We'll start our "end of season awards" by announcing the "Rookie of the Year" and "Newcomer of the Year" award winners (CWOSSA-wide) in both the junior and senior basketball divisions (senior to be posted separately).
The difference between a "rookie" and a "newcomer" would be that a "newcomer" has played in another school district before transferring to a CWOSSA school, whereas a rookie has not.
Let's get right to it:
Junior CWOSSA "Rookie of the Year"
Jamal Murray - Grand River, 6'2" G/F
No doubt about this one. Murray was sensational throughout this past season, not only pouring in the points but also coming up with timely baskets, including several buzzer beaters during the season. He keyed a 10-point comeback early in the season against St. Mary's, then would go on to hit two buzzer-beaters against Cameron Heights, the latter in the WCSSAA semifinals that advanced the Rens through to CWOSSA.
Murray is a smooth shooter who can "pull up and pop" with the best of them. He's also gifted on the defensive end, where his length and wingspan can make things difficult for opponents. I've been hearing rumblings that Murray may be moved up to the senior level next season at Grand River, so his one season of junior basketball may also have been his last. That said, he certainly left a mark on WCSSAA and CWOSSA courts this season.
Junior CWOSSA "Newcomer of the Year"
Michael Ganson - Bishop Macdonell, 5'10" G
Ganson, who attended provincial powerhouse (and current OFSAA "AAAA" reigning back-to-back champions) Vaughan SS before moving to Guelph this year for grade ten, was a straight up scoring machine in games this season.
In fact, Ganson hit for 40+ points three times in league play, and he didn't do it against slouches either --- 44 against Lourdes ("AA" CWOSSA champions) and 44 against CWDHS (D10 finalists). He added 42 against GCVI, 37 against Ross and another 36 against Lourdes in other league games. Yikes!
Ganson is a great shooter, but also has an excellent mid-range game, which can be attributed to his shooting regimen of taking about 500 shots a day. He's had some interest stateside from prep schools, so it will be interesting to see if he sticks around the CWOSSA region over the next year or two --- if he does, he will make a youthful Bishop Mac senior squad even better next season.
He's a pleasure to watch, so obviously I'm hoping that he does.