Tyendinaga basketball players compete at Ontario Summer Indigenous Games

This story was published in the Fall 2022 edition of Total Sports Quinte magazine

The Ontario Summer Indigenous Games (OSIG) took place at the University of Ottawa from July 28 to 31.

The host nation was The Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation.

There were 280 athletes involved in OSIG in various sport events (athletics, volleyball, softball, soccer and basketball).

Tyendinaga held a community basketball try-out at the beginning of May and was able to get enough athletes to have teams at all the levels (U16 female, U16 male, U19 female and U19 male).

U16 Mens Team: Derek Smith (Coach), Caige Sero-Baker, Cash Brookes, Rodderek Smith, Tristan McWilliams, Takoda Plett, Hayden Lloyd, Dominic Maracle, Kooper Maracle, Gage Barberstock, Caius Smith, Susan Barberstick (Coach), Sara MacNeil (Coach)

“We started with three skills sessions and then practiced twice a week through June and July,” said James McCourt. “Our teams from Tyendinaga were called the Kenhtè:ke Wolves. All teams had an opportunity to medal.”

Tyendinaga’s U16 girls won gold by five points against a team that beat them by 15 in round-robin play while the U19 men earned silver, losing the gold-medal final by four to an opponent that earlier defeated them by 20 points.

Meanwhile the U19 women’s team captured the bronze medal and the U16 boys were edged in their bronze medal game to place fourth.

U19 Mens Team (Silver Medal Winners) Back Row: Daelon Smith, Jared Barberstock Front Row: Sara MacNeil (Coach), Derek Smith (Coach), Eric Hodo Martin, Daiton Maracle, Jordon McMullen, Daniel Chase, Aiden Sheppard, Susan Barberstock. (Coach), James McCourt (Coach)

“Three of our four teams came home with medals, but more importantly our athletes were able to gain valuable experiences,” McCourt said. “The athletes were able to stay at the University of Ottawa dorms and play on the home court of the Gee Gees. We were able to go and watch a practice of the Ottawa Blackjacks from the Canadian Elite Basketball League. Players from the Blackjacks came and ran our players through skill sessions at the University of Ottawa. Overall it was an amazing experience for our 37 athletes.” McCourt was a coach as was Susan Barberstock, Sara MacNeil, Derek Smith and Kandice Baptiste, who were all amazing, he noted.

“We had awesome support from our chaperones Justin McCourt, Mark Ford, Derek Smith, Seig Ocampo, Karl Edwards, Tracy Ford, Cindy Ocampo, Jen Brant and Kayla MacIntyre,” McCourt added.

U19 Womens Team (Bronze Medal Winners), from left, James McCourt (Coach), Susan Barberstock (Coach), Sara MacNeil (Coach), Corrie Pearson, Emma Brant-Edwards, Mikayla Robinson, Chelsea Neepin, Jadyn Maracle, Sierra Doxtator, Marlee Maracle.