(PETERBOROUGH) The Peterborough Sports and Wellness Centre will be basketball central this weekend as the Fleming Knights men’s basketball program plays host to one of the top college teams from the United States.
The four-team event will showcase the Knights’ skills against some of the best basketball talent around as they look to take on the Georgian College Grizzlies, the College Nouvelles FrontiÃ¨res from Gatineau, Quebec and, most notably, the Rochester College Warriors from Rochester Hills, Michigan.
Ranked first in the nation last season, Rochester is coming off a fifth-place finish at the national college basketball tournament. The Warriors have a long tradition of success, winning four United States College Athletic Association (USCAA) national college basketball championships in its history and are coached by one of the best college coaches in the US, Clint Pleasant.
Similar to the NCAA, the USCAA is the national athletic organization whose focus is on smaller post secondary institutions.
This is the first tournament that Knights head coach Dave Goulding has put together for the program. It has definitely set the bar high when it comes to the calibre of basketball talent that he has brought in.
“I was looking to host a tournament that was a little different then some of the other preseason tournaments here in Ontario,” states Goulding.
The diversity of the event is the result of the connections he has made with the Rochester head coach and the FrontiÃ¨res coaching staff.
Having met in the stands during a tournament at Lambton College in Sarnia, Goulding and Pleasant have maintained contact since then and as plans for a tournament developed, the Knights coach asked if the Warriors would attend. He then contacted the Nouvelles coaching staff and the Grizzlies head coach to round off the top-notch event.
Goulding took over the reigns last year after running the basketball program at Peterborough Collegiate for over 30 years where he honed his skills. The Knights’ coach gained valuable experience travelling to numerous tournaments across the country to allow some of his more talented players, like current national team member Jesse Young, the opportunity to play against some of the best players basketball offered at the time. This connections have definitely come to benefit the Knights basketball program, as both the men’s and women’s programs at Fleming will be traveling to Rochester in mid November when the Warriors will repay the favour and expose them to the high level basketball talent provided in Michigan. The inaugural Fleming Knights Invitational tips off at 6 p.m. tonight (Oct. 28), with College Nouvelles and Georgian. The the Fleming and Rochester game is scheduled for 8 p.m.Fleming Invitational Schedule: Friday, October 28: