Stingers season ends on national stage 

By Daniel Rodrigues

Stingers star Damian Buckley drives to the bucket against the Calgary Dinos. Magnifying glass

Stingers star Damian Buckley drives to the bucket against the Calgary Dinos.

After winning the Quebec title, the men's hoops team was front and centre among the nation's top eight teams at the Canadian version of March Madness this past weekend in Ottawa.

Despite giving it the ol' college try, the seventh-seeded Stingers, led by Concordia’s talented Buckley brothers Dwayne and Damian, ended their season in the opening round after a loss to second-seeded University of Calgary Dinos 76-67.

With the loss, the dream of a national championship ended and the Stingers were relegated to the consolation side of the competition. Overcome with emotion the Stingers held their heads high as they walked off the court, displaying the pride and the class of true champions.

“It has been a great experience for me,” said a tearful Dwayne Buckley following the game. “Not only a great experience as a player but as a person as well. I was proud to wear the Stinger colours for the last five years and this is something I can’t replace.”

Chiming in with the loud ScotiaBank Place crowd of numerous Stinger fans was President Judith Woodsworth. Woodsworth made the trip to Ottawa to support our team and to reflect her own perspective in the President's Hoop Blog.

"Watching them out on the floor was like watching a superbly choreographed dance, all speed and agility," she wrote. To read the president's full account of the tournament, visit

The Stinger pride was on display once again as the team defeated the sixth-seeded Dalhousie 76-61 on Saturday to earn a spot in the consolation final and one last game for three seniors, Dwayne Buckley, Jamal Gallier and Levi Vann.

The final game of the 2008-09 season saw Concordia square off against the Ottawa Gee-Gees, the fifth-ranked team at the competition.

In their final game, both Dwayne Buckley and Gallier scored 15 points. Vann, who had been hampered by an ankle injury all season, watched his last game from the sideline.

When the final buzzer sounded, the scoreboard favored the Gee-Gees 83-76. The Stingers took the opportunity to look back on what was a remarkable season, and for their three graduates, remarkable careers.

Head coach John Dore’s team gained entry to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Final 8 tournament on the strength of its Quebec conference championship; a 79-76 victory over the UQAM Citadins on March 5.

“I was the guy that always played hard,” said Dwayne Buckley when asked how his team and coaches would remember him. “I always gave 100%.”

Damian, the younger of the Buckley brothers, is considered by many to be one of the best guards in Canada. This season, he was QSSF MVP and a finalist for the Mike Moser Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the nation’s best university player. His play also led to his selection as a first team All-Canadian, one of only five in CIS men’s basketball.

“Damian is our quarterback and leader on the floor,” said Stingers head coach John Dore. “He’s very athletic and a very smart player. He’s had a big impact on our team, the conference and the CIS.”


Concordia University