TORONTO, Ont. — Monday was a busy basketball day in the city of Toronto.
Upwards of two million fans packed the streets of Toronto on #WeTheNorth Day to celebrate the Toronto Raptors and their 2019 NBA Championship. A parade that was estimated to take two and a half hours stretched over the five-hour mark due to massive crowds along the 4.2 kilometer route.
Fans waited in Nathan Phillips Square since Saturday to be apart of the celebration, and by the looks of things, it was worth every minute of the wait. Kawhi Leonard capped off the festivities with his infamous laugh, and every basketball fan from coast to coast put their love for the Raptors on display.
However, the Raptors weren’t the only team in Toronto making headlines on this busy Monday.
The George Brown Huskies are gearing up for the 2019-20 season, and on Monday afternoon, the team announced three newcomers to their roster ahead of the new campaign. Head coach Warren Williams and his staff added some youth and experience to the mix, while all three players bring talent to the fold for 2019-20 and beyond.
George Brown added Kayana Granger, Rachel Steer, and Sam Hakh to the mix on Monday, with more recruits to come down the road.
Granger comes to the Huskies as a true freshman. The 5’10” wing played prep basketball at Durham Elite, and brings size and range to the roster for the Huskies. Her athleticism will allow for her to play at both forward positions with the team, and Granger will look to blossom in a system that has seen its share of forwards excel in recent years under Williams.
“Kayana is an excellent fit for our system as an athletic and smart player coached by Christa Eniojukan out of Durham Elite prep,” said Williams in a release posted by the Huskies. “She will infuse terrific energy into our program this year.”
Like Granger, the 5’5” Hakh will be a true freshman this season with the Huskies, but will look to provide significant contributions right away on both ends of the floor. Hakh is a strong shooter from all areas of the floor, and her range makes her a threat on any given night.
“Sam is a terrific prospect out of Father Redmond Prep who should immediately contribute with her ability to stretch the floor with her perimeter shooting,” said Williams.
Rounding out the group of three newcomers is veteran Rachel Steer, who comes to the program after two seasons with the St. Lawrence Vikings in the OCAA. Last year at St. Lawrence, Steer led the Vikings with 13.0 points and 3.4 assists per game, while also contributing 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 steals per contest.
Her presence on the defensive end of the floor will only add to the tenaciousness of the Huskies in that aspect of the game. As a team, George Brown averaged over 14 steals per game in 2018-19, and with Steer in the mix this year, their steals per game number should be similar this time around.
“Rachel is a savvy veteran of the OCAA having played two years at St. Lawrence,” added Williams. “She should be a terrific compliment to a solid returning cast with great court awareness and effort.”
All three players will look to be significant contributors from the outset of the season. George Brown is coming off a season in which they finished the regular season with a record of 14-3, good enough for second place in the OCAA East Division standings.
The Huskies will be without the services of Tianna Sullivan, who graduated following the 2018-19 season. Sullivan left as the program’s all-time leading scorer, and she finished off her illustrious career at George Brown by averaging 17.5 points per game on 46.7% shooting from the floor.
It will be tough for one player to fill the void left by Sullivan. Rather, it will take a group effort to make up for the loss in production on both ends of the court. While Steer looks to be the one who will shoulder a lot of the load, look for all three of the Huskies’ newcomers to have a hand in filling the void moving forward.
– T. Bennett
Information from the George Brown Huskies contributed to this post.