Lords tip off hoops pre-season this weekend

The DC men's basketball team, seen here in a file photo from last season, is ready to host the Stewart Tip-off Tournament this weekend. Photo credit: File photo

Durham’s men’s basketball team is gearing up to host the David Stewart Tip-Off Tournament this weekend.

The Durham Lords, Conestoga Condors, Lambton Lions and George Brown Huskies are all competing in the tournament.

The event is named for DC’s first athletic director and has been hosted on-campus for 43 consecutive years.

“It’s a pre-season tournament where we invite teams from across Ontario, sometimes teams come from Quebec and other provinces,” says Jordon Holl, athletics coordinator at Durham College.

The pre-season exhibition, is an opportunity for teams from across the province to compete in a friendly series of games to prepare for the season. The Lords are coming off a 2018-19 season in which they posted a 14-6 record.

“It’s a chance for the teams to get some actual game play in before the season starts, to try and find their form before things really start kicking off,” says Holl.

Stewart, DC’s original athletic director, is commemorated through this tournament every year for his role in shaping the scene of DC’s athletics.

“David Stewart was the first athletic director of Durham College and did a lot of big things while he was here,” says Holl. “Putting through things like hosting national championships on a lot of facilities and building the program from the ground up.”

The tournament was not always in honour of Stewart, though. Originally called the Harvey’s Tip-Off Tournament for the event’s main sponsor, the athletics department decided to change it to reflect Stewart’s many contributions to the college after he retired from his position as athletic director in 1996.

“It’s the oldest-running college basketball tournament in Ontario, since 1977,” says Ken Babcock, DC’s current athletic director.

The Durham Lords face Conestoga in the opening match of the tournament Friday at 6 p.m. at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre.

Durham also plays Lambton at 9 a.m. Saturday, followed by George Brown at 7 p.m.