By Martin Cleary
Time to open the Ottawa basketball history record book to make an important entry.
On Thursday, July 14, Ottawa’s only two players with NBA connections walked onto the same court to go head-to-head against each other for the first time as professionals and possibly ever.
Kanata’s Noah Kirkwood, who was signed by the Brooklyn Nets as an undrafted free agent the day after the 2022 NBA Draft, and Minnesota Timberwolves’ Marial Shayok, who was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers 54th overall in the second round of the 2019 NBA draft, met last week in an NBA Summer League game in Las Vegas’ Cox Pavillion.
Unfortunately, it was a short, first-quarter encounter for the opposing guards. Kirkwood, who played three years at Harvard University, left the game late in the quarter with a shoulder injury and didn’t return for the rest of the game. Shayok, who spent the past two years in the Turkish Super League before departing Fenerbahce, played 18 minutes, 37 seconds, collecting six points, five defensive rebounds and one assist.
During their time on the court with other new players in their respective organizations, Kirkwood and Shayok each had a turnover for being out of bounds. Kirkwood missed his only field-goal attempt, a 26-footer from the top of the arc. Shayok grabbed a rebound almost half a minute later. With 91 seconds remaining in the quarter, Kirkwood was called for a foul and came out of the game with the injury.
Kirkwood played almost 11 minutes a game in the Nets’ first four Summer League games, averaging four points and 1.5 rebounds a game.
Shayok only signed with Minnesota the day before the Timberwolves’ first Summer League game on July 8. The former St. Patrick’s High School student/athlete was named a starting guard and, despite missing all four of his field-goal attempts, he sank all four free throws, had two rebounds, made three assists and earned two steals in 21:13 on the floor.
For the Timberwolves’ second game, the coaching staff rested Shayok on the bench against the Memphis Grizzlies. But he was a starter again, this time as a forward, against the Milwaukee Bucks and as a guard in the fifth and final game Saturday against the Charlotte Hornets.
Shayok played more than 21 minutes in each of his final three games. He notched 11 points, two rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks against Milwaukee.
His game against the Hornets was his most complete: 23:53 minutes, seven points, six rebounds, 10 assists, four steals and one block.
CASSANDRE PROSPER SPARKS 4TH-PLACE CANADA AT WORLD CUP
Canada placed fourth at the World Cup women’s U17 basketball championship in Debrecen, Hungary, after losing the bronze-medal game 84-82 to France.
Cassandre Prosper, who attends the Capital Courts Academy which is situated at Cairine Wilson Secondary School, was the leader for the Canadian squad.
After dropping its opening game 60-57 to eventual finalist Spain, Canada rebounded to defeat Korea 92-58 and Egypt 67-44. Canada surged into the Final Four defeating New Zealand 70-36 in the round of 16 and host Hungary 70-49 in the quarterfinals.
But the United States was too much to handle in the semifinals and Canada lost 87-57 to slip into the third-place game.
Prosper made an impact in so many ways in the elimination games. She scored 21 points and added four steals and four blocks against Hungary. In the semifinals, she almost had a triple double with 11 points, 10 rebounds and eight blocked shots against the Americans.
Her 18-point effort in the bronze-medal game against France was supported by five rebounds, five assists, five steals and two blocked shots.
Prosper finished fifth overall among the scoring leaders with strong averages: 31.1 minutes, 14.0 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 44.2 per cent field-goal shooting.
LAUREN GALE NARROWLY MISSES 400-METRE SEMIS AT WORLDS
Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club’s Lauren Gale is living the dream of competing in her first world athletics championships in Eugene, Oregon, and it’s coming at her fast and furious.
The Colorado State University grad was scheduled to race the women’s 200-metre heats Monday night, after she ran the 400-metre heats on Sunday.
In both races, her goal was to finish in the top three of her heat or have one of the next six fastest times to advance to the semifinals.
Gale, who had a record-breaking season and career at Colorado State University and has a personal- and seasonal-best time of 51.30 seconds for 400 metres, placed fifth in her heat and her time of 52.46 left her 29th overall and out of the semi-final running. She missed the sixth and final qualifying spot by 0.28 seconds.
“It felt awesome,” said Gale immediately after her race, which she ran in the lane beside world No. 1 Marileidy Paulino, who posted the best heat time of 50.76.
“I haven’t run on this Oregon track before and to break it in at worlds is an amazing feeling. I’m just happy to represent Canada alongside my teammates. I know the Lions are sitting in the crowd and cheering. It feels really welcoming and awesome to be here.”
After her 200-metre assignment, she will have five days to prepare for the women’s 4×400-metre relay heat on Saturday.
“We’ll giver,” an enthusiastic Gale said. “We’ll try our best. We have three amazing women ready to run. I think it should be a good race.”
MICHAEL WOODS 47TH ENTERING FINAL TOUR DE FRANCE WEEK
Ottawa’s Michael Woods heads into the final six days of the gruelling Tour de France cycling race on Tuesday, hoping he can secure a podium finish or win a stage. Monday was a rest day for the riders.
The lead rider for the Israel Premier Tech team entered the tour hoping to stay healthy after the first week so he could find the right opportunity to post his first career stage victory. After the first 15 stages, he hasn’t been close to achieving that goal because of a serious early crash in Stage 9.
Woods was aiming to go through a gap to move ahead early in Stage 9, but it closed quickly right at a traffic round-about. He went down with several other riders and suffered painful bumps and bruises and a ripped jersey, which caused him to get a sunburn on a small part of his back.
The crash took a lot out of him as he struggled to complete the final 160 kilometres in a battered state.
If Woods hopes to rebound and challenge for his first tour stage win, his best two days are rides in the mountains on Wednesday and Thursday.
Woods is 47th overall in the general classification and one hour, 26 minutes, 39 seconds behind leader Jonas Vingegaard of Jumbo Visma. His best stage results have been a 17th in Stage 8, an 19th in Stage 14 and a 20th in Stage 6.
NINE WINS SPARK OTTAWA ROWING CLUB TO COMSTOCK TROPHY
The Ottawa Rowing Club posted nine victories and used its depth to win the Comstock Trophy at the Eastern Rowing Association championships at the Olympic Basin in Montreal.
Mackenzie Mihorean, Kerin Hudson, Kendra Hurtubise and Abby Dyer were double champions, winning the women’s senior quad and the eight, joining crew members Nerija Sunbalia, Zyra Edwards, Rhiannon Murphy, Fiona McDougall and coxswain Mia Viens.
Isabelle Ngo was the women’s U23 single lightweight winner and also was part of the fastest women’s senior quad boat with Anne-Andree Sirois, Alyssa Pastic and Meghan Jolley. Sirois also had unmatched speed in the women’s senior lightweight single.
Euan Coulson and Jack Bon formed half of the men’s U19 quad champion boat with Adam Griesbach and Russell Lonsdale, and worked with Aidan Anderson, Matthew Lokhonia and cox Yalda Dehghany to win the men’s open U17 four.
The Ottawa Rowing Club also celebrated a win in the women’s U18 quad by Katy Colby, Maia Hembruff, Elsa Matiation and Dahlia Rostom.
Stewart Taylor won the men’s masters single.
At the CanAmMex International Regatta in London the previous weekend, Madeleine Lauriault of the Ottawa Rowing Club and Alexandra Anderson won the women’s junior double for Canada. Kand joined Julia Teixeira and Clara Van Dyk to place first in the quad race.
Hembruff was stroke in the Canadian eight and four boats, which placed second to the United States. Griesbach also helped Canada finish second in the men’s four and eight finals.
ROYAL OTTAWA WINS WOMEN’S CLASS A INTERSECTIONAL TITLE
Royal Ottawa received six-point efforts from Lee Fournier, Debby O’Brien, Kathy Keely and Sophie Foulds to score a narrow class A division victory at the Ottawa Valley Golf Association women’s Intersectionals competition.
Playing on its home course, the Ottawa Hunt was second with 28 points from its seven players compared to 31 for Royal Ottawa. Rideau View was third at 21 and Camelot marked four points.
Carole Ann McCuaig and Haley Xerya scored six points each for the Hunt, while Kristin Stauffer earned the maximum point score for Rideau View.
Rivermead won the class B title with 32 points and was followed by Hylands at 30, Carleton at 20 and Greyhawk at two. At the 2023 OVGA women’s Intersectionals, Rivermead will be promoted to class A and Camelot will drop into class B.
FAMILIAR TEAMS WIN AGAIN AT EQUESTRIAN TOURNAMENTS
Hyde Moffatt of Brantford, ON., and Francois Lamontagne of Saint-Eustache, PQ., continued to be the big name riders for the second week in a row during the Ottawa Summer Equestrian Tournaments at Wesley Clover Parks.
Moffatt repeated as the $50,000 RBC Grand Prix winner on Donjo as they were the only entry to have a clean ride. Second place went to Moffatt as well, riding Grafton. Olympian Amy Millar of Perth was ninth on GCS Athena.
On Sunday, Moffatt and Donjo were at it again and won the $10,000 Mark Motors Modified Grand Prix, after a five-way jump-off. Kelley Robinson of Russell, ON., and Foolproof were sixth with only four penalty points.
For the second straight week, Lamontagne was the open welcome winner. Riding Chanel du Calvaire, Lamontagne had the fastest time and no penalties for first place in the 10-rider-horse jump-off in the $20,000 Soltek Equestrian Open Welcome.
HOST OTTAWA WEST TWINS WIN PROVINCIALS, TO PLAY IN HOME NATIONALS
The host Ottawa West Twins won Little League Ontario’s Intermediate provincial title last week at Pinecrest Park and will now get to play in the national championships in town from July 21-28.
The Twins went 3-1 in the double-round robin portion of the provincial baseball tournament that also featured Cornwall and Orleans, then defeated Cornwall 5-1 in the championship game.
The winner of the national tournament will then represent Canada at the Intermediate Little League World Series from July 31-Aug. 7 in Livermore, CA.
KATHRYN GRANT 4TH ACROSS THE BOARD AT DIVING JUNIOR NATIONALS
Kathryn Grant of the Ottawa National Diving Club earned the top local result at the July 13-18 Junior National Diving Festival in Montreal. Grant placed fourth in all three of her events among 26, 23 and 24 athletes in the women’s group A 1-metre, 3-metre and platform competitions.
Nepean-Ottawa’s Olivier Caron (10th, men’s group C 3-metre) and Ottawa National’s Kay Nordman (9th, women’s group A platform) also made event finals at the
Grant planned to make the junior nationals the final competition of her junior career before departing for the University of Utah in advance of her first NCAA diving season.
– with files from Javier Clavelo
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