New Brandon University Bobcats guard Kenonte Ramsey takes a shot during practice on Monday night. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)
From California to Canada, Kenonte Ramsey has become the third import player on the Brandon University Bobcats men’s basketball team.
After finally getting his student visa paperwork finalized, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound guard arrived in Brandon late Sunday night, attended his first classes Monday and joined his new teammates for his first Bobcats practice last night.
"I’m actually pretty excited, just to be able to get on the court and put my skills to use," Ramsey said. "Of course it’s probably going to be tough adjusting, getting to know the team and basically I am starting at the bottom and trying to work my way to the top … I just need to get a feel for the system and figure out where I can put my skills to use within the system."
The Bobcats have two top imports already in point guard Ilarion Bonhomme — the reigning Canada West rookie of the year — and 6-foot-7 forward Isaiah James — the Bobcats’ team MVP in 2010-11. However, Canada West voted this summer to adopt the CIS rule to expand imports from two to three, giving Bobcats head coach Gil Cheung the opportunity to bring in another top perimeter player while Emerick Ravier continues his recovery from off-season reconstructive knee surgery.
"We talked about the needs that we have, especially with Emerick’s injury and we don’t know exactly the timeline for him," Cheung said. "Ilarion had a great season and Isaiah James can shore up a position and help us up front, so we thought we needed someone to play Emerick’s position right now until Emerick is healthy or to complement Emerick when he is fully healthy. So I contacted some people in California and we have been recruiting (Ramsey) pretty heavily since July and he is excited to be here."
Ramsey was the second leading scorer on the Contra Costa College Comets last season, averaging 10.8 points per game while leading his team to a 9-3 record in the Bay Valley Conference (19-7 overall) and a berth in the conference final. Ramsey had committed to play Division II basketball for Texas A&M International in the off-season, but lost his scholarship offer when a new coach took over the program.
With two years of experience under his belt in the California Community College Athletic Association — the same league James played in for San Jose City College before joining BU — Cheung believes the 23-year-old Ramsey can contribute immediately.
"(Ramsey) will play the one and two-guard positions, but we see him right away as more of a two-guard, so that he can complement Ilarion in the back court," Cheung said. "He is a really good athlete and he can help us in transition and get up and down the court and he’s a tough on-ball defender and just a tough overall kid, so he will allow us to do different things on both ends of the court. We can play a little faster, we have another threat on the perimeter and he allows us to pick up the tempo on the defensive end."
Cheung said Ramsey is also working to get quickly caught up in the classroom.
"He has been corresponding with all his professors, so he’s organized and he’s handing in an assignment already on Thursday," Cheung said. "So he’s done a pretty good job of getting on top of things."
Brandon opens the Canada West regular season on Nov. 2 against Alberta.
Name Position Year Height Weight Hometown
Ali-Mounir Benabdelhak F 2 6-6 190 Montreal, Que.
Ilarion Bonhomme G 2 5-11 175 Washington, D.C.
James Elias F 4 6-11 235 Morden
Isaiah James F 4 6-7 215 San Jose, Calif.
Alex Klocek G 2 6-4 185 Coquitlam, B.C.
Pacome Matulu F 3 6-4 215 Montreal, Que.
Jude Molin G 1 6-4 204 Montreal, Que.
Kenonte Ramsey G 3 6-1 185 Richmond, Calif.
Emerick Ravier G 5 6-3 195 Ottawa, Ont.
Jordan Reaves F 4 6-5 215 Winnipeg
r-O’Neil Reece G 1 6-1 195 Scarborough, Ont.
Turell Scott G 1 6-5 180 Coquitlam, B.C.
Michael (Reggie) Smith G 3 6-0 170 Brampton, Ont.
Peterson Suffrard F 1 6-7 268 Montreal, Que.
Head Coach: Gil Cheung (third year).
Assistant Coaches: Jeremy Wielenga, Donovan Gayle.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 2, 2012