Sports

Former Gee-Gees basketball hero join Mississauga Power

Photo courtesy: Warren Ward

Two years ago, Gee-Gees basketball superstar Warren Ward ended his five-year career at the University of Ottawa. In the time since, he practice in front of National Basketball Association (NBA) teams, signed to play professionally in Germany, and later went to play in France.

Now, he’s back in the place he calls home.

After finishing his season in Europe, he decided to find a place to play once again in Canada. Under the direction of a new agent, he found a spot on the roster of the Mississauga Power, a team that competes in the young National Basketball League of Canada (NBLC).

The Brampton, Ont. native says that signing with the Power was a great opportunity to play for a hometown crowd and show off his talents in a new league.

“It was just the best decision for me,” said Ward. “My situation in France was good but it wasn’t what I was looking for. At the time I didn’t think it would prolong my career.”

As for acclimatizing to the new competition, Ward says there’s a difference in play as the NBLC is faster-paced and more athletic but significantly less cerebral.

It took four games for Ward to shake off the rust and find his form again. But in his last two games, Ward posted an astonishing 52 points, 16 rebounds, nine assists, and five steals.

Despite the early success, Ward still has higher aspirations, framing his time with the Power as just “a little chapter break” in the long run of his career. He’s still planning on returning to Europe to play in August once the season begins, but says he’s happy where he is now.

With his return to Canada, Ward has been able to keep a closer eye on the basketball success of his top-ranked alma mater.

“I’m extremely proud of what they’re doing,” said Ward. “Every time I hear good news, or check the box score they’re winning by 30, or beating Carleton and nothing makes me happier than that.”

Like the thousands of others that take a piece of the University of Ottawa with them after they graduate and move on with their careers, Ward is still proud to represent his university no matter where in the world he ends up.

“There is no better school in the country,” he said. “Even if (people) didn’t know the school, they know now.”