Thursday, March 27, 2014

MLA Salutes Northwest Basketball Success at the Legislature

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice offered up her thoughts on the success of the Northwest in recent basketball tournaments through March, making mention of the Queen Charlotte Saints and Charles Hays Rainmakers as well as the success of the Prince Rupert Middle School during the course of her presentation to the Legislature.

Speaking to the morning session of the Legislature, Ms. Rice, for the most part she focused on the journey of the Saints, recounting for the Legislature how the Haida Gwaii squad captured the attention of the Vancouver media during their time at the AAAA basketball championships.

The Queen Charlotte Secondary Saints had a great showing at the 2014 BC High School Boys 4A Basketball Championships, despite coming from a single-A school. They are quite possibly the smallest school to have ever played at this level, the highest level of B.C. high school basketball. 

The team's efforts were recognized with the most inspirational team award, while Nathan Vogstad was presented with the most inspirational player award. 

Many members of the team then went on to compete in the junior all-native tournament in Kamloops. 

In the words of Desi Collinson, the coach of the Queen Charlotte Secondary Saints, basketball teaches you discipline, how you're supposed to carry yourself, the strong history that we have, the storytelling and how you should have a sense of pride. But just because you inherit something doesn't mean you have an automatic right to it. You have to work. A sense of who you are is going to make you a better person and a better basketball player. 

She also made note of the success of the Charles Hays Rainmakers, both AAA Boys and Senior girls, as well as offering support to the work of the Junior Girls Rainmakers and of the Prince Rupert Middle School which claimed their zones title in February.

The Charles Hays secondary senior boys placed second at the 2014 BC High School Boys 4A Basketball Championships in Langley last week, while the senior girls finished their provincials with a 15th place finish. 

The Charles Hays Secondary School junior girls also competed in the respective provincial tournament as well. 

In a sneak peek of what's to come, both the boys' and the girls' grade 8 teams from Prince Rupert Middle School won the respective zone titles in February as well.

Basketball is, in many cases, the lifeblood of the north coast, particularly for First Nations, which make up almost half of the north coast population. I stand here today and salute those young players who have worked so hard and represented their families, schools and communities so well.

You can review her presentation to the Legislature from the Draft Minutes of the Tuesday morning session (10 minute mark).

You can also view her remarks by way of the Legislature Video Archive, her recap of the basketball highlights can be found at the 10 minute mark of the House Video for the Tuesday morning session..

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