With all the focus on hockey playoffs during recent weeks, the season ending for another popular sport got pushed to the background. So it’s off the ice and onto the hardwood this week as we catch up on news from the world of basketball…
At the professional level, the conclusion of the NBA season took a back seat in this part of the world to NHL playoffs. But hoops fans will know that the Dallas Mavericks won their first NBA title by downing the Miami Heat 105-95 in Game 6 of the final. It was a huge upset for the Mavs, who were very much the underdogs against a powerful Heat team that included LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. As so often happens in sport, though, team chemistry overcame individual stars and as a result MVP Dirk Nowitzki and the other Mavs were able to savour sweet revenge for a loss to Miami in the 2006 finals.
Following the playoffs, the NBA entry draft saw the Cleveland Cavaliers use the first pick overall to select Duke point guard Kyrie Irving. The Cavs also had fourth pick and there took Canadian Tristan Thompson from the University of Texas. Thompson, a talented forward, becomes the highest Canadian draft pick over the past 50 years. In case you’re wondering, when Victoria’s Steve Nash was selected by the Phoenix Suns back in 1996, he was the 15th pick overall.
Locally, there were two separate leagues this year for bantam (born 1997-98) boys’ basketball teams in Nanaimo elementary schools. In the division for smaller schools with less than 275 students, Shaun Weighill coordinated league play and then post-season playoffs. Earning the title of district champions in those playoffs were the boys representing Departure Bay Elementary. Members of the winning team were Ronnie Wallace, Nathaniel Durkan, Cody Doumont, Kane Henderson, Cody Butt, Bryce Taylor, Cole Manns and Adam Gudowski. Coach for the championship team was Tanya Adelborg.
Runners-up were the squad from Park Avenue. Coached by Mike Campbell and Kevin Hooper, team members were Austin Anderson, Alex Bonnetplume, Silas Campbell, Brendan Dumont, Ben Karpuik, Johnson Nguyen, Jordan Robertson, Doyle Sosnoski, Hayden Taylor-Mountain and Jason Zurita.
In the consolation final, Fairview got past Seaview to claim third place. NDSS students Tony Huyhn and Aman Parhar coached Fairview’s roster of Gurdit Khatkar, Kelean Walford-Drover, Kieran Carreck, Dominic Campbell, Luke Michaud, Jasmeet Minhas, Quinton Smith, Darian Walkus and Minh Huynh.
Seaview players were Curtis Bachen, Dylan Kay, Brad Manson, Isak Maximchuk, Alex Milburn, Seamus O’Toole, Owen Toth and Bryce Winkel. Coaching the boys were Shaun Weighill and Patrick Young.
Melissa Kristiansen was the coordinator for the bantam boys’ league for teams from larger elementary schools and playoff concluded with a Final Four tournament hosted by North Cedar Elementary. There, the host team emerged victorious, earning a district title for coach Roger Douglas and his team of players Joel Allen, Colton LaJeunesse, Matt Skingle, Jacob Bacon, Josh Bailey, Wyatt Hutt, Teegan Lance, Max Cummings and Morgan Sherban. Also assisting the team during the year was a hard-working support staff of volunteers that included Lin Pellett, Susan Merritt, Judith Tye, Rod Nuneault, Lynn Scarsbrook and Kim Freer.
Playoff runners-up were the boys from Rutherford, coached by Terry Mazzei. On the court for their school were players Charlie Baker, Amtoj Dhaliwal, Tyce Morelli, Owen Dalman, Daniel Eng, Quinn Tannar and Miles Huynh.
Coach Kelly Payne and his entry from Hammond Bay earned third place thanks to a win over McGirr in the consolation final. Hammond Bay players included Lucas DeVries, Noah Banman, Carter Turnbull, Carter Higgins, Callum Gemma, Lenn Nakatsuka and Shane Rogers.
For McGirr, Tanya Peace sends word that team members were Cole Johnson, Cole Saunderson, Sasha Pliassov, Kevon Harpur, Dylan Ferguson, Bernhard Gutsche, Jordan Smith, Dayton Gaskell, Jordan Ashe, Carlos Chavez, Adam Humphreys, Liam Hurly, Jamie Largue, Tyler Walsh, John Dial and Carter Peace.
Next week we’ll review results from girls’ leagues in town.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair and show good sportsmanship.
Ian Thorpe writes about sports Saturdays.