City’s basketball players think hoops year-round

NANAIMO – Gabriola Elementary and Hammond Bay Elementary win boys' basketball championships.

The basketball season sometimes never seems to end. It was just three weeks ago that the NBA playoffs concluded with the Miami Heat downing Oklahoma City 121-106 in Game 5 of the championship series. Series MVP LeBron James saw his controversial move from Cleveland to Miami pay off for him as he finally claimed a championship ring.

That was followed by the draft, and constant news of trades and signings as teams seek to improve in the off-season. Much attention locally was focused on the move of Victoria native and former league MVP Steve Nash from Phoenix to Los Angeles. Nash spurned an offer from the Toronto Raptors, choosing instead to likely finish his career on a contending team.

Locally, Lisa Frey was the coordinator for elementary school boys’ basketball leagues and playoffs this year. Bantam (born 1998-99) playoffs for schools with a population of less than 275 students culminated in a district title for the squad representing Gabriola Elementary. Dave Reid was the coach for the team. Winning a championship pennant for their school were players Alex Dedame, Kaleb Velsen, Reece Maddison, Connor Reid, Maren Bradbrooke, Gage Marsh, Brandon Eaves, Dakota Moonshadow, Julien Jorgensen, Kiva Parks-Gibson, Gavin Smith, Tyler Mackay, Sebastian Deggan and Caleb Pounds.

Runners-up were the bantam boys from Frank J. Ney Elementary, where Russ Middleton coached players Zachary Authier, Colton Davie, Liam Doolan, Nicholas Dykema, Matthew Jackson, Yoshi Kudo, Sterling Larose, Michal Loots, Ryan MacDonald and Eric Pizzingrilli.

Third place in the district went to the Cilaire team consisting of players Michael Briones, David Briones andy Cabral, Joey Chi, Darrian Gaetz, Rylan Hoffman, Ryder Porrelli, Gage Seymour, Dylan Strutt, Spencer Strutt, Quinn Dusenbury, Davis Svenstrup, Yiorgos Vassilopoulos, Trevor Ward, Bryce Demoors and Kaleb Hall-Webber. Curtis Strutt and Robert MacDonald coached the boys.

Separate playoffs were held for teams from larger schools enrolling more than 275 students. In those playoffs, first place went to the bantam boys from Hammond Bay Elementary, where John Linder provided the coaching for players Daniel Bullock, Nicholas Earl, Joel Filgate-McNabb, Thomas Grabher, Lucas Merlet, James Robinson, James Winter, Ryan Board, Samuel De Vries, Ben Fridriksson, Will Fridriksson and Ross Manson.

Dave Kotai was the coach for the runner-up team from Forest Park. Players were Kyle Infanti, Elwin Abalos, Dakota Bezan, Hollister-Nelson King, Dawson Spaven, Joshua Mitchell, Dylan Kirby, Ryan Miller, Jesse Miller, Riley Scott, Rajbir Parmar and Graham Sexton.

Rock City earned third place overall. Jack Bradley, Aryton Hall, Richard Jane, Ben Leslie, Ivan Leuschen, Jordan Lowe, Parker MacArthur, Aiden Mooney, Edzon Nanez, Einar Nicolson, Jordan Patterson, Matt Paule and Tyler Wilkinson were on the team, which was coached by Peter Watkins.

Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.

Ian Thorpe writes about sports Saturdays.