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Basketball Gaels add blue-chip recruits

July 4, 2013

The son of a mainstay of the Queen’s Golden Gaels basketball team 30 years ago has decided to cast his athletic lot at his father’s alma mater.

Mike Shoveller, a 6-foot-11 post player from Arnprior, has committed to study arts and play basketball at Queen’s in the coming Ontario University Athletics season.

“The team culture is very positive and they are heading in the right direction,” said Shoveller, whose father, Bruce, came to Queen’s from Nova Scotia and played for the Gaels in the early-middle eighties, another time when the team was in a rebuilding mode.

Bruce Shoveller was the team’s most valuable player in his senior year.

The valedictorian of his graduating class, Mike Shoveller was a member of a provincial under-15 championship team and this spring he led the Arnprior Redmen to their first Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations tournament berth in 40 years.

Also committing to Queen’s today is Mike Mullins, a guard from Burlington Notre Dame, the OFSAA triple-A silver and bronze medalist the last two years. Mullins, enrolled in Commerce, averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds per game in the past season, and his consecutive three-point baskets in the OFSAA quarter-final against Holy Cross were pivotal in dooming the Crusaders to defeat.

The Gaels, 10-10 in conference play last year after a dismal 2-20 campaign in 2011-12, hope to continue their climb in what may be the toughest division in Canada, one that includes the Carleton Ravens, national champions nine times in the last 11 years, and the Ottawa Gee-Gees, Canadian bronze medalist in 2013.

“While last year we needed to overhaul the roster, this year our approach (to recruiting) was much different,” Gaels coach Stephan Barrie said, in a release. “We wanted to make sure we identified some areas we need to improve and narrow our recruiting focus.

“Two of our needs were without question to find a quality player with more height than we currently have and to become better defensively. Both Mikes are the kind of guys we want to build with — no egos or attitude, just good team guys.”

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