so SLAM secretary Marvin Dobish took the initiative to see if the Bears wanted to play in St. Albert.
“We were surprised they said yes,” Salcedo said.
The Bears relished the opportunity to showcase their program in St. Albert.
“This is important to Golden Bears basketball because it’s a chance for us to get out into the communities that support us and give something back,” said Bears head coach Barnaby Craddock. “All of our student athletes were minor basketball athletes at one point, so we’re happy to be supporting an association like St. Albert SLAM Basketball, as it’s a great chance to help raise some money and it’s a great opportunity for all SLAM athletes to see high level basketball right in their own backyard.”
Bears alumnus Nick Maglisceau, a former high school standout with the Paul Kane Blues, is now an assistant coach with the Bears after a successful pro career overseas. Maglisceau is the Bears’ career leader in blocked shots with 95, ranks second in points (1,301 in 94 games, from 1996 to 2001) and is third in total rebounds with 545 (188 offence and 357 defence). The two-time all-Canadian was also a three-time recipient of the Wardlaw Porteous Trophy as the Bears’ most valuable player in 1999, 2000 and 2001.
SLAM was formed after the Maglisceau era in St. Albert, and currently boasts 260 males and females, ages five to 17, on 16 teams. A number of players have gone to play post-secondary basketball. Some ex-Bears are also SLAM coaches.
“It’s a fair sized club, especially for the size of community that we are,” Salcedo said. “Our program has had a high degree of success historically in terms of what we provide to our members.”