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HomeNewsCampusLords men's basketball team returns to the podium

Lords men’s basketball team returns to the podium

The last time the Durham Lords men’s basketball team made it to the playoffs was almost a decade ago, back in 2015.

However, earlier this month, the team emerged victorious as they defeated the St. Clair Saints in the semi-finals, ending the season with a bronze. They almost made the championship game, losing by two points to the Humber Hawks in the semi-final.

The Lords went on a 17-game winning streak, between Nov. 7 and Feb. 24, recording the highest number of wins in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) this season.

“They were the number one team in the country, so it was quite exciting for us,” said Zachery Ellis, sports information and marketing coordinator, Durham College Athletics. “This is the best record (the Lords) ever had in a regular season.”

So, how did they make it to the podium this season?

“We had a lot of new players this season,” said Ellis. “As time went on, the team gained a lot of chemistry, they got closer and learned each other’s tendencies and all that really played a factor in the team’s rise.

He said being able to come away with a bronze medal was “awesome.”

A man in a white shirt speaks to a group of basketball players.
Desmond Rowley, men's basketball head coach, who led them to a bronze in 2015 and 2024. Rowley has coached the team since 2008, and is the longest serving coach in the Durham Lords' history. Photo credit: Durham Lords

Both times the Lords won the bronze over the past decade, they were coached by Desmond Rowley. Ellis said he’s an “incredible” coach.

“He’s been a coach at Durham since 2008. He’s coached some very competitive Durham Lords teams,” said Ellis. “So to see all of his hard work finally pay off again this year, I felt great for him and his coaching staff.”

O’Shane Taylor-Douglas captained the team. “I was happy that we got bronze. Honestly, that’s not where we wanted to finish. We had our eyes set on gold,” he said.

Taylor-Douglas was named east division player of the year, east division defensive player of the year, a first team all-star and a Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) All-Canadian.

With this being his last year, he had some takeaways from the game.

“What I learned this year was how to be a better leader because we got a lot of young guys,” he said.

“It felt good to bring (the team) back on the podium.”