One of the original club basketball teams in all of British Columbia, Triple Threat is a lock to be a major player at Bballnationals. Founded back in 2005, it was the first club team in BC to give girls a chance to play basketball if they didn’t make the provincial team.
“It’s always kind of been hubbed in Vancouver/Burnaby but we’ve had kids play in it as far as Prince George and Kamloops” said Paul Chiarenza, head coach of the team that will be attending Bballnationals.
“A lot of our kids go through the program from U14 to U17. We’ve got three kids who are retiring this summer so that’s always a very emotional time because they have been with us for quite a while.”
Chiarenza is the former coach of the Capilano women’s basketball program, and now coaches at Southridge secondary during the school year. Other than a four year hiatus to coach BC provincial teams he’s been with Triple Threat “since the beginning.”
For the Triple Threat program, Bballnationals is a chance to test themselves against teams they don’t usually have the pleasure of playing.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to play against a number of clubs from across the country, and culminate your summer with a chance to really compete for a prize of real value against a bunch of teams you don’t really see” he said.
“There’s a lot of kids the girls see all the time and they bring in some of the baggage from their high school season in these games. But when they play out of province, you just play.
You worry about yourself, you don’t worry about other people. It’s good for their development.”
Chiarenza and Triple Threat appreciate the “pageantry” of the event, and it’s also another big reason why they’ve decided to make this event a priority.
“It’s important for these girls to know that there is a reward for all their work, and one of those rewards is playing in a tournament where you get a big deal made out of you” he explained. “And it’s the little things, it’s the photographers, and the venue, and the raffle. [. . .] Those are the type of things that make the girls feel special.
You think about the work they put in in the gym and the time they spend doing shooting, and they realize there’s a reward to that as well. The kids need that.”
Bballnationals starts next Monday at the Langley Events Centre. BC Sports Hub will have exclusive access to the entire tournament, so make sure to follow along!
Written by: Nick Bondi