The daily sports news cycle is crazier than ever. Don't have the stamina to keep up to speed? Around The Bases is your daily morning destination to stay in the know on the biggest stories in both local and professional sports. We’ll start at first base with an intriguing story or event, and bring you home with a must-read story in the North Peace sports scene.
First Base - Kawhi Leonard breaks silence, sort of
New Toronto Raptor Kawhi Leonard finally spoke to the media for the first time since the trade that sent him to Toronto, in the form of a submitted letter to the San Antonio Express-News. He thanked the Spurs organization, coach Gregg Popovich, and the Spurs fans. It's nice to see him finally talk and attempt to smooth things over with the Spurs. However, he has yet to mention Toronto, the Spurs, or the trade itself. Many are making a big deal of this, although I think we don't have enough details yet to speculate. Afterall, he could address the Toronto media as soon as tomorrow. It's also possible he didn't want to bring Toronto into the letter addressed specifically to San Antonio, which makes a lot of sense. But the fans and media are worried, and they have a right to be so, and will continue to until either Leonard says he's excited to be with the Raptors, posts a picture of he and Kyle Lowry, or something similar.
Second Base - Raonic, Auger-Aliasime out at Rogers Cup
The Canadian tournament has not been kind to Canadian players so far. Crowd favourite Milos Raonic is out after a shocking loss to American Frances Tiafoe yesterday, 6-7, 6-4, 1-6. Felix Auger-Aliassime, the 18-year old Canadian beginning to turn heads, failed to follow up his first round victory with a win on Wednesday, losing to Daniil Medvedev 3-6, 6-4, 7-6. Dennis Shapovalov, last year's breakout star at the Rogers Cup, did win yesterday and will play Robin Haase in third round play today at 3:30 p.m. There are no Canadian women remaining in the tournament.
Third Base - Tim Zimmer is playing with Team B.C. at Rugby Western Championships
Tim Zimmer was selected to play for B.C.'s U17 rugby team at the 2018 Rugby Canada U18 Western Championships in Winnipeg. The tournament began today and ends on Aug. 12. Although it's a U18 tournament, B.C. took two teams and Zimmer's team is playing older competition. Zimmer has only one season of rugby under his belt, playing with the NPSS Roughnecks in the 2018 spring season, making this accomplishment even more impressive.
Home Base - Canada advances to semi-final at Hlinka Gretzky Cup
Team Canada is continuing its strong run at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, advancing to Friday's semi-final after beating Sweden 4-3 on Wednesday. Alexis Lafreniere was at his best again for Canada, recording a goal and an assist against Sweden. Lafreniere was the star of Canada Red at the 2017 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge last winter in Fort St. John, and is expected to be a top draft pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. The other semi-final will feature Sweden against Russia.
Around the Bases runs Monday through Friday. If you have a news tip or story to share, email Dillon Giancola at email@example.com.