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Local players giving back as part of Steel City Sports basketball program

Beginning on September 14, Steel City Sports will be offering developmental basketball academies in a wide range of age groups. Many former players will also be involved in the program as well
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Planning is well underway as Steel City Sports moves towards aiding the development of basketball players of all ages locally this fall.

 After consultation with sports organizations, public health officials and to align with the direction of sport for ‘Phase 3’ communities, Steel City Sports will be offering developmental basketball academies within various age groups until December, and hopes to be able to offer leagues and travel in the new year.

“We are excited to be helping kids be active in a fun and safe environment. Our club has also been working hard in the community to build relationships so our kids can have a great experience with quality mentors, coaches and instruction,” said Jeff Giovanatti, president of Steel City Sports in a media release. “Our programming is continually expanding as we have completed season one with our volleyball program, and have expanded our club teams and developmental training as well. With all of this being said, it is important to understand that our top priority is the safety of our youth in the community of Sault Ste. Marie.”

The developmental academy will place kids in cohorts of up to 20, where they will train and participate in 3-on-3 or 4-on-4 competition during a session. The focus of the academy will be on improving core fundamentals in an environment that promotes decision making and maximum active time. 

The programming will be offered starting the week of Sept. 14, and will run until the week of Dec. 14, 2020 with two sessions per week. Cost for the programming will be $250.

“We look forward to continuing to offer you quality programming in a fun and safe environment with quality instructors,” Giovanatti said. “Being collaborative, we also look forward to continuing to build an ‘athlete centred’ community minded environment.”

“We have had tremendous success placing athletes into post-secondary and they have gone on to do amazing things in life,” Giovanatti said. 

Some of these athletes include Nico Loureiro, who went on to Brock University to play USports, and won a national championship with the Badgers in 2008. He currently works with the NBA. 

Abigail Fogg earned a Division 1 scholarship to American University and finished playing at South Dakota. She won an NCAA NIT championship and is now playing professional basketball in Switzerland. She has also represented Canada on the Senior Women's National Team. 

Jonah Fogg represented Canada on the U18 Canadian Junior National team that won a silver medal at the FIBA Americans in 2014, and had multiple Division 1 offers. 

Anthony Iacoe was named to the Ontario University All Rookie Team in 2016, as he finished in the top five in three pointers made in Canada. He played four seasons for the Laurentian Voyageurs helping them gain a top five ranking in Canada and hold a top 10 ranking for multiple seasons. Iacoe was part of the Slam program that was among the top division two programs in the province.

Sam Ivey represented Team Ontario at the U17 level in the 2013 Canadian National Championships in Winnipeg, Man. and was the first player from northern Ontario to make the provincial team. He went on the play four years at Laurentian University and finished this season second in team scoring.  

The following is a list of age groups and their respective coaches for the developmental academies:

  • U10 Boys (born in 2011 and 2012) – Coach: Aaron Richards
  • U11 Boys (born in 2010) – Coach: Adrian Adams  
  • U13 Boys (born in 2009 and 2008) – Coaches: Jeff Giovanatti and Robin Shamas
  • U14 Girls (born in 2007 or 2008) – Coaches: John Duke and Adrian Colak
  • U14 Boys (born in 2007) – Coaches: Joey Turco, Shawn MacDonald, Danny MacDonald
  • U15 Boys (born in 2006) – Coaches: Hue Higham and Noah Creedon
  • U16 Boys (born in 2005) – Coaches: Adrian Colak and Adian Chard
  • U16 Girls (born in 2005) – Coaches: Adrian Adams and Kyle Dugas
  • U19 Boys (born in 2002, 2003, or 2004) – Coaches: Jeff Giovanatti, Adian Chard, Jonah Fogg 
  • U19 Girls (born in 2002, 2003, or 2004) – Coaches: Adrian Adams and Kyle Dugas

For cohorts that exceed approximately 20 participants, a second cohort will be offered to fulfill the demand.   

More details can be found by emailing saultsteelcityslam@gmail.com or on the Steel City Slam website.