OSBA PRE-SEASON PREVIEW: RIDLEY COLLEGE
After a promising season in their first year in the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association (OSBA), Ridley College is looking to outdo their middle of the pack performance from the 2016-2017 season.
The Tigers finished one game shy of .500 (10-12), but fought their way into a quarterfinals appearance in the OSBA Championships where they fell short to Athlete Institute Prep 96-71. With a first year playoff appearance, a solid regular season record, and a young roster the team’s future looks promising.
Ridley lost only two players this offseason in Alex Simeunovic (6’5 G) who is currently attending Masters School in New England, and Thomas Crosbie (6’6 F) who will be playing for Canisius College in Buffalo, but will again rely heavily on a young core.
The most notable returning players include their four returning starters: head coach Tarry Upshaw’s son Marcus Upshaw (6’2 G), Malcolm Bailey (6’8 F), as well as team Ontario Alums Jaden Bediako (6’11 C) and Noah Wharton (5’11 G). These four returning starters will be asked to carry a lot of the offensive load this year.
Ridley College has also added two notable key players to their roster this offseason that they hope will make an impact in the league for years to come. Jaden Bediako’s younger bother Charles Bediako (6’9 F) has committed to join the program this upcoming season. Charles was a member of the Canadian U16 National Team this past summer who won gold at the FIBA U16 Americas Championship. The Tigers also welcome rookie Alex Root (6’1 G) to their program.
“We were a young team that built as the year went on. We feel we should be able to compete from the start this year,” said head coach Tarry Upshaw. Development will be the key theme around Ridley College throughout the season but watch for the young Tigers to break out.