The BC Catholics 2018 Basketball Tournament kicks off today at Holy Cross Regional High School with teams from Prince George, Victoria, and Kelowna joining the Lower Mainland Catholic schools in what is set to be a great showcase of basketball and community.
This event was started by the principal of Holy Cross, Robert DeJulius, the athletic director, Frank Roberto, and the extraordinary parent volunteer Bert LeChasseur – whose children Matt LeChasseur (Holy Cross) and Jen Farano (STM) continue to be involved each year as they coach their respective teams. Each year it brings together the Catholic high schools throughout the province and produces fantastic highlights as well as the opportunity for student-athletes to jumpstart their careers at the college and university levels.
Former tournament director John Prescott raved about the history of the tournament and the excitement it brings to the students.
“THE SPORT BRINGS THE PLAYERS, COACHES, AND COMMUNITIES TOGETHER IN THE SPIRIT OF COMPETITION. THE PLAYERS ALWAYS LOOK FORWARD TO THE EVENT AND THE MEMORIES FORMED LAST A LIFETIME.”
This tournament boasts one of the best high school basketball atmospheres in the province, along with tough competition throughout the weekend, with the likes of perennial powerhouses such as Holy Cross and Vancouver College on the Senior Boy’s side and teams like LFA, Immaculata, and host Holy Cross on the Senior Girl’s side. There are a handful of teams who have won this tournament and have gone on to win provincials in the same year (St. Thomas Aquinas (boys – 2000), St Patrick’s Celtics (boys – 2010), and Holy Cross (girls – 2013). Prescott, along with his closest friend Gianni Bittante, led the Holy Cross girls team to victory in the BC Catholics and followed it up with a provincial championship the same season. In talking about his relationship with Bittante, Prescott shares a common factor, coaching basketball, that brought them together to lead Holy Cross to the championship.
“Our bond formed as we were blessed to coach so many talented girls over the course of our time together at Holy Cross High School. Gianni inspired me for he was a relentless coach, but most importantly, formed sincere and valuable relationships with each player he coached and each coach he shared the sideline with.”
Not only is this the founding sports tournament for Catholic schools in BC, this event has inspired other sports to follow suit. With the same framework as the basketball tournament, Notre Dame Secondary and Little Flower Academy host the BC Catholic Volleyball Championships, and the BC Catholic Soccer Championships are hosted by various Catholic schools around BC.
What does Prescott expect from this year’s tournament?
“I EXPECT THE PLAYERS TO HAVE A BRILLIANT TIME AS THEY ABSORB THE ATMOSPHERE THAT HOLY CROSS PROVIDES FOR THE WEEKEND. THE COMPETITION WILL INDEED BY TOUGH, AS PER USUAL, AND THE CROWD WILL BE AS LOUD AND EXCITED AS EVER. SHOULD BE PLENTY OF FUN FOR PLAYERS, COACHES, AND FANS ALIKE.”
Written By: Chris Evans