Long Shots Chapter III: Short Sight, Tall Plans


At 5-foot-7, Nedrie Simmons is the Vanier Mavericks’ smallest player, and perhaps the most reckless. But he’s head and shoulders above when it comes to confidence in his talent, writes Morgan Campbell. 2 June 2003 – Toronto Star Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2003 Nedrie Simmons launches jump shots alone in the gym at Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary … Continue reading

Long Shots Chapter IV: Chance of a Lifetime


Andrew Lomond gets his opportunity to impress at an audition for a U.S. college recruiter. The question is, can he become the post player the coaches want, reports Morgan Campbell. 3 June 2003 – Toronto Star Jan. 27, 2003 On a frigid winter night, about 20 young men gather at the Stanley Park Community Centre for some … Continue reading

Long Shots Chapter V: The Angry Young Prince


National Newspaper Award Long Shots — Part 5 of 8 Mavericks star Oliver’s toughest opponent is the one he meets at every game: his own rage. A thorny medical history buys him some slack from his coach but, as Morgan Campbell writes, toleration can only go so far. 4 June 2003 – Toronto Star Sunday, Feb. … Continue reading

Long Shots Chapter VI: The Power of Persuasion


5 June 2003 – Toronto Star Over the course of this tumultuous season, Don Marchione has come to know his players well – perhaps a little too well. The head coach of the Jean Vanier Mavericks understands Drew Lomond’s shaky confidence comes from childhood struggles with obesity. He accepts Nedrie Simmons’ stubborn, at times even combative … Continue reading

Long Shots Chapter VII: Time for a Hail Mary


Rifts and resentments within the team threaten the Mavericks’ performance; divided, they’ll fall. As a crucial game approaches, the coaches can only plead and pray, writes Morgan Campbell. 6 June 2003 – Toronto Star March 4-6, 2003 A bright yellow school bus carrying an elite basketball squad rolls north along Hwy 69 in a six-hour stretch … Continue reading

Long Shots Chapter VIII: The Final Hoops


For some of the Vanier Mavericks, the end of the basketball season sounds the buzzer on school. But for a driven, lucky few, it may be just the start of new slam-dunk dreams, writes Morgan Campbell. 7 June 2003 – Toronto Star Drew Lomond rides shotgun in a friend’s car as he and three buddies cruise … Continue reading

Justin Shephard: Things Fall Apart


December 2002 – SLAM magazine Justin Shepherd was two days away from a prep school scholarship and a shot at big-time college basketball when the Toronto hoops star was found slain on a footbridge near his house. Why did it happen? Those close to him are still searching for answers. By Morgan Campbell with special … Continue reading

Darius Miles: Headbanger’s Ball


December 2002 – SLAM magazine Darius Miles entered the NBA as a manchild but an off-season trade to the Cavs makes him the Man in Cleveland. Is the phenom ready to make that leap? By Morgan Campbell Darius Miles never planned to step onstage at that Nelly concert. Was too shy to show his face … Continue reading

Antonio Davis: Strength


November 2002 – KING magazine By Morgan Campbell Antonio Davis used to be a punk. These days A.D. weighs 255 pounds and his body fat percentage is lower than the interest on your car loan. The Toronto Raptors power forward lives in the gym, lifting four times a week over the summer and at least … Continue reading

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