Wednesday, February 27, 2019

MLA Rice delivers Legislature tribute to Wild William Wesley

William Wesley on location
with CFNR Radio

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice used some of the time for statements on Monday at the Legislature to pay tribute to a larger than life personality of the Northwest and a key figure of the All Native Basketball Tournament.

As part of the Afternoon Session of the legislature, Ms. Rice regaled the Chamber with the story of Wild William Wesley, the well known voice of radio station CFNR and someone who has been a part of the All Native Tournament experience dating back to the early 1960's

Her presentation to the Chamber offered up a glimpse of both Mr. Wesley's storied career as well as the vibrancy of the tournament and how it has become one of the most important of sporting and cultural events of the Northwest.

Now, anyone that knows basketball on the north coast knows the voice of the tournament, Wild William Wesley from CFNR radio. He has been broadcasting with Canada's First Nations radio station since its inception 30 years ago.

Before broadcasting tournament games, William Wesley was an athlete playing in the tournament from 1964 to 1976. He used to shoot all his baskets from the three-point range, but they were worth only two points back then. He quips: "Can you imagine the points I'd get nowadays?" In his best game, he scored 48 points.

In 1989, just before the women's and masters division were created, he started providing commentary for the games and has done so ever since. Always threatening to retire but never quite yet, the voice of Wild William Wesley could be heard calling games again this year. Between games, I spent a few minutes chatting with our local personality, where Wesley reminisced about people coming together over basketball over the years.

The tournament is held in February. That was the best time for fishermen and for cannery workers because it was the off-season. Sitting on a bench together with William, it was like hanging out with a celebrity, a big family reunion, over and over again, with players, spectators and friends from all over, getting his take on the latest up-and-comers and the predicted winning teams.

This year, during its 60th year, Wild William Wesley joined family members, former teammates and elite ball players when he was inducted into the tournament's hall of fame. Humbly, he dedicated his hall of fame award to his wife, Marlene.

Wild William Wesley is cherished by players, fans and CFNR radio listeners, and the All-Native Basketball Tournament is not complete without his voice of the tournament.

The statement which is now part of the Legislature's record, was also made available through the MLA's Social Media portal of Facebook.

 For more items of note related to the work of the Northwest MLA's in Victoria see our archive pages below:

North Coast


To return to the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment