Tuesday, February 16, 2021

ANBT 2021: Requiem for a Cancelled event

What would normally have been one of the busiest and liveliest weekends of the year for Prince Rupert having just passed by rather quietly.

The boisterous sounds of the supporters in the stands of the Russell Gamble Gymnasium for Championship Saturday, drawn from communities near and far; replaced by shifting snow squalls in the Civic Centre parking lot and the silent fall of snow, a brief reminder that Prince Rupert does get a winter from time to time. 

The cancellation of the 2021 All Native Basketball Tournament left a significant hole in the sporting, social, business and cultural calendar for the region and was a community event surely missed by many denied the annual celebration of sport and unity of the nations.

As we outlined on Friday, the popular and long standing tradition for Prince Rupert was caught up amidst the COVID situation facing us all these days, leaving organizers no options but the cancel this years showcase of basketball.

The lost week and wildly enthusiastic atmosphere of the ANBT was the featured item of note this weekend for a range of media.

CFNR provided for a Greatest Hits review for its audience.

While CFTK TV took note of the cancelled tourney, providing some coverage on Monday of the missing teams, familiar names and high tempo basketball.

Indigenous basketball players grapple with absence of All Native tournament

Missing this years ANBT (video)

Perhaps the best of the remembrances of the tournament came from Prince Rupert writer Rudy Kelly, who last year saw his remembrances of the event published under the title of All Native, a fictional story that never the less captured all of the elements of the championship week in Prince Rupert.

This year, through his online journal of writing,  he provided a glimpse into an All Native Tournament that pauses. 

Mr. Kelly's is a look at rivalries and friendships deferred for a year, but a celebration that continues to resonate in the community and beyond, that as a town that plays its host awaits its return in one years time.

For more notes on Community Events see our archive page here.

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