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County Boys earn silver at Canadian National Invitational Tournament

A group of three local basketball players are returning to the County with a silver medal around their necks after competing in the biggest NCAA certified tournament in the country this weekend in Toronto.

The Canadian National Invitational Tournament featured U12 to U17 squads, including the Eastern Ontario Elite U15s.

“CIS, OCAA and NCAA scouts descended on the GTA this weekend to recruit the top talent in our country,” said Rob Garden, president of the County Clippers club. “The team was made up of players from Kingston, Prince Edward County and the Belleville area. The boys have been practicing three times a week in Kingston and Belleville since the beginning of July to get prepared for the tournament.”

Garden said the Elites won five straight games, defeating teams from Toronto, Mississauga and Montreal during round robin play.

“In the semi-finals they defeated Brookwood Elite, the number two ranked team in the tournament, and last year’s champion, to advance to the national finals. In front of a packed gym in Brampton, the boys matched up against EYB Uplay Canada from the GTA. Uplay is one of the best AAU travel programs in our country and they proved to be too strong, winning the game 70 – 43. The boys turned a lot of heads from scouts and the tournament organizers all weekend. Tariq Sbiet, the National Scout from North Pole Hoops said on Twitter “Eastern Ontario Elite! 15U! Picton, Kingston, Belleville. Who would’ve thought? Best Brookwood Elite in semis and now scrapping it up with UPlay”
The Eastern Ontario Elite team, featured three County Clippers players (Brodie Byford #15, Alex Arsenault #11 and Devon Wilton #3) participated with Assistant Coach Rob Garden.
Als featured in the group photo is RJ Barrett (back row, third from left) the top ranked Canadian basketball player in the U19 category. He recently was the tourney MVP for the Canadian crew that won gold at the FIBA U19 World Cup.

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