"Heslip served as a weapon of mass destruction down at Cincinnati, dropping 37 points during one pivotal matchup. Opponents tried executing a serious clamp down operation on Heslip, to no avail. They threw double and triple-teams at him. Heslip fended defenders off, reeling off a personal 17-0 spurt in one game.Grassroots Canada, as has so often been the case, continues to be one of the great underreported stories in Canada. They lost a white-knuckler in the round of 16 at the adidas Super 64 tournament in Las Vegas after CBSSports.com's Gary Parrish gave them a glowing write-up. That is basketball, though. Russell notes he has four players ranked among the top 50 high school seniors in the U.S., including big man Tristan Thompson and combo guard Cory Joseph off the junior national team.
" 'He was still on fire no matter what they threw at him,' (coach Ro) Russell recalls. 'He's really starting to blow up. He's like a Mark Price, Scott Skiles type player. He’s the last one to leave the gym, always. He'll shoot all day. The kid absolutely loves the game.'
"Heslip's sharpshooting antics have elicited drool from a plethora of high major programs. Boston College, Clemson, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Miami, and Florida are all beginning to express interest in the 6-2 guard. Boston College has already presented a scholarship offer to Heslip, who’s entering his senior year."
Of course, the kneejerk Canadian response would be that many of these players don't attend high school in their country, so why should we care about them? Parrish shows a sensitivity.
"That's the truly unique thing about Grassroots, how the best of the best leave Canada for better training in the United States during the school year but return each summer to play for their home program. They understand that basketball is more of an 'activity' than a serious sport in the Canadian school system, so they find new homes at places like IMG Academy and Findlay Prep (the Las Vegas school Joseph attends - Ed.). Still, they are loyal to the Grassroots program, and that loyalty has allowed them to develop as a cohesive group that understands how to win while similarly talented prospects from Los Angeles might play for the Southern California All-Stars one summer, then the Pump N Run Elite the next, then the Compton Magic the next."This is very tangentially related to the Canadian university game, but it's welcome news. One would hope traditional media pay a little more attention to the world-beater ballers with a Canadian passport.
For instance, do you remember a Canadian sprinter from the 1980s named Marita Payne, who was part of Canada's two silver medal-winning women's relay teams at the Los Angeles Olympics? (That was the Soviet bloc-boycotted Olympiad were Canada won 44 medals, which you'll likely never see again.) Parrish noted Payne and her former NBA player spouse Mitchell Wiggins' 13-year-old son, Andrew Wiggins, is already 6-5 and plays for Grassroots Canada's 16-and-under team. It's cool finding that out.
It is understood there is not much regard for world of summer basketball, which might be an expression of taste, givensome of the stuff you read about coaches who attend these tournaments being charged $300 for programs with incomplete information.