Cicuttini taking aim at national basketball title

This season will be Andrew Cicuttini’s third with the Mohawk Mountaineers and he doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon.

Having already won the 2012 Canadian Colleges Athletic Association basketball championship with the Mountaineers in his first year at Mohawk, Cicuttini is hungry for another championship.

Andrew Cicuttini at the 2012 CCAA men's basketball championship (Photo: Kirk Saint/CCAA)

Andrew Cicuttini at the 2012 CCAA men’s basketball championship. (Photo: Kirk Saint/CCAA)

In fact, Cicuttini is so committed to capturing gold once again, that he decided to prolong his studies after last season and enrolled in Mohawk’s Advertising program.

“We host the nationals next year,” said Cicuttini, “so I’m going to be back for another year.”

After going undefeated in preseason play, the Mountaineers men’s basketball team is poised for another deep championship run.

Despite losing CCAA All-Canadian point guard Manny Campbell in the offseason, the team still has its core of veterans who were a part of the national-winning team in 2012. The Mountaineers have added veteran Matt Fennell, who brings plenty of experience playing with both the Fanshawe Falcons of London and University of Prince Edward Island Panthers.

Cicuttini, who was named one of the captains for the Mountaineers this season, is focused on helping lead the team to another title and has confidence in what this year’s squad is capable of achieving.

“We’re a lot bigger than everyone else in the league and we do have a lot of experience along the starting lineup,” said Cicuttini. “Our expectations are nothing less than nationals.”

Fifth-year player Alex Reis, who had played with Cicuttini before their college days, says his teammate’s passion is what makes him the player he is.

“He’s a good guy and he works hard,” said Reis. “He’s really into it, he’s really into basketball, he loves it and he’ll do anything to win.”

Mountaineers head coach Brian Jonker also praised Cicuttini for the way he carries himself both on and off the court, and says the 6-6 forward from Dundas continues to mature.

“His first year here we won a national championship and he was MVP at the national tournament, said Jonker. “We rely on him heavily for a lot of different things. Overall, he’s grown up so much in the last three years and he’s a pleasure to be around, that’s for sure.