I realized at practice on Friday last week that I had picked the perfect year to join at basketball team, especially since we are at a university in downtown Toronto, where this past weekend the city was all about basketball. Since Toronto hosted the 2016 NBA All-Star game and all the related activities, there were amazing opportunities to become immersed in this game and to watch my teammates take advantage of being so close to the action.
Friday our practice was held in the Kerr Hall gym because of all the activities that were taking place in the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) related to the festivities. At the MAC the ice rink was covered with a Jordan branded floor for a number of events and the Ryerson teams were treated to new Jordan shoes. After practice I went home and watched the All-Star Celebrity game and the Rising Stars game.
On Saturday both the Men’s and Women’s teams played their last regular season home game. It was Senior night where each of the players in their last year with the team are recognized and celebrated. After a win against Algoma, presentations were made by the coach to our three graduating players, Mariah Nunes, Siki Jez and Keneca Pingue-Giles.
The rest of the team arrived early for the game to decorate the gym with balloons and streamers for the special night. Coach Clarke surprised me by including me in the presentations since I will be leaving the team this season. It was so nice and a gesture that I will never forget. After the game we had a potluck celebration on the mezzanine with family and friends of the team while watching the men took their turn against Algoma.
The team to participate in a Nike woman only basketball themed workout and product trial on Sunday morning at 6:30 am. on the Jordan floor at the MAC. I watched and took some pictures and after the workout was finished cars took us to the NIKE ID store. Here you can design custom shoes by choosing your own colours and materials. Each of us also got some metal shoe accents to take away. I couldn’t resist and my pair of custom shoes should arrive in 5-6 weeks.
Sunday afternoon the Ryerson men’s team took on the University of Toronto at the NBA Centre court at the Enercare Centre at Exhibition Place. This was a large fan fest space with games, workshops, and opportunities to meet NBA players and buy NBA merchandise. It was fun to watch them play on a court in the middle of this huge event space full of basketball lovers. I got to present the player of the game award to the Ryerson player who significantly contributed to the win over U of T. Then I went home to watch the All-Star game while following the social media posts of my teammates who were at the ACC to see it in person.
I am writing this on Monday evening as I sit court side watching the team practice as they prepare for the last 4 games of the regular season – all away games. This is the home stretch and their performance over the next two weeks determines whether we will get to compete for a provincial championship and a spot at Nationals. We are traveling to Guelph on Wednesday and to Thunder Bay on Thursday for a Friday game. Next week we travel to Kingston for a game on Friday and then back to Toronto for a Saturday game at York.
If you want to see these very talented athletes in action you can watch all these games live at OUA TV.