Canadian invasion

FRANK ZICARELLI -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:08 AM ET

The Canadian content in U.S. college basketball is about to grow.

Theo Davis and Kaylan Anderson, two GTA kids who spent the past year honing their skills in the U.S., will be playing big-time college basketball this fall.

Anderson, a 6-foot-5 wing player who attended a prep school in Alabama, is off to Wisconsin-Milwaukee, which emerged as a Cinderella team at this year's NCAA tournament.

The 6-foot-9 Davis, whom many believe is among the most dominant post players in Canada, will announce his college choice tonight at the annual All-Canada Basketball Weekend banquet.

Davis and Anderson will compete in tomorrow's day-long hoopsfest at Centennial College, which will house some of Canada's premier players, both male and female.

Davis began his high school career at Philip Pocock Catholic Secondary School, where U.S. recruiters began to drool at his athleticism and explosiveness. He spent the past two years in Queen's N.Y., after leaving Toronto and Father Henry Carr.

His Grade 9 coach was John Petruschak, who had an inkling Davis would play at a high level.

"Theo wanted to learn and he wanted to play,'' Petruschak said. "He's competitive and he's such a good kid.''

With high school basketball producing some quality players, the All-Canadian concept is a fitting sendoff to the area's graduating athletes.

"It's a celebration of the talent we have in Toronto and across Canada,'' organizer Wayne Dawkins, no slouch when it comes to playing basketball, said. "It's always a fun time for the athletes and fans."

Maurice Joseph (Michigan State), Andy Rautins (Syracuse), Jevohn Shepherd (Michigan), Simon Farine (Wisconsin-Green Bay) and Stephany Skrba (Michigan), to name a few, will be featured tomorrow.

Dawkins started the event five years ago, to expose the inner city talent. The idea grew and the two-day celebration now honours community and sporting individuals, featuring four games and rising stars.

An invitation-only banquet tips off this year's festival, followed by tomorrow's day-long basketball affair. Doors open at 1 p.m. and fans are encouraged to arrive early.

As part of the event, individual awards will be handed out at tonight's banquet.

The two top awards are Mr. and Miss Basketball Canada.

In the male category, Ryan Wright, Shepherd, Willie Gallick, Joseph and Farine are nominated. Tashawna Higgins, Skrba, Tamika Nurse and Samantha Scull are the female nominees.

"We have about 100 volunteers who have embraced this as a community event project,'' said Dawkins, who teaches at West Hill Collegiate. "They've put in a lot of work."


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