The North West boys U14 basketball team demonstrated resilience and spirit during their four events at the BC Summer Games, despite not coming out on top.
The Zone 7 regional team, comprised of eight players from Prince Rupert, one player from Port Edward and one player from Kitimat, travelled to Prince George to compete in the four-day tournament, which ran from July 21 to 24.
The boys never gave up, even when they faced teams with much larger players, coach Kevin Sawka said.
“I’m super proud of how hard they worked.”
The tournament was divided into two pools of four teams. After playing each team in their pool, the North West boys played the team of the same standing from the opposite pool.
“We knew ahead of time that the pool that we were in was probably the toughest,” Sawka said.
It included teams from Thompson-Okanagan, Fraser River and Vancouver-Coastal.
He is optimistic that the athletes learned a lot and improved through the experience. Two of the most common takeaways identified by the boys were the significance of paying attention to details and the importance of mental fortitude.
Dedication is one thing they already have in abundance. Dallas Gray travelled two hours from Kitimat a couple times a week to practice with the team and every Saturday for games, Sawka said.
This was the first year some of these kids have been playing basketball, he said.
“Starting with a blank slate and where they’re at now, it’s light years.”
U14 boys basketball players — Sarfo Agyemang (PR), Jack Crump (PR), Gurvir Gill (PR), Jeremy Higginson (PR), Jacob Leighton (PR), Carl Sampson (PR), Nathaniel Sawka (PR), Hudson Veldman (PR), Brandon Basso (Port Edward), Dallas Gray (Kitimat)
Kaitlyn Bailey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Rupert Northern View