The Vancouver Island University Mariners women’s basketball team announced last week that it will be launching a new girls’ b-ball training centre. (NEWS BULLETIN file photo)

High school players can get a jump on hoops season with VIU program

Vancouver Island University Mariners women’s basketball team launches training centre

A new basketball program this fall will help prepare girls for the coming season and the seasons that come after that.

The Vancouver Island University Mariners women’s basketball team announced last week that it will be launching a new girls’ b-ball training centre.

The program is for girls ages 12-18 to get gym time Sunday mornings from September to November, working with VIU coaches and players as well as guest coaches.

“It’s going to be building their game, both individually and fundamentally, and then building up the team concepts and continuing to build the girls’ basketball community because it needs to keep growing,” said Tony Bryce, VIU coach. “This is an opportunity for it to really happen.”

He said a range of skill levels will be able to benefit from the program. He’d like to see players with post-secondary basketball aspirations take part, but he said it will help the development of any of the players to see how high-level athletes train. Bryce said the sessions will be divided in order to ensure all players are getting what they need based on where they’re at with their game.

Bryce said it’s been an aspiration to grow girls’ and women’s basketball in Nanaimo and this is the time of year when he can help that happen.

“I’m super busy here in the [PacWest season] with our schedule and it’s hard to get out for [high school] games and to see players and to work with players,” he said. “This now provides them an opportunity to come to us.”

The VIU Mariners girls’ basketball training centre is not for individual profit, Bryce said, as all proceeds from registration will go to the women’s basketball program. Cost is $300, or $275 early-bird registration until Aug. 25, and fees include a reversible jersey and a Mariners season ticket. Bryce added that any athletes wishing to participate in the program but who can’t afford the cost should contact him directly via e-mail.

The program runs Sundays from 9 a.m.-noon from Sept. 15-Nov. 17 at the VIU gym. For more information and a link to online registration, click here.

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