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Men’s Basketball Recruit Returns To Roots To Sign With CMU

Zak Dembele's basketball journey has led him home for the 2019-20 season, as the former College Louis Riel stand-out signed his letter of intent last week to return to Winnipeg and wear the CMU green and gold this year after two seasons chasing dreams south of the border. 

Dembele saw his talents develop rapidly through Winnipeg's Northstar Academy, where his abilities on the court garnered the attention of CRF Sports in Minnesota. After a season in "The Land of 10,000 Lakes", the 6'3 forward moved to Southwestern Mississippi Community College in 2018-19 where spent the season red-shirting in the NJCAA. 

"When I first started working with Zak he was just scratching the surface and was clearly going to become a late bloomer," explains Northstar head coach Daron Leonard who was introduced to Dembele just prior to his senior year at Louis-Riel. "Whether with club or school basketball, he was always going to have a confined role, but as he gained confidence through our time together and built his physical ability and skill set along with it, Zak became very determined to succeed in the game."

Dembele also competed with Team Manitoba at the 2017 Francophone Games in Halifax where he began his relationship with USB Athletic Director, Eric Lemoine who knew Dembele from College Louis Riel even prior. "In Halifax, Zak demonstated that he was among the top Francophone players in Canada and since that time, he has worked tirelessly to improve all aspects of his game and his physical conditioning," said Lemoine. "Zak has a true passion for the game of basketball and a very impressive work ethic. I'm eager to see his continued growth and what he is able to accomplish in MCAC and NIAC play."

CMU head coach, Scott Martin is more than happy to have Dembele as a late addition of to his squad, pointing to his physical tools and experience to being key to what he can contribute in his first year with the Blazers; "I am definitely looking for big things from Zak," said Martin. "As a strong, explosive and athletic player, Zak can play inside and outside for us."

The Blazers begin their 2019-20 preseason in Alberta in October, tipping off in Calgary on October 3rd against the St. Mary's Lightning, October 4th versus the Ambrose Lions and closing out the weekend on October 5th in Olds to take on the Olds Broncos. All three opponents compete in the Alberta Collegiate Athletic Conference's South Division. CMU opens their 2019-20 NIAC regular season on home court on November 1st against the Turtle Mountain Mighty Mikinocks.


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