Head Coach John Campbell and the Dalhousie Tigers men’s basketball team kicked off their 2007-2008 varsity season recently with a fundraising breakfast.
The event was co-hosted by Tony Griffin, well known for his recently completed “Ride for the Cure” which helped raise over $600,000 for cancer research. On this occasion, however, Mr. Griffin was being introduced in his new role as a mental skills consultant with the men’s varsity basketball program.
A professional hurling player in his native Ireland, Mr. Griffin is expected to bring a unique perspective to the young Tigers squad.
“Having Tony be part of our program can only be a positive thing for us, he is the type of professional athlete and person that all our guys can look up to and learn something from,” says Coach Campbell.
Mr. Griffin spoke briefly about his recent cross-country bike tour, but spent most of his time sharing his excitement about being involved with the basketball team. With the talent he has seen in practice and the quality of coaching, Mr. Griffin believes the only thing holding back the athletes is mental toughness — necessary to keep going through the harder times that all teams inevitably face at some point. Once that is overcome, their potential to win will be limitless, he says.
Coach Campbell also used the event to introduce his student athletes to the mostly corporate crowd. He invited the basketball supporters to the annual invitational Rod Shoveller Memorial tournament scheduled for late December at Dalplex. Each attendee received a regular season pass to all Tigers basketball home games, a nifty logoed key chain, as well as information on corporate tickets for the Shoveller tournament, which attracts top-ranked teams from across the country. (In two years' time, five-time CIS defending champs Carleton Ravens will play in the event.)
The Tigers will be busy prior to the regular season debut against St. FX on Thursday, Nov. 8. Ten pre-season games are scheduled, including a final tune-up against the University of Maine Black Bears in Orono, Maine on Friday, Nov. 2.
“The chance to play an NCAA school is great opportunity for our guys. It's always good to play the best possible competition you can. It helps you learn where you are as a team, and what you have to do to improve and how much hard work is required to play at such a high level,” says Coach Campbell.
For more information on all the Dalhousie Tigers varsity programs visit: http://www.athletics.dal.ca.
Donations to the Tony Griffin Foundation can be made at: http://www.tonygriffinfoundation.com.
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