All-Star day doubleheader hosted at Durham College

Durham College/UOIT hosted the OCAA All-Star Games for both basketball and volleyball on March 22.

The Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre welcomed more than 200 athletes from colleges across Ontario for the all-day event. According to Scott Barker, the athletic coordinator for UOIT and Durham College, both events aren’t usually on the same day.
“To my knowledge, its never been done before in the OCAA,” said Barker.
There were appearances by the Toronto Raptors dance pack, and a mascot competition. “It’s a fun event,” Barker says.
The day kicked off at 9:30 a.m. with the skills competitions. Although no Durham athletes won, the Lords were well represented in each category.
Volleyball players showed off their skills in three different competitions: hardest spike, passing accuracy, and the serving challenge.
For the women, Allison Doris established her strength in the hardest spike competition. Emily Gilbert represented the Lady Lords in the serving challenge and Natalie Manicotto showed her skills in the passing accuracy challenge.
From the men’s team, Dan Popovic challenged rivals in the passing accuracy event. Riley McAllister demonstrated his talent in the serving challenge and Jeremy Hoekstra preformed for the hardest spike competition.
Durham basketball players also flaunted their abilities in two skills events: an NBA skills challenge and a three-point shootout.
Lady Lord Kelsey Hare completed the skills challenge course with style, while Kauri LaFontaine lit up the three-point shootout.
For the men, Brandon Heath displayed finesse in the NBA skills challenge and Saliym Cadogan showed his abilities in the three-point-shootout.
After a quick lunch break, the All-Star Games began at 1 p.m. with women’s volleyball. Players were divided by school region: East and West. Durham College represents the East.
Jessica Broad, a third-year marketing student from Courtice, Ont., was the only female volleyball player from Durham College to be named to the roster of the All-Star game. The game was evenly matched, going back and forth, but the West pulled ahead for a 3-2 win.
Both McAllister and Popovic also participated in the men’s volleyball All-Star game. The game was eventful, but the West defeated the East 4 sets to 1. McAllister, a fifth-year mechanical technician from Whitby, took home the MVP award in the East for the second year in a row.
Two Durham College coaches were also added to the All-Star game. Men’s volleyball coach, George Matsusaki and women’s basketball coach, Heather LaFontaine participated as coaches.
Aside from playing for the same team and attending the same school, Kauri LaFontaine and Kate Mowat are both fifth-year project management students from Whitby. Both participated in the All-Star game, helping the East come from behind to beat the West 72-66.
Ajahmo Clarke and Eric Smith were chosen from Durham’s men’s basketball team to play in the All-Star game. The East just narrowly edged the West by one point, to win the game 97-96. Clarke, a first-year Recreation and Leisure student from Ajax, earned the MVP in the East for tallying 12 goals in the game.
The day was a success for Durham College.
“The event is a great profile for Durham College,” says Barker. “It brings an opportunity for students on campus to come watch the top basketball and the top volleyball players as they compete.”