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NEW WATERFORD, N.S. — The dream of taking part in faculty basketball in the US has been one Cohen McDonald has had for a few years.
From the time he started taking part in the game within the frequent college league at Greenfield Elementary Faculty in River Ryan, McDonald took the mandatory steps to progress his profession each on and off the court docket.
He performed with the New Waterford Celtics earlier than making the bounce to center college with the Breton Training Centre Bears and finally incomes a full-time spot on the highschool varsity crew as a Grade 9 this previous season.
Together with taking part in domestically, the 14-year-old has additionally been a part of the provincial crew, suiting up for Nova Scotia’s under-15 membership, which he’ll as soon as once more symbolize this 12 months.
Just lately, the Bears’ six-foot-three capturing guard acquired a possibility of a lifetime when he was invited to play for Puma Hoops Canada at a pair of showcase tournaments in the US this month.
- Hometown: New Waterford
- Age: 14
- Peak: 6’3”
- Place: Capturing guard and small ahead
- Workforce: Breton Training Centre Bears (Excessive Faculty)
- Grade: 9
McDonald would be the lone Atlantic Canadian participant on the Ontario-based under-14 crew and can journey to Brampton, Ont., this week to hitch the membership for follow previous to the Atlanta Jam match this weekend in Atlanta, Ga.
The invite to the crew comes virtually two months after the Grade 9 rookie had a robust displaying on the New Waterford Coal Bowl Traditional in February.
“I knew large issues have been coming after the Coal Bowl Traditional as a result of I knew I had an ideal match,” stated McDonald. “Loads of appears to be like for prep college and faculty groups start at my age and at this level in your profession, so I’ve been working for this chance and I’m trying ahead to the problem.”
Following the Coal Bowl Traditional, which the Bears received for the third time within the match’s historical past, McDonald created a video package deal of highlights from his season and despatched it to the coach at Brampton Metropolis Prep Faculty, who inspired him to play for the Puma Hoops Canada crew.
“I’m going to go there and be myself and work arduous and present them what Nova Scotia expertise is all about,” stated McDonald, the son of Kozzy and Amy McDonald of New Waterford.
“I’ve at all times needed to make it to this stage and have an opportunity to showcase my ability and that is the second I’ve been ready for.”
As a first-year participant, McDonald performed key minutes for the Bears program all through the 2022-23 season. Together with successful the Coal Bowl title, McDonald and the Bears additionally took dwelling the Faculty Sport Nova Scotia Division 2 provincial title final month.
Bears head coach Sandy Kearney stated McDonald joined this system and shortly established that he wasn’t an atypical Grade 9 freshman within the Cape Breton Excessive Faculty Basketball League.
“He ended up as a starter for us from in regards to the midseason level on,” he stated. “He’s one of many hardest staff I’ve seen over time and he’s at all times trying to study.”
Kearney stated McDonald has been turning the heads of coaches throughout the province.
“Along with his mixture of ability and work ethic, I anticipate his on-court success will proceed to shine,” he stated. “I’m excited for what’s to return for Cohen.”
Together with the Atlanta Jam, McDonald and the Puma Hoops Canada crew can even take part within the Grassroots Showcase, April 28-30, in Louisville, Ky. Prep college and faculty recruiters will probably be in attendance for each occasions.
The official schedule for each tournaments was not launched publicly at publication time.
“These tournaments convey loads of alternative and choices,” stated McDonald, noting relying on gives, he’s more likely to play at the very least yet one more 12 months with BEC subsequent season earlier than making a call relating to prep college strikes.
“If I get an excellent alternative to play prep college subsequent 12 months, in fact I might think about it.”
General, McDonald, the brother of 2016 New Waterford Coal Bowl Traditional most precious participant Gary McDonald, hopes to someday obtain his purpose of taking part in within the NCAA.
“If I can get to the U.S., I feel I could make it to the NCAA and past if I work arduous sufficient,” stated McDonald, noting his favorite crew within the NCAA is North Carolina.
“I imagine in myself and I do know I’ve loads of assist again dwelling in Cape Breton and I feel that’s going to assist me shifting ahead as effectively, realizing my household and buddies imagine in me.”
Jeremy Fraser is the sports activities reporter for the Cape Breton Put up. Observe him on Twitter @CBPost_Jeremy.