SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. — A local star is staying home.
After a disappointing 2018-19 season, the Sault Cougars entered the summer looking to bolster their roster ahead of the new OCAA campaign. On Monday, it was announced that they signed one of the top players from the area was staying home to play collegiate basketball with the Cougars.
Sault College announced on Monday afternoon that guard Gianni Viotto (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) has committed to play for Head Coach Patrick Murray and the Cougars after a successful high school career.
The commitment of Viotto is the first announced recruit for Murray, who is entering his first season as the coach at Sault College.
Last season, the 6’2” Giotto had himself a strong season at St. Mary’s College. He helped guide the Knights to both a city championship and a NOSSA Championship. From there, Giotto and the Knights advanced to the AAA OFSAA Championships.
“We are excited to have Gianni on-board for the upcoming season,” said Murray in a release posted by Sault College. “Gianni is a high energy, knock down three-point shooter and brings with him the right culture and work ethic that I am looking for in building this program.”
Studying under the Business program, Gianni is the son of Susie and Ollie Viotto and has a brother who currently plays basketball at St. Mary’s College.
The Cougars are coming off a 2018-19 season in which they failed to win a game, finishing 0-20 in the OCAA West Division. Despite their winless season, guard Stephen Miller (Toronto, Ont.) emerged as a name to watch for the Cougars moving forwards. Pair Miller with the incoming Viotto and the Cougars have an intriguing back court that will look to help Sault College get out of the basement in the OCAA.
The Cougars kick off the 2019-20 season on the road on October 20th. Their home opener will take place on November 9th inside the Health and Wellness Centre.
– T. Bennett
Information from Sault College contributed to this post.