T.J. Colello (firstname.lastname@example.org)
SYDNEY, N.S. — The Cape Breton Capers men's basketball team didn't have to look far to add to their roster for the 2018-19 season.
Jason Callaghan of Sydney, a guard with the Sydney Academy Wildcats, has committed to play for the Capers in the fall.
"Everyone from around here who are playing basketball has gone to CBU camps when they were a kid and it's a big part of basketball life here in Cape Breton," said the 18-year-old. "Going out and watching the games for years, the Fall Classics at Centre 200 and all the home games, the idea of going out there is a dream come true because of how much it means to Cape Breton basketball and I'm a big supporter of that. It's been a big part of my life."
Callaghan led the Wildcats with 20.5 points per game this season and helped his team to a 13-0 season in the Cape Breton High School Basketball League and its seventh Highland Region championship in a row.
"Obviously it's a huge transition, but I'm ready for that challenge," he said. "I want to see how much playing time I can get right away. Any amount is great, but I want to get the most I possibly can because that's the whole point of the experience and I want to help the team in the biggest way I can."
Callaghan comes from a basketball family. His older brother, 20-year-old Ryan, played for Sydney Academy and is an engineering student at CBU. His younger brother, 15-year-old Adam, is a Grade 10 player with the Wildcats. Their father, Greg, is a basketball referee and former Wildcats girls coach from 1993 to 2005 and won a provincial title in 2003. Greg also played basketball at Sydney Academy in his Grade 12 year. Jason said his mother, Mary, is their biggest fan.
Capers head coach David Petroziello said Callaghan has a wide range of skills that should translate to Atlantic University Sport basketball.
"He's a really smart offensive player and he's capable of being a playmaker and getting his teammates involved," he said. "He's capable of scoring the ball in a bunch of different ways and that just gives a lot of options to us in terms of all the different ways he can contribute.
"He's got a nose for the game and reading the play, and that's really something you can't coach. It's just an instinct."
Callaghan still has some basketball to play as a member of the blue and white. The Wildcats are hosting the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Division 1 boys championship starting Thursday at Sydney Academy gym.
Team: Sydney Academy Wildcats