Basketball: Now where have they heard that name before?

"Tiny Napanee, Ont." (Howard Tsumura's phrase) is having a big role in determining the University of Ottawa's hoops fortunes this week.

It's the hometown of Carleton men's coach Dave Smart, whose Ravens have so often stood in the Gee-Gees' way over the years. Meantime, later today at the women's Final 8 in Regina, the Gee-Gees have to deal with another Napanee native, Simon Fraser centre Matteke Hutzler, who's been on fire lately for the No. 1-seeded Clan. Hutzler and Carleton standout Aaron Doornekamp are cousins.
" 'I come from a pretty small town and when I was younger my mom forced me to play piano,' Hutzler laughs. 'And basketball was one of the other things she didn't give me a choice with either. So I think a big part of the reason (for the improvement) has just been me wanting it more. And honestly, the results have been unbelievable and that has permeated through the whole team.'

"... And the new Hutzler's attitude hasn't been lost on Clan head coach Bruce Langford.

"' It's taken her a while to get hooked on the game of basketball, but right now, she is hooked,' he said. "Is she just scratching the surface? I think she's still beneath the surface, maybe just starting to stick her head up for air.' "
Having been born in Napanee (pop. 15,000, but only about 5,000-6,000 who live "in town"), it is neat to see someone with those familiar seven letters next to her/his name playing for a national title. And no, it's not something in the water. My feeble forays into roundball would prove as much.

(Just be glad better judgment prevailed when it came to a "March Madness from the land of Avril" headline.)

Muddy sees clearly now, Clan forward playing her best basketball as CIS nats set to begin (Howard Tsumura, Little Man at Campus)
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