Former star Vadim Halimov helps coach Huskies basketball team to close win over Seneca Sting
At George Brown College (GBC) the Huskies faced their rival, the Seneca Sting, for the season opener on Oct. 22 at the Alex Barbier Gym.
“I feel very good for tonight,” said head coach Jonathan Smith, before the game. “I put a positive vibe out there to keep the guys motivated.”
The Huskies and the Sting were neck-and-neck for the duration of the game, going from a five point lead to a tie, then five or 10 point lead again just a few moments later.
If you blinked, you would have missed the action.
At the end of the fourth quarter, the Huskies managed to slide past the Sting with a score of 81-78.
This was the first game for the Huskies, pre-season included, that had the full array of players since seven were injured in an exhibition game against Durham College on Oct. 17.
Smith claimed the season opener was to be a “baptism by fire” against Seneca saying, “you have to go in hopeful and if you’re not, then it’s never going to happen.”
A ceremony before the game was held for those who had their jersey numbers retired. Former players Val Pozzan, 13, Vadim Halimov, 24, Marv Snowden, 33, and Kevin Taylor, 42, watched as their jerseys were unveiled on the wall of the Alex Barbier Gym.
“I’m honoured that I only played at GBC for one year and they’re retiring my jersey,” said Hamlimov. “It is a privilege to be amongst the other three names.”
Things will be a bit different on the court this year for the Huskies with Halimov returning as an assistant coach.
After tearing his ACL over the summer, the record-breaking prodigy of last year’s basketball season, Halimov is able to help players this season from a different perspective.
“This was a great option for us,” said Smith. “He always wanted to work on his IQ and understanding of the game, the X’s and O’s and behind the scenes.”
Smith sees Halimov as inspiring players in the future saying they will have a better understanding if they have someone that’s been there for five years, who has gotten all the records and knows what it takes to get there.
“I want to play at a higher level. I had an amazing five years, I don’t want to play college basketball anymore,” said Halimov.
“The players realize he has the right to speak, all he has to do is flash the ring once and say, ‘I’m the player of the year and you’re not, listen to me and play attention’, because he has the results,” said Smith.
With a victorious ending to a great season opener and the reveal of the retired jerseys, Halimov says, the Huskies “need to focus on working as a team.”
Their next opportunity to show the rival team what they’re are made of will be on Nov. 1 against Algonquin College at St. James campus’ Alex Barbier Gym.