Pirasanth Gunaskaram, Sports Reporter
There will be a Humber representation for the Team Ontario Basketball U17 Boys team as they hired Hawks assistant coach in Omar Miles as head coach of the provincial team for the 2019 season.
“There were a lot of excitement and also satisfaction,” said Miles when he found out he got the job.
Hawks guard Curwin Elvis said it’s well deserved and his whole coaching resume is impressive.
“With my personal experience with him as a coach is I think he’s just a very real and clear cut guy who understands the x’s and o’s of the game,” Miles said.
Jim Bialek, manager of Athletics and Sports Information, said the hiring will put Humber in the limelight.
“People will see him, respect him, like his coaching style and we may get some athletics in the future because of it,” Bialek said.
This isn’t the first time he was with the team as he played for them from 1998 to 2001. During his time with Team Ontario, Miles captured the national championship in 2001 as team captain as well as being named the tournament’s MVP.
“It’s a role reversal for me as I was the captain during my last season with the team,” he said.
Miles said he is proud to coach the same team he played for 18 years ago.
“To have this opportunity to be the head coach for a team that I also played for was a sense of achievement and accomplishment as well as a chance to give back,” Miles said.
He said his experience with Humber — preaching excellence and hard work — ties into what he is as a coach as well because he does the same thing.
“I preach hard work in high school coach, as a coach at Humber and now on the provincial level, so I think excellence through hard work is something that’s been a constant theme for me,” Miles said.
He was given the opportunity to be the assistant coach by former head Hawks coach Shawn Collins.
“I was asked by the former head coach at Humber, Shawn Collins if I wanted to move up to a higher level of basketball and without hesitation I took on the job because I want to take on the challenge,” Miles said.
Since Miles joined Humber’s coaching staff in June 2016, the Hawks have captured two provincial medals and accumulated an OCAA record of 50-12 (.806).
“We’re going to work hard,” he said, adding he wants Team Ontario to play a similar style to Humber. “We also want to play fast … often with some dunks and shooting a lot of threes, somewhat we do at Humber.”
He will coach the team at the 2019 Canada Basketball National Championships from Aug. 5 to 10.