Coming from Ontario to compete in the U17 and U15 girls division, Big Country Basketball is a unique entrant in bballnationals.
“We’re a little different than most clubs that we don’t specifically affiliate with any provincial organization and we don’t run club programming persay” said Director Pam Danis. “We try and train female athletes and compliment what they’re doing with other clubs. When there's opportunity to play basketball competitively, like in a national championship, we open it up to the community and those athletes that are interested come together.”
Danis is a strong advocate of playing in Canada and Canadian basketball talent, which is what made Bballnationals such a great option for her program.
“I’m a big believer in playing basketball in Canada” she explained. “I think it’s a great experience for young athletes in particular athletes like young females. Often in the summertime especially in Southern Ontario, there’s a lot of push and demand to play in the United States. So having the opportunity to expose athletes from Southern Ontario and Eastern Canada to basketball out west and having them able to participate in a national championship in the summer that is in Canada is really appealing to me.
I think it is important to be able to expose athletes to travel, to expose those athletes to playing players from other regions, [and] playing these teams from other regions. Bballnationals allows us to do that and they’re a great host and we’ve had tremendous support from them. It’s just a great experience.”
And with all the talent coming from Canada, a national club basketball tournament is more important than ever.
“There are a number of paths for these athletes to take in order to reach their ultimate goals, and one of those paths is being able to play in Canada” said Danis on the importance of bballnationals. [. . .] “To be able to have an event that is hosted in Canada in the summer, it just opens up more doors and opportunities for young females.
I really think that the game is growing so much, we need to be able to expose our young athletes to all of those opportunities, and then let them choose what’s best for them on their end."
Numerous spots are still available for U13, U15, and U17 age groups and each team is guaranteed a minimum of six games. The girls tournament begins August 2nd at the Langley Events Centre. www.bballnationals.com
Written by: Nick Bondi