A Gift From God

A Gift From God

Lions' Mens Basketball February 2, 2019

The Men’s Basketball team made history this past weekend as they officially qualified for the ACAC playoffs for the first time in their history! 

In the second game in a back-to-back vs Lethbridge College, the Lions completed a comeback for the ages. With 40 seconds left and down by 2 points, the Lions turned over the ball in the offensive end. However, a Kodiaks player fell out of bounds and threw the ball back into play to try to maintain possession. The ball went right to Lions Lavious Rosemond who was wide-open right under the hoop for an easy lay-up to tie the game. Lavious described the play later as if it were “a gift from God.” Moments later, an offensive foul by the Kodiaks put Isaac Gray on the free throw line with 1.7 seconds left in the game with a chance to win the game for the Lions. Isaac made the first free throw and the Lions went on to win and clinch their first ever berth to the ACAC Playoffs.

Led by 5th year senior Josh Daniel, who sits 5th in the ACAC in steals and 10th in the ACAC in points/game, the team has seen consistent growth over their 5 years in the ACAC. The Lions have learned how to close out games -- of their first 18 games, 10 have been within 10 points or less with 3 of their wins coming down to the last possession. Playing with a shortened roster throughout the season, every Lion has had to step up and play in unexpected roles. Daniel said they really came together as a team this year, “there are no individual guys just trying to accomplish their goals but we understand the team goal…we are just a family, there are no cliques on the team. We've just got 12 guys that have come together as a brotherhood.” 

Ambrose offense has been driven by Isaac Gray as he 19.4 points per game when he has taken the hardwood, but Josh Daniel confirmed they couldn’t have accomplished such a feat without each and every one of his teammates. “Everyone has stepped up and embraced their role, whether that is rebounding, blocking shots, taking charges or scoring.” 

Even though they maintained their playoff position since day 1 of the regular season, the Lions have not been without adversity. They had players occur season ending injuries, had a player hospitalized, lost key games against lower seeded rivals, and were forced to recruit an alumnus and a former coach to come back and play for the team partway through the season.  Daniel confirmed that it is this brotherhood, and commitment to put the team first that has resulted in their success no matter what the season threw at them.

To close out the season, the Lions will shift their focus toward advancing higher than the 4th seed in the standings. Wherever they finish, 2018-19 will be a record season. They have already won more games in a season with 12, beating their previous high of 10. 

The Mens Basketball Team will travel to the ACAC Championship held in Lloydminster, Feb 28th – March 2nd to face off against the top 8 teams in the ACAC. The winner earns a berth to the CCAA National Championship at Langera College in Langley, BC, March 13th – 16th.