LCA Making News
Front Page News (24hr): LCA Basketball Soars to New Heights
February 02, 2012

We’re making some noise in Ottawa. It’s been a
fun year. » — Mike Karpishka,
LCA principal

NEW TEAM › Teammates on the Life Christian Academy basketball team practice on Wednesday at the Ruddy Family YMCA in Orleans. The little known school, which didn’t even have an athletics program before this year, now has the top team in Ottawa high schoolbasketball. If you haven’t heard of the Life Christian academy saints, you’re not alone.

Neither had most of the opposition, until the Saints started marching away from high schoolbasketball tournaments with championship hardware.

An impressive feat against perennial juggernauts such as the St. Peter Knights, St. Patrick’s Irish and St. Matthew Tigers — one they hope to repeat as the national Capital Invitational tips off Thursday — considering the tiny Orleans private school doesn’t even have a gymnasium.

And the fact that approximately half the school’s senior class is on the squad.

And the fact that eight of the boys on the fledgling team only arrived from their native Bahamas in August on student visas to a school with no athletic program.

LCA principal Mike Karpishka likens the story to a modern-day tale of David and goliath. And like all great Biblical verse, this one has it all — a leap of faith, and a giantslayer armed with abasketball in place of a sling and stone.

But it all began with a case of mistaken identity, courtesy of Google.

“I got a call (in April 2011), and I couldn’t really understand the gentleman, but he was asking about placing two of his senior boys,” recalls Karpishka from the Orleans YMCA that has become the Saints’ practice court.

“I’m thinking to myself, ‘I don’t have a basketball team, I don’t even have a gymnasium.’ ”

Turns out that gentleman, now-athletic director Ray Evans, had called Orleans looking for a school with the same name in North Carolina.

By the end of the conversation, Evans had been offered a job to launch and develop the Saints’ athletic program.

A few months later, he arrived in Orleans with his students in tow.

A few months after that, they brought home their first championship, besting St. Matthew in a tournament hosted by Ashbury College.

“We’re making some noise in Ottawa. It’s been a fun year,” says Karpishka.

By the time the team was settled, it was too late for the National Capital Secondary School Athletic Association to add the Saints to its regular season schedule, so the team entered, and won, as many tournaments as they could.

The Saints’ games are broadcast via an iphone app called ustream. It’s already made the boys something of a phenomenon back home, landing them on the front page of the Nas

sau Guardian, and catching the attention of college recruiters.

Two seniors, co-captains Justin Smith and Troshant Williams, are already being sought by top U.S. Division II schools.