Yagubi caps off memorable season
It has been quite the basketball season for Mazen Yagubi.
The 16-year-old, Grade 11 student was part of a magical team at Sir Winston Churchill which went undefeated this season, winning both the Zone 4 senior AA championship and BSPN Best of Niagara Boys Basketball Tournament.
Yagubi wrapped up the 2022 campaign Thursday, turning in a memorable individual effort to lead Team North past Team South 100-82 in the Top 20 game at the Niagara Region Senior Boys All-Star Basketball Games at Governor Simcoe.
“It was good to win the game MVP,” he said. “We wanted to win for sure, that was the main priority. We wanted to have fun, too. But the main thing was to win.”
Yagubi said being part of the Bulldogs has meant everything to him.
“High school basketball has probably been the best part of my life so far. I’m going to remember this team and my teammates forever.
“It’s been wonderful. It’s been my best year. Next year we’ll see what goes on but I’ll remember this forever.”
Sir Winston coach Martin Cook was thrilled for Yagubi.
“Very happy, but not surprised. He’s an exceptional player who can do it all,” Cook said.
Cook was thrilled to be able to see the top players in Niagara on the court one last time this season.
“It’s a really cool feeling to see them play again when you felt the season was over and may never get to coach these kids again,” he said. “It was really nice to see all the best players in our league play again.”
Scoring statistics were unavailable for the game as individual points were not kept track of properly on the game sheet.
The event was a collaborative effort by a number of groups. Niagara College hosted the event and donated the $400 in gate receipts to the Hope Centre in Welland. The Niagara District Basketball Referees Association officiated the games for free and the all-star shirts were being provided by St. Catharines CYO basketball.
Named to the Team North Top 20 team were: Governor Simcoe’s Malcolm Perrin and Matteo Martin; Sir Winston Churchill’s Alex Ruiz, Brady Pupek and Yagubi; Eden’s Chad Thorpe; and, Saint Francis’ Quinten Ethier, Andrew Enns and Kalonji. Chosen for the squad but unable to play were Eden’s Riley Stewart and Josiah deVries.
Coaching Team North squads were Jon Marcheterre of Saint Francis, Cook and Ingribelli.
Named to the Team South Top 20 squad were: E.L. Crossley’s Bleich, Noah Minor and Luke Klassen; Notre Dame’s Lucas Ponting and Owen Philips; Saint Paul’s Joey Primerano Williams; A.N. Myer’s Curin Smith; and, Centennial’s Cam Larmand. Chosen but unable to participate were Centennial’s Carter Williams and A.N. Myer’s Manny Maynard. Coaching Team South’s teams are Brian Bleich from E.L. Crossley, Paul Grummett from A.N. Myer and Mark Gallagher from Notre Dame.
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