Phoenix get boost from return of Iluya, addition of Mohamed

Sports Dec 07, 2017 by Adam Jackson Waterloo Chronicle

Last season ended with disappointment for the Resurrection Phoenix, but things are looking up so far this year.

The senior boys’ basketball team pulled off a dramatic 59-54 win over the St. David’s Celtics on Wednesday night, in the battle of the two undefeated District 8 teams — just a game after they handed the St. Benedict’s Saints their first loss in nearly two years.

“It was a big win for us,” said Jamu Iluya, a Grade 12 student who was just cleared to return to the team less than a week prior.

In a freak accident against St. David’s last year, Iluya attempted to block a layup by an opposing player, but wound up with his foot caught in the padding behind the net. The result? A full anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear.

That was about nine months ago, near the end of last season. Now, with a new knee brace and all, Iluya is back on the court.

“It doesn’t slow me down too much,” said Iluya.

While the return of Iluya — who had one of his final checkups at game time on Wednesday — is a boon to the Phoenix, they have another secret weapon.

A transfer from Windsor, Mahir Mohamed, a speedy five-foot-eleven point guard, has joined the team. He relocated to Kitchener with his mom, who found a new job at a hotel.

Mohamed has made his presence known around the local basketball scene as well — and teams are prepared for him.

“I’ve noticed that, especially in this game,” said Mohamed, referring to teams doubling up on their coverage of him. Mohamed led all scorers in Wednesday’s game with 31 points.

Mohamed said the competition level he has seen in the region so far is of a high calibre, including teams outside of District 8 seen at the annual Resurrection tournament.

“In Windsor, there are good teams; but, it seems like in this area, every team has the ability to beat you,” said Mohamed.

For opposing teams, the duo of Iluya and Mohamed will lead to a “pick your poison” kind of situation, as both have the ability to put up impressive numbers.

Iluya, who played with his brother Muyang last season, said Mohamed plays with a certain style of speed and vision that he sometimes doesn’t even understand.

“He seems to see the game through a different lens,” said Iluya.

For Mohamed, his movement on the court comes down to gut instinct.

“I just see opportunities as they come,” said Mohamed.

With this being his Grade 12 year of high school, Mohamed has big goals. He’s hoping to catch the eye of an NCAA Division I school south of the border. But, before an offer comes flowing in, he knows he has to step up his game.

“I have to improve my defence and get a little bigger,” he said.

The Resurrection Phoenix are playing in the third annual Jacob Ranton Memorial Tournament at Waterloo Collegiate Institute on Friday and Saturday, before returning to regular season action on Monday against another undefeated team — the St. Mary’s Eagles. That game takes place at Resurrection at 4:30 p.m.

Phoenix get boost from return of Iluya, addition of Mohamed

Sports Dec 07, 2017 by Adam Jackson Waterloo Chronicle

Last season ended with disappointment for the Resurrection Phoenix, but things are looking up so far this year.

The senior boys’ basketball team pulled off a dramatic 59-54 win over the St. David’s Celtics on Wednesday night, in the battle of the two undefeated District 8 teams — just a game after they handed the St. Benedict’s Saints their first loss in nearly two years.

“It was a big win for us,” said Jamu Iluya, a Grade 12 student who was just cleared to return to the team less than a week prior.

In a freak accident against St. David’s last year, Iluya attempted to block a layup by an opposing player, but wound up with his foot caught in the padding behind the net. The result? A full anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear.

That was about nine months ago, near the end of last season. Now, with a new knee brace and all, Iluya is back on the court.

“It doesn’t slow me down too much,” said Iluya.

While the return of Iluya — who had one of his final checkups at game time on Wednesday — is a boon to the Phoenix, they have another secret weapon.

A transfer from Windsor, Mahir Mohamed, a speedy five-foot-eleven point guard, has joined the team. He relocated to Kitchener with his mom, who found a new job at a hotel.

Mohamed has made his presence known around the local basketball scene as well — and teams are prepared for him.

“I’ve noticed that, especially in this game,” said Mohamed, referring to teams doubling up on their coverage of him. Mohamed led all scorers in Wednesday’s game with 31 points.

Mohamed said the competition level he has seen in the region so far is of a high calibre, including teams outside of District 8 seen at the annual Resurrection tournament.

“In Windsor, there are good teams; but, it seems like in this area, every team has the ability to beat you,” said Mohamed.

For opposing teams, the duo of Iluya and Mohamed will lead to a “pick your poison” kind of situation, as both have the ability to put up impressive numbers.

Iluya, who played with his brother Muyang last season, said Mohamed plays with a certain style of speed and vision that he sometimes doesn’t even understand.

“He seems to see the game through a different lens,” said Iluya.

For Mohamed, his movement on the court comes down to gut instinct.

“I just see opportunities as they come,” said Mohamed.

With this being his Grade 12 year of high school, Mohamed has big goals. He’s hoping to catch the eye of an NCAA Division I school south of the border. But, before an offer comes flowing in, he knows he has to step up his game.

“I have to improve my defence and get a little bigger,” he said.

The Resurrection Phoenix are playing in the third annual Jacob Ranton Memorial Tournament at Waterloo Collegiate Institute on Friday and Saturday, before returning to regular season action on Monday against another undefeated team — the St. Mary’s Eagles. That game takes place at Resurrection at 4:30 p.m.

Phoenix get boost from return of Iluya, addition of Mohamed

Sports Dec 07, 2017 by Adam Jackson Waterloo Chronicle

Last season ended with disappointment for the Resurrection Phoenix, but things are looking up so far this year.

The senior boys’ basketball team pulled off a dramatic 59-54 win over the St. David’s Celtics on Wednesday night, in the battle of the two undefeated District 8 teams — just a game after they handed the St. Benedict’s Saints their first loss in nearly two years.

“It was a big win for us,” said Jamu Iluya, a Grade 12 student who was just cleared to return to the team less than a week prior.

In a freak accident against St. David’s last year, Iluya attempted to block a layup by an opposing player, but wound up with his foot caught in the padding behind the net. The result? A full anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear.

That was about nine months ago, near the end of last season. Now, with a new knee brace and all, Iluya is back on the court.

“It doesn’t slow me down too much,” said Iluya.

While the return of Iluya — who had one of his final checkups at game time on Wednesday — is a boon to the Phoenix, they have another secret weapon.

A transfer from Windsor, Mahir Mohamed, a speedy five-foot-eleven point guard, has joined the team. He relocated to Kitchener with his mom, who found a new job at a hotel.

Mohamed has made his presence known around the local basketball scene as well — and teams are prepared for him.

“I’ve noticed that, especially in this game,” said Mohamed, referring to teams doubling up on their coverage of him. Mohamed led all scorers in Wednesday’s game with 31 points.

Mohamed said the competition level he has seen in the region so far is of a high calibre, including teams outside of District 8 seen at the annual Resurrection tournament.

“In Windsor, there are good teams; but, it seems like in this area, every team has the ability to beat you,” said Mohamed.

For opposing teams, the duo of Iluya and Mohamed will lead to a “pick your poison” kind of situation, as both have the ability to put up impressive numbers.

Iluya, who played with his brother Muyang last season, said Mohamed plays with a certain style of speed and vision that he sometimes doesn’t even understand.

“He seems to see the game through a different lens,” said Iluya.

For Mohamed, his movement on the court comes down to gut instinct.

“I just see opportunities as they come,” said Mohamed.

With this being his Grade 12 year of high school, Mohamed has big goals. He’s hoping to catch the eye of an NCAA Division I school south of the border. But, before an offer comes flowing in, he knows he has to step up his game.

“I have to improve my defence and get a little bigger,” he said.

The Resurrection Phoenix are playing in the third annual Jacob Ranton Memorial Tournament at Waterloo Collegiate Institute on Friday and Saturday, before returning to regular season action on Monday against another undefeated team — the St. Mary’s Eagles. That game takes place at Resurrection at 4:30 p.m.