For Jason Price, the idea was simple.
How do you get more exposure to the terrific underclassmen that populate the BC high school basketball scene?
The answer may well be in the BC Junior Boys All-Star weekend held at Douglas College. In its first year of existence, it features grade eight, nine, and junior all-star games, as well as a skills competition similar to the one held for the senior boys.
“The young kids don’t get enough exposure” said Price on why he decided to organize the event. “Everything goes to the seniors. Same with the provincial championships, the 3A, 4A [tournament] gets exposure. These young kids, the underclassmen don’t get enough of it.”
All three games showcased the future stars of the high school basketball scene, with the Junior game featuring the top grade 10 talent from across the province. For Markus Modrivic of Belmont, it was a chance to represent Vancouver Island basketball and play against some future rivals.
“Vancouver College” he said when asked who he was most excited to play against. “They have a lot of good players, [and] at least I feel like we’ve got a bit of tension. They’re good, we’re good. They’re just our rivals.”
“It means a lot” said Vancouver College’s Hunter Cruz-Dumont on being invited to the first ever BC Junior Boys All-Star weekend. “Hard work just pays off and I’ glad to be a part of the event. A lot of guys I know [are] in this game and it was a fun time.”
Teams were divided up regardless of if they played at the 3A or 4A level, and it resulted in an entertaining and competitive game. In the case of Kelowna’s Hunter Simson, he played all of last season with the senior team — this was his first time playing against many of his fellow peers at his age level.
“I really didn’t know that much people here” he explained. [. . .] “It’s cool to see who else is out there for my age.”
Plans for the future are to expand it to a grade 11 game next year, and of course to make this an annual event in the high school basketball calendar.
“These kids can all play, they work hard, they’ve gotten to where they are because of hard work and determination” Price beamed when talking about the event. “I want to [give more] expose these kids. Being a coach at the college, why not. They deserve it.”
Written by: Nick Bondi