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U Sports scoring standout Osman Omar benefits from ‘best fit’
Osman Omar was the Atlantic University Sport MVP last season. (Credit: Vaughan Merchant/CBU Athletics)

U Sports scoring standout Osman Omar benefits from ‘best fit’

SYDNEY, Nova Scotia (BVM) – Osman Omar is in the midst of his final season with the Cape Breton Capers so he hasn’t had time to reminisce too much on his journey. It did hit him a little bit once the second semester started but he’s been focused on the basketball season. However, his journey to being one of the best basketball players in U Sports is certainly worth looking back on. 

Omar’s collegiate career was not a guarantee. While in high school, he traveled from his hometown of Mississauga, Ontario to play for a new prep academy in California. It was going well and Omar had offers to multiple mid-major programs when he learned the prep school he had been attending had issues with accreditation. Omar and his teammates weren’t going to be eligible to play in the NCAA.  

“I had two choices, either play junior college basketball in the States or try to play in Canada,” Omar said. 

He chose to head home to Mississauga. Omar knew he could play at the next level and his father had instilled that confidence in him as a child. He had grown up watching his older brothers and sister play basketball in high school. When he was 5, he began watching Toronto Raptors games. Basketball was what he loved and he wasn’t going to give up on that dream. 

“Every year I was just trying to get in contact with the best junior college, best schools in Canada but it was very dry…It was getting hard,” Omar said. 

Luckily for Omar, he had a support group that not only gave him the ability to go after his basketball career but was also a fundamental motivation for him.    

“It was my family that really pushed me, my family and my friends…That whole year I was out of school I was in the gym two or three times a day,” Omar said. “I always remember those days now and just remember that my mom sacrificed so much for me to do what I have to do. My sister did the exact same so every time I’m on the court, I’m doing that for them. I have to pay them back through the game of basketball.”

Omar got his first chance to pay them back when a recruiting site retweeted a highlight video he had posted from his time playing in a Toronto-based pro-am league. That retweet helped get the attention of the head coach of the Cape Breton Capers at the time. The coach visited with Omar, recruited him to Cape Breton and Omar became a Caper. 

“Ever since then, this has been the best fit for me,” Omar said. 

It’s been such a good fit that Omar has become one of the best players in U Sports. Last year, he averaged 24.5 points, 5.3 rebounds 2.2 assists and 1.7 steals. Omar was the Atlantic University Sport MVP for his efforts. This season he became the Cape Breton men’s basketball program’s all-time leading scorer. He passed current Capers athletic director John Ryan last year and has been building up that record ever since. 

“It’s definitely a rewarding feeling…Just being able to put in this work and see it blossom how it has is definitely rewarding,” Omar said. 

He has helped build up the program and has been the team’s leading scorer from the moment he got on campus. Omar has gone from a leader by example to an outspoken leader both on and off the court. He may be more outspoken but he is still setting a great example as well. This season, he is once again one of the top scorers in U Sports and leads the Capers in scoring. 

“I couldn’t have done it without my support system,” Omar said. 

That includes Cape Breton. His success with the Capers has gotten him the attention of junior colleges in the USA but Omar has stayed in Sydney. Cape Breton had given him a chance at a collegiate career and he wanted to see it through. 

“There was just something inside of me that told me to keep at it here,” Omar said. 

Now, he will have the chance to play professionally either in the G-League or overseas but either way, Omar’s basketball career is not over. It has been a long journey for Omar to get to this point. Nothing was guaranteed to him and in some ways, the odds were stacked against him. But his belief in himself and the support of those who love him has made all the difference. 

Omar went to Cape Breton feeling like he had to pay back his support system for helping him get to college basketball, and he has certainly paid them back in full with interest. 

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