Rain did not dampen the spirits or the level of play at the fourth annual Daniel Kingsbury Memorial Basketball Tournament held last Saturday at Roberts Creek Community School. The games moved from the outdoor courts to the gym for a full day of friendly but very competitive 3-on-3 games with over 50 players in three different divisions.
The tournament raised more than $3,000 for The Jellyfish Project, the environmental education initiative created by Daniel Kingsbury in 2011, that has given presentations to over 110,000 students across Canada about ocean health, climate change and environmental stewardship. Basketball was also one of Daniel’s passions and this event, organized by his Chatelech Class of 2005 basketball teammates to honour his legacy, was inspired by the 3-on-3 tournament Daniel organized in 2007.
Eight teams in the adult division vied for the trophy this year, playing closely contested games. In the semi-finals the home team Creekin 4tay was edged out by last year’s champions Team Linda Jackson, and I’ll Be Your Rebound Baby beat out Hot Fuzz to make it to the finals.
TJ Turenne of Linda Jackson had another great tournament, playing excellent ball both offensively and defensively, and hitting the game-winning shot in their 15-13 championship victory. Nate Haglund was a force in the paint, while Nolan Lewarne shot the lights out all tournament long. Second place team I’ll Be Your Rebound Baby was led by previous champion Dolf Vermeulen. His combination of size and athleticism made him a handful for his opponents. Gus Guzek was dominant down low and his skillful post moves and soft touch made him nearly impossible to stop once he got near the rim. Seb Rohlicek showed off his elite ball-handling and slashing skills, while Kai Moore hit one big shot after the other from deep.
In the three-point competition, Gus Goerzen showed off his silky stroke and shot perfectly to earn his second straight shooting contest. Sharpshooter Ocean Fitzsimmons won the youth three-point competition.
The teams in the youth division rotated their rosters to create balanced teams and include newcomers, which made for competitive contests and demonstrated the great sportsmanship of these emerging ball players.
A tournament highlight was the first appearance of the Special Olympics division. Two teams with men and women players showed the skill and dedication of these athletes who play regularly on local teams and compete every year in the regional Special Olympics tournament.
The tournament received very generous support from local businesses and many community members, reflecting Daniel’s legacy of generosity and community building. To learn more, visit www.thejellyfishproject.org
– Submitted by Vicki Dobbyn