The “Kermode Kave” will be a hotbed of basketball action on Saturday (Dec. 14).
The first-ever Sea to Sky Classic basketball tournament will see action at the Quest University gym for most of the day, with teams coming from all over the Lower Mainland and Washington State.
It’s all in anticipation of the upcoming Canadian Collegiate Athletics Association (CCAA) men’s basketball national championship event that Quest is hosting in March.
“We’re looking at this as an excellent chance to get us ready to host the Nationals,” said Sean Shook, Quest men’s basketball head coach and athletic director. “We’ve invited a bunch of teams from the Lower Mainland and down south and it should be a good way for us to figure out how to make things run smoothly in March.”
Four games are scheduled, with the Howe Sound Sounders senior boys basketball team taking on Brookswood Secondary from Langley at 1 p.m.
Sounders head coach Max Roy said his team is looking forward to the event.
“They’re really excited,” he said of his team. “We’ve got a practice there this week and it’s exciting to be in a really nice gym up at Quest. There’s a lot more shooting space on the floor compared to the enclosed gym we have at Howe Sound.”
Roy said he doesn’t know a whole lot about Brookswood but it should be a tough battle. The Sounders play in AA, while Brookswood is a AAA squad.
“I only really know they’re AAA and they play in the Fraser Valley,” he said. “It’s going to be a completely new team for us to play against but I do know they come from a competitive conference.”
He said an event like this is exactly what basketball needs to grow in Squamish.
“Something like this is really important to build the sport in Squamish,” he said. “We’re very fortunate to have Quest and it’s great that they want to be involved in the community. Dany [Charlery, Quest women’s basketball head coach] is offering fundamental classes for girls and they’re going to start one for boys. It really bodes well to build up basketball in Squamish.”
Roy said 15 years ago basketball was much stronger locally with several Sounders teams having advanced to the provincials. He noted that the last decade it has been hit-or-miss with some strong teams and some transitional teams at the school.
Other games feature Richmond’s McMath Secondary versus North Vancouver’s Windsor Secondary at 3 p.m., Vancouver’s Holy Cross Regional High School against Washington State’s Lynden High School at 5:30 p.m. and the Kermodes take on Kirkland, Wash.-based Northwest University at 7:30 p.m.
Shook said he hopes to make the event an annual gathering to help promote the sport of basketball in the Sea to Sky Corridor.
All games are open to the public and there is an admission charge of $3. For more information on Quest athletics, visit www.questkermodes.ca.