May 25, 2015

Latest News

Wesmen want title for Xmas

Tired of being gracious hosts at own tourney

Coach Mike Raimbault wasn't shy about asking Santa for a Wesmen Classic championship for his University of Winnipeg men's basketball team at the tourney's kickoff press conference on Monday.

After all, the Wesmen have been more than gracious hosts the past five years, allowing visiting teams to take the title. The Wesmen, who last won in 2006, lost to Saskatchewan 80-60 in last year's final.

Wesmen hoopster Nolan Gooding tunes in while engaging in a pre-practice one-on-one with soccer player Chin Osaje.


Wesmen hoopster Nolan Gooding tunes in while engaging in a pre-practice one-on-one with soccer player Chin Osaje. Photo Store

Travis Krahn works on his shooting technique during warmup.


Travis Krahn works on his shooting technique during warmup. Photo Store

This year's annual university men's tournament will be held for a 45th time Dec. 27-30.

"I think it's a tradition to ask for one," said Raimbault, laughing. "It's chock full of tradition and good memories throughout. It's an exciting time of year around here for our team especially and a great time to play some great basketball."

The door is open for a new champion as last year's champion Saskatchewan Huskies won't be in attendance this year.

The Classic, billed as "A Winnipeg Christmas Tradition," includes four other divisions in addition to the university men's division. The Club Classic (Dec. 1-4), the Adidas Junior Varsity Classic (Dec. 9-10), the Inner City Girls' Classic (Dec. 12-13) and the High School Boys' Classic (Dec. 27-30).

Fifth-year Wesmen guard Craig Sharpe said his team is going into the tournament taking care not to look too far ahead.

"We have to focus on our first game (against Keyano College of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Association) because if we can get past that (to the semifinals), the U of M is a tough opponent. We've already lost to them twice this year so it would be nice to get another chance," Sharpe said.

"I know we're going to have to play well as a group and rebound the ball well. We have a lot of new faces from last year but I've seen (recently) we've been communicating a lot better on the floor and practising better so hopefully we can transfer that to the games."

The Wesmen have battled numerous injuries this season and lost two Canada West conference games by one point, so the team believes it is better than its 2-6 record.

Raimbault said he is optimistic the Wesmen may be able to welcome back point guard Andrew Cunningham for the tournament. Cunningham, in his first season with the Wesmen, suffered a foot injury early in the season and has been out ever since. He's a third-year player, having played two seasons in the U.S. at Redlands Community College in Oklahoma.

"He's a big part of what we were doing early on in the season before he got injured," Raimbault said. "He's a pretty talented point guard and he'll add some depth to that position and he'll take a bit of the pressure off everyone in terms of guys being put in the right positions where they can be successful."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 13, 2011 C7

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 25 5:14 pm

Treyvonne Willis appeals first-degree murder conviction

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 25 5:01 pm

Clampdown begins in Toronto -

Mike McIntyre | @mikeoncrime

May 25 4:58 pm

*NEW* Treyvonne Willis has filed appeal of 1st-degree conviction in murder-for-hire of Kaila Tran, seeking new trial. 8 grounds listed.

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 25 4:36 pm

Condemned to death: But Egypt's young unbowed

Bruce Owen | @fpbowen

May 25 4:20 pm

The exodus continues: Three more NDP staffers headed to Alberta to work for Notley government. #mbpoli

Scroll down to load more