A pair of Surrey athletes have been selected to play in the Biosteel All-Canadian basketball game, which showcases Canada’s top high school hoops talents.
On March 31, the 2019 games – a fifth-annual one for boys and an inaugural one for girls – will be televised and streamed live by TSN from the University of Toronto’s Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport.
The two 24-player team rosters, announced on March 5 following selection by two separate committees, include Newton-raised Miguel Tomley on the boys team, and Semiahmoo Totems star Faith Dut on the girls squad.
On March 31, the girls will play at noon Pacific time, followed by the boys game at 4:30 p.m.
Tomley, who recently finished his season with RISE Prep Wolf Pack of the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association (OSBA), is among three British Columbians on the boys squad, along with Sammy Hunter of BC Christian Academy and Victor Radocaj of Thornlea SS Prep.
For the girls game, Dut will be joined by fellow B.C.-ers Jessica Clarke (St. Thomas Aquinas), Olivia Morgan-Cherchas (South Kamloops), Mide Oriyomi (Thornlea SS Prep) and Deanna Tuchscherer (GW Graham).
“In the past, the likes of current NBA talent like Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets, the Detroit Pistons’ Thon Maker and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Los Angeles Clippers have suited up for the game, while prospective 2019 draft picks like Nickeil Alexander-Walker of Virginia Tech, Michigan’s Iggy Brazdeikis and Luguentz Dort of Arizona State have also been participants,” notes a post on TSN’s website.
2018 BioSteel All Canadian Player Miguel Tomley – 6’4 from Surrey, BC, class of 2019. Get to know Tomley – his idol, biggest supporter, tattoos and all! pic.twitter.com/lqXdbwwqic
— BioSteel All CDN (@BioSteelAllCdn) June 28, 2018
Catching replay of @BioSteelAllCdn game, good to hear @MiguelTomley10 getting love from @TSN_Sports broadcast crew. #SurreyBC #basketball @tamanawisbball @SurreyHighBBall @SurreyNowLeader pic.twitter.com/eEEwGbVfna
— Tom Zillich (@TomZillich) April 13, 2018
“I’m excited and it’ll be cool to say I was a 2X All-Canadian,” Tomley, a former Tamanawis Wildcats standout, said Wednesday (March 13) in a Twitter message from El Salvador, where he’s visiting his father.
“As well, I get to continue to make a name for myself and my family, which has always been a big thing for me.
“I knew playing in Ontario and in the toughest league in Canada would help the decision,” Tomley continued. “But also trusting my game, how I played throughout the season and being named a top player in the OSBA, I had no doubt I’d get in it again.”
With Rise, Tomley says he played through an ankle injury to start the season and torn ligaments in playoffs, “to the point where my coaches and mom forced me to sit lol,” he wrote.
“But throughout the regular season I was the leading scorer of the league, beat the single-game scoring record (60), as well as the most amount of threes in one game (12).
“It was tough to play away from home and not have the supporting cast I’m used to, with my mom, grandma, brother and sister at every game,” he added. “But it’s preparing me for university and I know even from the other side of Canada, they’re always supporting me. I would text my mom after some games that I played well in (the 60pt game) and instead of her being all excited and whatnot, she’d act as if that’s how every game’s supposed to be lol. Reminded me of how she’d be after games I played in B.C. But now my family is coming to Toronto to watch me play in the All-Canadian game so I’m real excited for that.”
This coming fall, Tomley will move to California to play university hoops at Santa Clara.
“A lot of people assume that because Steve Nash went there I’m following the footsteps of him and that’s why I’m going there, but that’s not it,” Tomley explained. “It’s a great school with an real good coach (Herb Sendek) and I get the chance to come in as a freshman and do what I do, which is big for me and where I’m trying to go with basketball. It’s crazy I’m going to the same school that he (Nash) went to, and people think I can be the next Nash, which is unbelievable, but I’m trying to create my own path and be my own player rather than be like someone else.”
Meantime, Dut is a six-foot-three centre who has committed to play at the University of Florida next fall. In February, she helped the Totems win the triple-A senior girls basketball provincial championship in a 72-61 victory over Walnut Grove Gators at Langley Events Centre.
Dut said playing well enough to be on the radar for the Biosteel game was one of her goals this year.
“I’ve just been working hard all season to try and get that spot, and I did,” she said. “So I’m just really grateful to be selected.
She was told of her selection to the game just a few days after leading the Totems to the provincial title, and admits that even with all her recent success she, nor her teammates, have had much time to reflect on their season.
In addition to the All-Canadian game, Dut and three other Semiahmoo players – Deja Lee, Izzy Forsyth and Tara Wallack – have been invited to tryout for Canadian national teams. Dut will aim to make the under-19 team while the other three will vie for spots on the U16 squad.
“I was still on that high from winning the provincial championship when I found out… but I just don’t think we’re big on looking back,” she said. “It sounds corny to say, but we really did just try to live in the moment, and it was a lot of fun while it lasted.”
– with files from Nick Greenizan