Volume 91, Issue 94

Thursday, March 26, 1998

Belushi goes west


Rockin' rims in Woodstock

©Tom Baumgartenr/Gazette

I'M JUST PRACTISING TO JUMP SOMEBODY'S BONES. Mustang Nat Graham [22] has suspended over all his competition this year, securing himself a spot on the West division all-star team playing tonight in Woodstock.

By Alex Chiang
Gazette Staff

The province's best university basketball players will gather at St. Mary's High School in Woodstock tomorrow for the annual Ontario University Athletics East versus West All-Star game.

Western will be well represented with conference coach of the year Craig Boydell, who will be behind the bench of the Ontario West squad.

"It's a fairly serious thing since there's a lot of controversy about who's the best conference," Boydell said. "I don't like to put a bunch of real good athletes together to just play gym ball."

Two Mustangs, forward Nat Graham and guard Micah Bourdeau, will start for the Ontario West, as both players were named first team conference all-stars.

"The fact that two players from our team made the first team is stellar," Bourdeau said. "It says a lot about our program."

Bourdeau, who was also named as a second-team all-Canadian, averaged over 21 points per game this season. But with so much talent on each side, there may not be enough basketballs to go around since the roster will boast several of the province's best guards – Waterloo's Mano Watsa as well as McMaster's Steve Maga and Titus Channer.

"I think I'll be playing a little bit of both," Bourdeau said, when asked whether he expects to play the point or as an off-guard. "I expect the coach will let everyone play and the ball will get around.

"I want to win badly and [Boydell] likes winning, but it's not anything like a Western game."

Graham also had a solid season for Western, averaging over 14 points per game. He might, however, have trouble dealing with a talented Ontario East front court, that includes Laurentian's Ted Dongelmans and York's Dean Labayen. Dongelmans and Labayen represent the old and the new for the Ontario East.

For Dongelmans, a fifth-year senior, this will be the final time he will represent the Voyageurs on the hardcourt. For Labayen, on the other hand, the national rookie of the year will make his first-ever appearance at an OUA all-star game after leading the Ontario East in scoring this season with a 22.4 points-per-game average.

Labayen should feel right at home, however, with Yeomen head coach Bob Bain manning the OUA East bench.

"I expect Ted Dongelmans and Dean Labayen to have a big game for us," Bain said. "It'll also be interesting to see how [Labayen] competes with all the fourth and fifth-year players."

Bain felt the Eastern roster may be more well balanced than the Western one, which he said was loaded with guards. He added he expects Laurentian's Kevin Gordon, who is among the province's best defenders, to shut some of them down.

Proceeds from the all-star game will go to Camp Trillium, a specialized year-round facility for children who have been diagnosed with cancer.

Tip-off is at 3 p.m..

To Contact The Sports Department: gazsport@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1998