Blue Star Ontario Basketball

Hamilton is a hotbed for basketball in Ontario. Our own local basketball hero's begin their NCAA basketball career Fall 2014: Amira Gianatassio- Mount St. Marys, MD-The Mount, Christina Buttenham-University of Iowa-Hawkeye’s, Hilary Hanaka-University of Vermont-Catamounts and Kia Nurse-University of Connecticut-Huskies.

The energy this year regarding the accolades of Andrew Wiggins has been invigorating. Of course, my favorite is the front cover of Sports Illustrated [Cover-Story]! This past summer Natalie Archonwa of Notre Dame took some quality time to speak with our young aspiring basketballers [Read full story here]. Toronto will be hosting its very first NBA all star game in 2016 [ESPN-NBA].  Needless to say there is a lot of basketball planning going on in the next few years. 

I am very excited to be involved with development and advancement of our young athletes in the future of sports. When some of the biggest basketball advocates offered the opportunity to assist in a new elite basketball program how can I resist! [Blue Star Ontario Brochure-Photography & Design by Aerial Promotions]

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Canada Drive is expanding and rebranding as Blue Star Ontario. The new programming and partnership with Blue Star Basketball will provide athletes with unprecedented levels of development and exposure. Website: http://canadadrivebasketball.com | Twitter: @CanadaDrive | Facebook: CanadaDriveBlueStar

Blue Star Basketball – http://www.bluestarbb.com Blue Star Basketball is the longest running national evaluation and college showcase organization in women’s basketball.  Many of the top AAU programs from all over the United States play under their banner. Blue Star Ontario will be their first international affiliate. The partnership will ensure Blue Star Ontario teams will have: • Greater NCAA exposure through Blue Star Media • Increased branding within the recruiting community • Access to some of the best AAU tournaments throughout the US • Priority seeding and scheduling for AAU tournaments • Stronger relationships with other clubs and sponsors already associated with Blue Star Basketball • Teams will be outfitted in Nike Product AAU Teams Blue Star Ontario will offer two types of AAU travel teams every spring and summer. Blue Star Ontario Elite Exposure will be running teams from 12U-17U.  These teams will be focused on developing skills and gaining exposure.  They will be attending many of the top USJN tournaments throughout the summer.  Please visit  http://canadadrivebasketball.com website for the full 2014 schedule.

Canada Drive Elite Development For the younger age groups Canada Drive will be running teams with a greater emphasis on skill development and gaining experience playing against American competition.  There will be teams from 10U-14U with some of the top players also participating on the 12U-14U Elite Exposure teams.

All of the Canada Drive teams will be selected in part by recruiting the best talent available and also tryouts to find any undiscovered talent.

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Development Camps

While expanding our AAU program Blue Star Ontario will provide athletes with further development opportunities throughout the calendar year. We have designed several camps that can supplement what athletes are already doing through their club season.  We are pleased to announce three camps starting in January. Visit our website for all the details or contact Coach Nate McKibbon nathanmckibbon@hotmail.com with questions.

Last year was a banner year for Canada Drive with several of our athletes accepting scholarships to many of the top American and Canadian universities. Blue Star Ontario looks forward to continuing that tradition and to a fantastic 2014 season. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding our programs.

Richard Nurse, Program Director canadadrive95@gmail.com

Nate McKibbon, Associate Director nathanmckibbon@hotmail.com

Download Blue Star Ontario Brochure: BlueStar Ontario Brochure Design and Photography by Aerial Promotions

“A Trophy Carries Dust, Memories Last Forever” Mary Lou Retton

When you have a client who is as thoughtful and considerate as Ms. Caitlyn, you want to do backflips for her.  She is an inspiring sports medicine student who wanted to give her mentor Chris Puskas, Head Athletic Therapist McMaster University a very special gift this past holiday season. 

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"Chris Puskas has been one of my biggest allies and mentors since my first year of university. He selected me in my first year to volunteer as a Sport Medicine Student Therapist to help with our varsity athletes at McMaster, and I have been learning from him ever since. Seeing as I'm graduating this year, I wanted to get him something to thank him and commemorate all his hard work and what he taught me. I immediately thought of Aerial Promotions and the incredible photographs that Robin captures at the football games. It was easy to select a photo from Robin's archives, because I spent at least an hour going through her latest work after every game. I could not be happier for how amazing the photo turned out in print, and how amazing Robin is to work with. Mac football games would not be the same without Robin capturing every moment! Thank you Robin for everything that you've done, and for this memory that will now be unforgettable." Caitlyn

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"It's not whether you get knocked down; it's whether you get up."  Vince Lombardi

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I am appreciative of the opportunity to capture these timeless moments. It is gratifying to know that what I am experiencing on the field is shared by others.  Sometimes the most interesting photographs are taken with a deep breath, tuning out all the noise and watching people sincerely do what they love. The passion of the game-being trainers, coaches, referees, athletes and fans are all a part of the ambience that evoke a timeless emotion. 

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Thank YOU very much Caitlyn. I know you will be a very successful athletic therapist and anything else you put your mind to. Wishing you All the Best in 2014!

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Social Media Please like us on facebook, follow us on twitter and comment on our photographs/design on our blog. We always update on { tumblr blog | flickr photostream | YouTube channel | Pinterest Boards | Google+  } too! NEW! Aerial Promotions is now on Instagram  Instagram ____________________________________________________________________________________________ DOWNLOAD IMAGES* © Aerial Promotions 1997-2013 *Read AP Terms & Conditions Before Download…click here *Read AP Photographic Licensing Before Download…click here ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Why...Because We CARE! It is part of AP mission to give back to sport & the developing athletes as a volunteer in the local community (...more) Images available now at www.Present it Photo.com

Wishing You a Very Happy Holiday!

Well this Christmas may not be as we planned. We are days without power because of the ice storm. Yes it's cold and dark, but I am blessed to be sharing the holidays with my loved ones. From my family to yours, Wishing you a Wonderful Holiday and Spectacular New year! I can't believe that it has been over ten years of my own family Holidays . Photographs are so important to me and just to focus on my own family on Christmas day is a special treat. I have taken many photographs of memorable moments. I enjoy seeing my children grow up and spending time with loved ones. This is certainly my favorite time of year.

This video is a special dedication to PaPa and Grandma with love at Christmas time! XoX

What do you do with over ten years of photos sharing Christmas Day with your loved ones...Remember to Enjoy them! Please be safe this holiday season.

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As inquisitive as I am...found some photographs from my parents that I have never seen before! Such a heartwarming feeling. I don't have many images of myself growing up and perhaps this is why I capture so many moments with my own family. There is something special to be said about grandparents. I adore my family and cherish all these memories and look forward to many more. Happy Holidays! (Note to Self:  When the power comes back on perhaps I will restore a few of these old photos for my parents-xox)

Dundas Blues Bobbleheads

Sometimes in the middle of the night you get up with a great idea. Not sure how to implement it, but a concept you want to experiment and have fun with. Well I just did that! The Nikon Fisheye 10.5mm 1:2.8 lens has given me some extraordinary results this year. I wanted to do a composite where the kids could give me some really silly expressions. The DMHA Dundas Blues team was just up for that challenge. Even the coaches got in on the action...Although I had to hunt a few down [TeeHeeHee], they were great sports. Movember is a very good time to get that real grunge look too. I really didn't know how I was going to pull it together. The shoot was really fast...like an assembly line. I used my favorite Westcott Ice Light, reflector and remote flash. The images were all extracted on the Wacom Cintiq tablet and various filters were used in photoshop to finish the The Dundas Blues Bobblehead Composite.  

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I still enjoy the traditional team photo...I just like to add a little more character to make it different. Thanks Al & Jeff!

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"Zamboni" The Coldwater Community Centre in Orillia was beaming with character! 

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Something you don't know! When my little guy first started playing hockey he wouldn't get out of bed, he would sit on the ice, he would not listen and misbehave. Yes we still got up at 5am for the 6'O'clock practices. We stuck with it and it was our son's decision to try out for rep. We were skeptical and he was not ready. He didn't make the team that year, but had an AMAZING season playing select hockey. The next year came and he wanted to try out again. More prepared and focused-YAY he made the team. He never gave up and loves to play hockey. In his first year playing I took some snaps of him on the ice. I didn't know the people helping him would be his coaches today! Back then you were just a guy on the ice. Your photo hung in my son's room for years. Proud to call you coach today. Thanks Denis!

LJWilson_Hockey_650 Social Media Please like us on facebook, follow us on twitter and comment on our photographs/design on our blog. We always update on { tumblr blog | flickr photostream | YouTube channel | Pinterest Boards | Google+  } too! NEW! Aerial Promotions is now on Instagram  Instagram ____________________________________________________________________________________________ DOWNLOAD IMAGES* © Aerial Promotions 1997-2013 *Read AP Terms & Conditions Before Download…click here *Read AP Photographic Licensing Before Download…click here ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Why...Because We CARE! It is part of AP mission to give back to sport & the developing athletes as a volunteer in the local community (...more) Images available now at www.Present it Photo.com

Beautiful Family Photoshoots

Amazing Autumn Photo Shoots

It was cold and raining, but the scenery on the bruce trail was outstanding. I had some wonderful families and individuals for Autumn photo sessions. The Veldhuis go hiking on the Bruce Trail to the Dundas Peak often. I felt compelled to incorporate this scenic backdrop on our photographic venture. Please enjoy the video below of our fun photoshoot day!

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Isabella was a little princess and a whole lot of fun to photograph. She was ill on her special first communion day...so we magically made memories again.  So much personality and gorgeous big brown eyes! I love it when big brother can come in and make the photoshoot even more funner....is that even a word? _RLW1540-Edit [cincopa AAHAIVrIdaEN] The Martindale's incorporated favorite sports in the photoshoot. I then composited some of the most dynamic images with my backgrounds. The results were fantastic! _RLW9911-Edit-Edit [cincopa AAGA_U7QdecQ] Ivor Wynne Portrait Composites [cincopa AoHAjWb-dSTV] It was a pleasure to photograph the Strength and Conditioning and Sports Medicine Department again this season. We changed the location to the Fitz Henry Studio. There were mirrors along both sides of the wall with huge bay windows and a divider down the middle. mac1-1 At first I wasn't sure how the reflections and light would work. I think we balanced it pretty well. We did some last minute headshots of some of the McMaster Staff with the background of Ron Joyce Stadium through the bay window.  _DSC0647-Edit [cincopa AoJAIUr1eiuY] Professional Headshots, Senior Sessions, Family & Group Portrait Packages [More]

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Social Media Please like us on facebook, follow us on twitter and comment on our photographs/design on our blog. We always update on { tumblr blog | flickr photostream | YouTube channel | Pinterest Boards | Google+  } too! NEW! Aerial Promotions is now on Instagram  Instagram ____________________________________________________________________________________________ DOWNLOAD IMAGES* © Aerial Promotions 1997-2013 *Read AP Terms & Conditions Before Download…click here *Read AP Photographic Licensing Before Download…click here ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Why...Because We CARE! It is part of AP mission to give back to sport & the developing athletes as a volunteer in the local community (...more) Images available now at www.Present it Photo.com

Nurse Answers The Call From UCONN

Source: Larry Moko (Hamilton Scores)

Kia Nurse of the St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School will soon be going from one powerhouse basketball program to another.

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The multi-talented 6-foot guard who helped St. Thomas More Knights capture consecutive Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association Quad A high school championships in 2011 and ’12, signed a letter of intent Tuesday (Nov. 19) to accept a scholarship offer and play for the University of Connecticut Huskies beginning next fall.

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For those not familiar with UConn, it’s probably the most successful women’s university basketball institution in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I history. At the very least, they’re neck-and-neck with the University of Tennessee for that honour.

In recent years, however, UConn has dominated. Under the direction of head coach Geno Auriemma since 1985-86, the Huskies have won eight national championships, four times going undefeated. UConn has advanced to the Final Four 14 times with Auriemma at the helm. His record with the Huskies heading into this season was 839-133 (including a 90-game winning streak, the longest in NCAA hoops history). Currently, the defending national champions are 4-0 and unanimously ranked No. 1.

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“I think I chose Connecticut because it’s an opportunity of a lifetime,” Nurse said during the signing ceremony held at More. “They have great coaches and a great team. And they play against the best players in the country.”

Nurse says she has dreamed of playing for Connecticut since she was in Grade 7.

In terms of More’s own streak of excellence, the Knights are scheduled to be in Belle River/Windsor on Thursday (Nov. 21) to take a run at a third straight Ontario high school title. That’s never been done since the Quad A level of competition was introduced by OFSAA in 2001. St. Thomas More recently won both the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association and Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference championships in convincing fashion.

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Many schools have been ringing for the Nurse. Approximately 50 attempted to land her services. But UConn seemed to be the “best fit” ahead of a couple of others under final consideration — Penn State and Indiana.

“I’m hoping to reach my goal of being an Olympian and medalling at the Olympics,” Nurse said. “So I think this (UConn) is one of the best places I can do it.”

Nurse helped Canada qualify for the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women; the team won silver at the FIBA Americas Championship. (Photo: Samuel Vélez/FIBA Americas)

Currently the youngest member of the Canadian senior women’s national team, Nurse’s intention is to be a part of the Rio de Janeiro Summer Games in 2016. And Auriemma, it should be noted, also happens to coach the USA Basketball Women’s National Team – the defending Olympic gold-medallists in women’s basketball.

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Before getting fully involved with the UConn squad, Nurse will participate in the FIBA World Championship for Women, Sept. 27-Oct. 5 in Istanbul/Ankara, Turkey. She helped Canada qualify for that event by being a member of the team that won a silver medal at the FIBA Americas Championship a few months ago in Xalapa, Mexico.

In 2011, Nurse first made her mark on the international scene with Canada’s Cadette U-16 team in Mexico. And the following year, she led Canada to bronze at the FIBA U-17 World Championship in Amsterdam.

“What an amazing accomplishment,” Knights coach Blaize DiSabatino said of Nurse’s scholarship. “We are very proud of her. We know that she will be successful in her next journey. I’m sure that UConn, being such an elite program, will definitely continue to hone in on Kia’s capabilities.”

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Kia’s father, Richard, is a former Canadian Football League player with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Her mother — Cathy Doucette — played varsity basketball at McMaster University for five years. Aunt Raquel saw hoops action on the court with Syracuse University and Kia’s uncle is former National Football League star quarterback, Donovan McNabb. And then there’s her hockey-playing brother, Darnell, (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds). He was a first-round draft choice of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers last summer.

Richard has been Kia’s coach at the club level with Hamilton Transway. Six of those years (consecutively) Kia and her Transway teammates brought home Ontario Basketball Association titles. In addition, Kia led Team Ontario to two Canadian age- group crowns.

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“We talked about it as a family (which scholarship offer to accept),” Richard Nurse said. “Kia wants to play beyond college. We were looking for a place that would bring out the best in her. UConn has a great tradition. Coach Auriemma is the senior women’s national team coach, so he’s fully aware of the commitment it takes to get to that level. That was a deciding factor for us.”

Kia’s older sister, Tamika, also played for the Knights, suited up for Canada at world junior championships and accepted a basketball scholarship at University of Oregon. DiSabatino and her father (Tom Spironello) coached Tamika at More from 2002-04.

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“The Nurse family has such strong character,” DiSabatino said. “And they have great family values. That’s part of the reason they are successful in both athletics and academics. They have a real focus on their family. They are always there to support one another and they are proud of each other’s accomplishments.”

The Knight Nurse begins her quest for a third straight OFSAA championship on Thursday with a pair of games, first at Holy Names, then at St. Anne. St. Thomas More is the No. 1 seed.

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