Laval, Quebec — The Duke Canada Tour came to its end after the Blue Devils defeated the McGill Redmen 103-58 at the sold-out venue of Place Bell in Laval, Quebec August 19th Sunday afternoon.
This tour was the first of its kind as the Duke institution decided to host it in their neighboring country [Canada]
During their visit to Canada, the Blue Devils managed to take a lead by an average of 32 points per game during their three exhibition games in Canada against the Ryerson Rams, the University of Toronto Varsity and the McGill Redmen.
Freshman and Mississauga native R.J Barrett didn’t fail to put on a show on home soil putting up impressive numbers posting 30.6pts, 6.3rebs and 5asts with his sidekick and dunk monster Zion Williamson adding 29.6pts, 11.6rebs and 3.3asts in 3 games as they seemed to have a chemistry that is second to none on and off the floor.
All three arenas filled up with Canadian fans from all over the country and with the Place Bell arena in Laval Quebec selling out 10,000 seats.
To acknowledge that such a tour can make waves and merge into so much prosperity that is beyond belief. No one would have guessed that cities such as Montreal would be this welcoming and that the arena would fill up as it did, yet it happened at the Duke Canada Tour.
The city of Montreal doesn’t have a professional basketball team like Toronto, yet the basketball community is tremendous which is quite symptomatic in regards to the love of basketball that the community has.
As of the Usports teams that competed against Duke, this not only allows for them to emerge in a once in a lifetime experience but also to compete against one of the most transcendent basketball programs in North America..
This tour has also allowed for more openness for Usports players that deserve exposure on an international level.
Redmen guard Alex Paquin was a precedent of that as he scored 29 points in front of the big guys[Duke Blue Devils] and led the crowd to perform a standing ovation in his name as he was truly the man of the show on Sunday.
Legend and coach Mike Krzyzewski was also in awe of the basketball talent that our nation has describing Duke’s last game against McGill as the best they’ve had during this tour.
At this point, it is very obvious that playing with heart and owning that underdog mentality is a trait that Canadian basketball players are known for. Perhaps it stems from the distinction between Usports and NCAA and all the comparison that evolves around it.
Nonetheless, these games or perhaps these shows were definitely worth seeing and most importantly worth hosting in Canada.
Canada and cities such as Montreal deserve to have more basketball events where fans can express themselves and feel closer to the game and the players, this tour was a testimony of that.