Coming from Alberta, the StormHawks are a relatively new club but will have a big presence at Bballnationals — they will be bringing a total of five teams at the U15 and U17 age groups. “We’re really, really new” said Aaron Johnson. “Last year we had two teams, [a] U13 boys and U13 girls team. [. . .] This year we kind of exploded, we got to seven teams. We got a U13 boys, U15 boys, 3 U17 boys, U15 and U17 girls.”
Johnson saw an advertisement for Bballnationals on Instagram the year before and was intrigued by the tournament.
“We just didn’t catch it in time to try and take the girls last year” he explained. “I decided to get involved with it this year. [I like that] they are trying to create something more nationally recognized.”
A big part of Bballnationals is the chance for young athletes to get exposed to different players from across the country, and that is one of the main reasons why they are excited to participate.
“It’s just giving the kids exposure to different teams from different provinces” said Johnson on what the program is looking forward to. “[It is a] different levels of basketball so they can kind of see where they’re at. It also allows the coaching staff to gauge our program that sort of thing. But I think more than anything it’s just to get out there and have our kids interact with other kids from across the country, and have an enjoyable experience.”
As a national club basketball tournament, Bballnationals also gives exposure from teams from around Canada.
“For the longest time clubs as far as the status quo, clubs that were recognized have tended to be more eastern Canada, Toronto’s always been the hub as far as the sport in Canada” he said. But it is growing by leaps and bounds, it’s growing a lot here in Alberta.
[It’s important] to bring all the clubs together and help them get to know each other and hopefully bring them together under a national umbrella and work together to the same goals. I think [bballnationals] helps grow the game in a positive fashion as a whole.
Openings at bballnationals 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, while the boys tournament begins August 9th. www.bballnationals.com
Written by: Nick Bondi