The uOttawa Gee-Gees men’s basketball team will looking to continue their successful pre-season this weekend as they get set to host the 39th annual Jack Donohue Tournament. Taking part in the tournament along with the Gee-Gees will be out-of conference foes McGill, St. Francis-Xavier, and OUA East rival Queen’s.
uOttawa travelled to the University of New Brunswick last weekend for the Accreon Helen Campbell and Eric Garland Tournament. The Gee-Gees swept the tournament as they went 3-0, capturing wins over New Brunswick, Laval and St-FX. Ottawa’s excellent conditioning was obvious throughout the weekend as they appeared to be the more durable and energetic team in the tournament.
Johnny Berhanemeskel was impressive as he was an offensive threat all tournament for Ottawa, earning tournament MVP honours. “Being named MVP was nice but I can’t take all the credit. We had a few players who were named all-stars throughout the weekend so I think it definitely was a team effort,” said Berhanemeskel.
“I liked what I saw from the guys last weekend. We will be facing three good teams this weekend and we want to keep moving forward,” said head coach James Derouin. “We just want to keep playing hard. We have played a lot of games lately so it’s good for our conditioning and technical improvement.”
The Gee-Gees will be facing Dave DeAveiro and the McGill Redmen on Friday night to tip off their tournament. These teams last met in the first round of the 2013 CIS Final 8 where the garnet and grey defeated the Redmen 82-70. Ottawa will then face St-FX on Saturday evening and Queen’s on Sunday afternoon to conclude the tournament.
Ottawa failed to win their pre-season tournament last year, losing by one point against the Bishop’s Gaiters in game one of the tournament. Bishop’s went on to win the tournament while Ottawa took second place, winning both of their following games.
“We know that we have to show up for this tournament because it’s the first time for other CIS teams, fans and alumni to come and check us out. Every game matters and can make a difference so we want come out strong this weekend and impress,” Berhanemeskel added.
“We are honoured to have Jack Donohue’s name on this tournament because he did so much for Canadian basketball community and has so many connections to the city of Ottawa,” said Derouin. “Even though it’s Thanksgiving weekend we are hoping to see lots see fans come because it’s the first time that they will be able to see us this year and to see what we have in store for the season.”
Monpetit Hall will receive some of the great Jack Donohue’s family members who will be in attendance throughout the weekend. For more information on Jack Donohue and the tournament please visit the event page. For full event schedule visit the uOttawa Gee-Gees website.
The first game of the tournament will tip off on Friday at 6 p.m. between St-FX and Queen’s. Ottawa will play in the following game at 8 p.m. versus McGill. All games will also be broadcast online on SSN Canada.