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Olynyk lights up Crown League Week 3

Nike Toronto

1 Love T.O. and ACE had fought tooth and nail from start to finish. ACE looked to have the game well in control after Kelly Olynyk missed two free throws with his team trailing by two with under 30 seconds remaining.

As shooters are prone to doing, though, Olynyk was able to perfectly anticipate his miss by following it up with his own rebound. It was an instinctual play from the Toronto native, before pump faking a defender out of his shoes for an easy lay-in. Tie game.

Then, fter getting a stop on the other end, 1 Love T.O. had a chance to win the game with 1.7 seconds remaining. Inbounding from the right side of the court, there was only one man that was going to get the ball in that situation.

Making a guest appearance for 1 Love T.O. on Friday night at Ryerson University, the newly minted $50 million dollar man for the Miami Heat did not disappoint. With his team struggling to keep up with the hot shooting of ACE’s Warren Ward (24 points on 9-of-11 shooting), Olynyk put 1 Love T.O. on his back, dropping 30 of his 38 points in the second half, and as you can see above, throwing the crowd into a frenzy after what was clearly this year’s signature moment thus far for the event.

The moment was made all the more special when Olynyk went straight into the section of the crowd where Canada’s U-19 men’s basketball team was seated to celebrate. The old school that helped build a path, celebrating with the new that slammed the door down about a week ago with Canada’s first ever gold medal in basketball at any level.

“It’s (Canadian basketball) on the rise, man, it’s on the come up,” Olynyk said proudly after the game. “All those young guys are good, really good. I wish we were that good. The next few years are gonna be fun.”

After a relatively quiet Week 1, largely due to the long weekend, Weeks 2 and 3 at Kerr Hall for the Crown League have drawn excellent crowds that have in turn brought the best out of the players. From Brady Heslip’s hot shooting in Week 1, to Negus Webster-Chan and  Xavier Rathan-Mayes’ all-round performances last week, to Olynyk’s dominant 38 point, 13 rebound performance in Week 3, there is plenty of local talent for fans to celebrate at this event.

“It’s awesome,” Olynyk said. “I walked in here and your heart just drops—being from here—seeing this atmosphere, the type of crowd that’s here. The love and passion for the game is second to none right now. To walk in the door, it’s a wow factor.”

In the other two contests, M.A.D.E. improved to 2-1 with a 102-85 victory over CIA Bounce courtesy of a 23-5-5 night for Junior Cadougan, while Richard Amardi dropped 28 points, nine rebounds, and three blocks in 6Man’s win over Northern Kings.

Next week is semifinals week, and is just a click away for you to attend. Oh, and did I mention it’s FREE?

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