HEAD COACH - Shawn Swords
Laurentian University knew full well what they were getting when the decision was made to hire men’s basketball coach Shawn Swords in the summer of 2007, replacing Virgil Hill. And they were more than comfortable in that knowledge.
A product of the Voyageurs program, Swords starred for five years with the Blue and Gold, twice helping to lead the team to a berth at nationals. An OUA All-Star in four of his five seasons at L.U., the Ottawa native also cracked the CIS All-Star team during his final year of post-secondary ball.
From there, it was on to bigger and better things as the hard-working student of the game would suit up in more than 100 games wearing the Team Canada colours, highlighted by a trip to the Olympics in 2000 (Sydney, Australia).
It was this very same set of personal character traits and attributes that would make Swords such a coveted acquisition when he decided to leave his playing days behind after a career that included a decade spent in the European professional ranks.
While Laurentian represents his first foray into the role of head coach, Shawn Swords has gleaned a great deal from some very highly respected mentors that he played for over the years. He suggests that is own style will combine elements of things he has learned from the likes of Dave Smart, Jay Triano and Peter Campbell, merge that knowledge with his own personality to hopefully lead the Voyageurs to Nationals once again.
Swords brings not only a passion for the game of basketball, but also for the setting that he currently enjoys each and every time he steps on the court. “I just want to stay here – I want to help build this program and stay as long as I can”, he admits.
Assistant Coach Aaron Sidenberg
Assistant Coach Aaron Sidenberg Aaron Sidenberg enters his third season as an assistant coach with the Laurentian Voyageurs basketball team after playing for the blue and gold for three seasons, on of which as a co-captain.
In high school he was a captain of the midget, junior and senior basketball teams at Nelson in Burlington. During this period he was also part of an OFSAA ‘AAA’ gold medal and an OFSAA ‘AAAA’ bronze medal.
As a coach, Sidenberg has worked with the midget and junior teams at Nelson Secondary School taking the midget team to the Halton final and the junior team to tournament championship wins.
He has been a coach at Olympia Sports camp for seven years, has been a team building facilitator for elementary and high school athlete’s for the past three years and coached at Sports Zone Training where the focus is developing the athlete’s mental awareness of the game and themselves. He has also worked with the Ontario under-17 basketball team and has run high school basketball clinics and remains a carded basketball official.
Sidenberg recently completed his Bachelor of Science in Sport and Physical Education and remains a resident of Sudbury, Ontario working as a personal trainer at Good Life Fitness Centre. He is also continuing to coach young basketball players.
Assistant Coach Ken Wallenius
Ken Wallenius, a seasoned assistant coach with the Laurentian Voyageurs basketball program, joined the staff late in the 2006-07 campaign. Wallenius is no stranger to post secondary basketball having served as an assistant coach with Cambrian College in 1990-91 and again from 1997 to 2001.
At the secondary level Wallenius has coached all levels of basketball from midget to senior boys and girls. In 2004, Wallenius helped guide the Lockerby Composite School senior girls to the NOSSA ‘AA’ championship and an OFSSA quarter final berth. The native of Sudbury, Ontario has also guided other teams to the NOSSA ‘AAA’ semi-finals, NOSSA ‘AA” finals and city finals
From 1995 to 2001, Wallenius was part of Basketball Ontario’s Elite Development Program, as the North Region coach, reaching the semi-finals of the 1996 Ontario Summer Games. Wallenius also served as a camp coach at the 2001 Nike All-Canada Camp.
Wallenius currently resides in Sudbury, Ontario where he is an active member of the volunteer community and major contributor to basketball in Sudbury.