What went right— and what went wrong

The Division 1 men’s Blue team ended their season on Tuesday night, losing to the UTSC Maroons in the semifinals.

“Overall, we were disappointed. We had expectations of winning the championship but fell short. We played bad[ly] in some key games, including tonight, which is disappointing,” said UTM Blue’s coach, Ammer Askary, after the game. “Yet we learned a lot of things as a team and as individuals through this whole experience; that’s the key. We are going to be losing a lot of guys this year, but we have some things to look forward to, as we have some young guys coming up.”

Tevin Sutton-Stephenson, a starter for UTM Blue, was disappointed by how the year ended but optimistic about how the year had gone.

“This season was full of ups and downs. We had spectacular moments where it felt like we couldn’t be beat, and then we had some pretty rough times as well,” he said. “I tried my best to step up for the team, but we still fell short despite my efforts, as well as the efforts of some of the main guys, like Jon, Jordan, Osama, and of course guys off the bench, who were just as vital to the successes we had this year.”

Another key contributor throughout UTM Blue’s season was Jonathan Harvey, who was disappointed about how things ended, since he saw the great potential his team had had.

“Overall, we had a good season. The only time we would lose is when we weren’t practising consistently, but when we did practise consistently and everyone was on the same page, we were an unstoppable force,” said Harvey after the game. “We had a lot of talented guys on the team who worked hard; to lose in the semis to Scarborough is a heartbreaker. We had a couple of guys on the team who were graduating, so we were really hoping to win the championship.”

Although Coach Askary is excited for the future of UTM Blue and the young talent it has coming up, the team will be saying goodbye to some veterans and key contributors to this year’s successes.

Faiz Ahmed, a graduating senior and five-year player for UTM Blue, commented, “I don’t even know where to begin. First off, I want to say this isn’t the end of my basketball journey. This was my last year suiting up in the navy, and as disappointing as it was to have it end the way it did last night, I remain thankful that I had the opportunity to represent UTM on the hardwood.

“Throughout the season, I thought our biggest opponent was ourselves,” he added. “We had the talent to be champions, but the mental toughness wasn’t consistent. Last night was an example of that—an early run by UTSC built their confidence and diminished ours. And although we never gave up, a late run from UTSC really sealed our fate.

“To my fellow graduates, Jordan and Peter, I wish you the best of luck, and I wish the future of the UTM team all the luck as well,” he concluded.

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