Nov 15, 2011
College Team Finally Has Home Court After 4 Years

CANTON — For the last four years, the SUNY Canton men’s and women’s basketball teams have been homeless.

The Kangaroos have played most of their home games at Clarkson University and conducted either early morning or nighttime practices at Canton High School. The program was forced to do that because the school’s original gym, Dana Hall, was ruled structurally unsound prior to the 2006-07 season.

But all that is a distant memory now that SUNY Canton has opened its new athletic center just south of the soccer field on campus. The facility is the home to the men’s and women’s basketball teams and also houses a hockey arena.

“When you first walk in here it’s very impressive, not just the size, but the way it’s laid out, women’s basketball coach Bruce Tallon said. I just like the environment. It’s impressive for young people, and that’s what I like.”

Over the past few years the men’s team has usually practiced at 6 a.m. at Canton High School while the women worked out at 7:30 p.m. Some of the women’s practices have been held in unusual places, like a basketball court built inside the home of Ogdensburg resident Steve LaRose and a basketball court in a barn owned by Heuvelton’s Dave Kingsley.

“It was trying, but it created a sense of everybody that wanted to be there was there, men’s basketball coach Keith Sullivan said. The guys had to go through a little bit of hardships and they fought through it.”

Last year’s seniors spent their entire career never having a real home, which required both Sullivan and Tallon to get creative while recruiting.

“The players that came in, most of them handled it pretty well, Tallon said. I didn’t have a lot of complaints. I think we sold them on other things. It wasn’t easy, but the caliber of players we had, they handled it. I don’t think we lost any (recruits) because we didn’t have a gym.”

Said Sullivan, “The advantage we had was that SUNY Canton is expanding. Some of the programs and facilities, other than athletics, were expanding. And this was always coming. It was a pitch on the come. It was difficult in the sense that other schools could say, ‘They don’t have a gym.’

Not having a gym meant something else was missing for the players and that was a place to hang out with their teammates before practice, other than being able to talk on the bus rides to Canton high school or Clarkson.

“I like the locker room, said men’s player Ryan Lamica, a former Malone player. It’s big. You are with the team and it’s your own place. It’s nice to go in and just relax.”

Said women’s player Brittany Crump, a former St. Lawrence Central athlete, It’s a place for us to come together and hang out before practice.

Crowd support was also minimal while the Kangaroos were at Clarkson. Sullivan estimates they had maybe 50 fans a game.

But on Nov. 5 the men played their first home game in the new facility and drew about 500 to watch an 82-43 win over the school of Environmental Science Forestry.

“The environment couldn’t have been better, from the students, to the atmosphere, to the look, to the game management, Sullivan said. It was awesome. It was great. It was state of the art. The guys really fed off that. You could feel the energy in the locker room and it showed itself on the floor.”

College Team Finally Has Home Court After 4 Years

Watertown Daily Times (N.Y.), Cap Carey

http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20111115/SPORTS03/711159974

CANTON — For the last four years, the SUNY Canton men’s and women’s basketball teams have been homeless.

The Kangaroos have played most of their home games at Clarkson University and conducted either early morning or nighttime practices at Canton High School. The program was forced to do that because the school’s original gym, Dana Hall, was ruled structurally unsound prior to the 2006-07 season.

But all that is a distant memory now that SUNY Canton has opened its new athletic center just south of the soccer field on campus. The facility is the home to the men’s and women’s basketball teams and also houses a hockey arena.

“When you first walk in here it’s very impressive, not just the size, but the way it’s laid out, women’s basketball coach Bruce Tallon said. I just like the environment. It’s impressive for young people, and that’s what I like.”

Over the past few years the men’s team has usually practiced at 6 a.m. at Canton High School while the women worked out at 7:30 p.m. Some of the women’s practices have been held in unusual places, like a basketball court built inside the home of Ogdensburg resident Steve LaRose and a basketball court in a barn owned by Heuvelton’s Dave Kingsley.

“It was trying, but it created a sense of everybody that wanted to be there was there, men’s basketball coach Keith Sullivan said. The guys had to go through a little bit of hardships and they fought through it.”

Last year’s seniors spent their entire career never having a real home, which required both Sullivan and Tallon to get creative while recruiting.

“The players that came in, most of them handled it pretty well, Tallon said. I didn’t have a lot of complaints. I think we sold them on other things. It wasn’t easy, but the caliber of players we had, they handled it. I don’t think we lost any (recruits) because we didn’t have a gym.”

Said Sullivan, “The advantage we had was that SUNY Canton is expanding. Some of the programs and facilities, other than athletics, were expanding. And this was always coming. It was a pitch on the come. It was difficult in the sense that other schools could say, ‘They don’t have a gym.’

Not having a gym meant something else was missing for the players and that was a place to hang out with their teammates before practice, other than being able to talk on the bus rides to Canton high school or Clarkson.

“I like the locker room, said men’s player Ryan Lamica, a former Malone player. It’s big. You are with the team and it’s your own place. It’s nice to go in and just relax.”

Said women’s player Brittany Crump, a former St. Lawrence Central athlete, It’s a place for us to come together and hang out before practice.

Crowd support was also minimal while the Kangaroos were at Clarkson. Sullivan estimates they had maybe 50 fans a game.

But on Nov. 5 the men played their first home game in the new facility and drew about 500 to watch an 82-43 win over the school of Environmental Science Forestry.

“The environment couldn’t have been better, from the students, to the atmosphere, to the look, to the game management, Sullivan said. It was awesome. It was great. It was state of the art. The guys really fed off that. You could feel the energy in the locker room and it showed itself on the floor.”






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