Put on Notice
The top prospect you’ve never heard of.
by Tariq Sbiet
He is undoubtedly the top Canadian prospect in the Class of 2013. He was named MVP at nationals last summer, averaging 24.8 ppg, 6 rpg, 4.7 apg and 2.3 spg. He was selected to play for Canada’s U16 team, which finished third at the FIBA Americas behind USA and Argentina. He led his senior high school squad as a freshman. Now, as a sophomore, he is comfortable and approaching his inevitable takeover.
He is Duane Notice.
When Duane steps foot on hardwood, it’s quite easy to notice the 6-3, 205-pound, star guard. Maybe it’s the college-ready body, or perhaps it’s the complete dominance. Rebounding, scoring, passing, defense…he can do it all. Simply put, he is a play maker. A leader.
“I would say that Duane leads by example on the court. It is rare that at such an age (15) an athlete has the ability to lead others by setting an example. As he matures, other aspects of leadership will develop,” said fellow teammate and sharpshooter, George Mason.
In the meantime, you will find Notice blowing past defenders and finishing strong at the hoop.
“His biggest strength is definitely his power when attacking the basket,” continued Mason.
This dominance was especially evident at nationals last August where Duane officially solidified himself as the top talent in Canada (for his age group).
Host British Columbia and the rest of Canada witnessed Duane’s onslaught firsthand as he was simply un-guardable, leading Team Ontario to gold while capturing MVP honors.
“I played on the U15 team last year too but didn’t have an opportunity to really play and show myself, so I came in thinking ‘this is my year’ and I wanted to take advantage of it,” said Notice.
Picking up where he left off in the summer, Duane has managed to lead his St. Michael’s Blue Raiders to respectability this season while holding down a 28-8 overall record throughout February. He is currently averaging 20, 8 and 8, showcasing his versatility as the lead guard.
“He has great vision on the court as if he can visualize plays before they happen. With his vision he is able to put up all kinds of stats making him the leader in multiple categories on the team,” said team manager, Elliot Mayhew.
According to Notice however, the ‘09-10 season is still a work in progress.
“As a unit, we want to pull an upset at OFSAA and surprise some teams to at least make the medal round,” he said. “Teams usually overlook us because of our youth and lack of size but this whole year we’ve been pulling many upsets and I think we’re going to continue this trend at OFSAA.”
With recent success and word flowing around the city about a talented sophomore playing and producing among seniors, it is fair to say a target has been cemented on the young man’s back for the rest of his high school career.
After asked about the pressure, Duane responded,“I’m not gonna lie, before every game I am nervous, but due to all the hype or whatever you want to call it, I know teams try and come out and defend me their hardest.”
“I definitely feel pressure if I don’t play well because everyone thinks of me as a good player and if I have a bad game it really doesn’t feel good,” Notice continued.
Yet this anxiety shouldn’t be taken for weakness.
“I don’t doubt myself at all. I keep my confidence at a high level, but not to the point where it’s cockiness.”
With every game, this confidence only grows and is indeed noticeable to those witnessing each stellar performance; even to some exclusive spectators.
Enter Syracuse, Villanova, UConn and Michigan (to name a few). But the Orange seem to have the upper hand in nabbing this youngster. “I’m pushing to go to Syracuse for four years, get my degree and then hopefully enter the Draft.”
But why Syracuse?
“It’s close to home; I want my family and friends to be able to watch me play and Syracuse is always among the top teams in the nation. Also, Leo Rautins (former Orange and father of Syracuse point guard, Andy Rautins) went to St. Michael’s and if he made it out of my school in Canada to Syracuse then I think should follow the same route because I can do the same thing.”
So far, Duane is on the correct trail with his ever improving game in tact and willingness to become the best he can be.
“I’m trying to work on consistency when it comes to my shot and scoring off the dribble.”
Duane’s overall game is as polished as can be at 15, but expect this beast to take it to even further heights within the next couple of years.
Mayhew explains, “Though he is young and still learning, he is an amazing player for his age and I can see him blossoming into a phenomenal player in the future.”