OSBA PRE-SEASON PREVIEW: Southwest Academy (Men)
Southwest Academy finished last season 7-13, before being eliminated in the first round of the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association (OSBA) playoffs by Henry Carr in a disappointing, 116-74 loss. The team from London, Ontario will look to improve on last year’s results after adding several high-profile names to their roster.
Malachi Ndur (6’7 SF, St. Thomas, ON) will join Southwest after winning a silver medal this summer as a member of the U16 Canadian National team at the 2017 U16 FIBA Americas Championship in Argentina. A long athletic wing with a great motor, Ndur led the team in rebounding with 8.6 rebounds per game. He only began focusing on basketball two years ago after several years of high level soccer, including a tryout with English soccer club Sheffield Wednesday.
Thomas Kennedy (6’8 PF, London, ON) is another key addition to the Southwest program. Kennedy was a member of the U17 Men’s Provincial team that won gold at the 2017 Canada Summer Games. Kennedy is a point forward who plays coast-to-coast basketball. He started playing basketball as a point guard, until a growth spurt in grade nine saw the London-native grow eight inches. These point guard roots have enabled Kennedy to start the break himself. Kennedy can shoot the three and since his growth spurt, he has developed a solid back to the basket game.
These additions give Southwest both length and versatility at the forward positions, and they also added big man Bret Sloan (7’0 Centre, Hanover, ON). Sloan brings much needed height to a team whose tallest player was 6’5 last season.
Southwest did not stop retooling their roster with the forward spots, adding to their strengths by bringing in Dawson Graham (6’2 PG, Gothenburg, NE). The Nebraska native adds scoring and court vision to the Southwest roster. Dawson will join returning players Josh Mesalla (6’3 PG, Ottawa, ON) and Owen Henderson (6’5 SG, St. Thomas, ON) at the guard positions. Other Southwest additions include:
Ladera Obang (6’3 SG, Kitchener, Ont)
Alec McGregor (6’3 PG, Chatham, Ont)
Raejean Hudson (6’5 SG, Mississauga, Ont)
Brandon Bernard (6’6 SF, Toronto, Ont)
Brandon Aultman (6’8 PF, Kitchener, Ont)
Southwest appears to be a team ready to make some noise in the OSBA this season. With the addition of length and size in the frontcourt and further strengthening of its depth at the guard position, Southwest has all the necessary pieces to improve on their record from last year and advance in the 2018 OSBA playoffs.