Skip to main content

Ontario Tech Ridgebacks men’s basketball team leaps into national Top-10 rankings for the first time

Achievement comes in the program’s breakout fourth full season

Fourth-year Ridgebacks men's basketball player Zubair Seved (left) with men's basketball Head Coach Deluxshan Pathmanathan.
Fourth-year Ridgebacks men's basketball player Zubair Seved (left) with men's basketball Head Coach Deluxshan Pathmanathan.

The Ontario Tech Athletics program is scripting one of the most compelling narratives in Canadian university sports this year.

Just five years after launching its program (in 2019-2020), the Ridgebacks men’s basketball program is making a meteoric climb toward being one of the most formidable teams in Ontario and across the country. Fresh upon defeating their fifth nationally ranked opponent on February 3, this week Ontario Tech appears in the Top 10 of the U SPORTS national men’s basketball rankings for the first time in program history (ranking at No. 9).
The accolade is well-deserved as the Ridgebacks have built an impressive 15-4 record in Ontario University Athletics (OUA) conference play with three regular season games to go. Since November 18, the team has reeled off 12 wins in 14 games, vaulting Ontario Tech into third place in the OUA East Division.

Measured against the program’s formative seasons, the national ranking is even more remarkable. The team posted just one victory in 22 league contests in its inaugural season. After the next season was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Ridgebacks were 1-14 in Year 2. Last season the program’s upward trajectory began with a modest improvement to 4-18.

The Ridgebacks incredible turnaround this season has been led by a mix of veteran players and newcomers. Third-year Liberal Studies student Keon Baker was recently named U SPORTS basketball Athlete of the Week, while fourth-year Liberal Studies major Zubair Seved was named OUA Athlete of the Week last week.

Following a road game at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay this week, the Ridgebacks will complete the regular season at home (Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre) on Friday, February 16 (8 p.m.) against the Carleton Ravens, and a showdown with the No. 1 Ottawa Gee-Gees on Saturday, February 17 (6 p.m.). The Ridgebacks will also have a playoff game for the first time on either Wednesday, February 21 or Saturday, February 24.


"We are excited to be recognized on a national level as one of the top programs in the country. Making the U SPORTS Top 10 is a testament for all the work that our student-athletes, staff and administration have been putting in to growing our program to where it is today. Thank you to our exceptional coaches, staff and administration for your unwavering dedication, tireless efforts, and relentless pursuit of excellence. Your hard work is a driving force behind our success."
-Deluxshan Pathmanathan, Head Coach, Ontario Tech Ridgebacks men’s basketball team 
-with files from the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks