Coming to the tournament from Edmonton, Alberta, SWOOSH Basketball will be participating in the U17 division for both boys and girls, as well as an additional U16 team for girls. Started in 2010, SWOOSH has developed into one of the premier club teams in of Alberta.
“Last year when I offered it to the girls, all the girls were on the team wanted to do it” said Ron Hopkins who runs SWOOSH. “But also, how can you say were the best team in Canada if you never play each other? So I feel like we’re one of the top teams in Alberta but how are we going to know that if we don’t play all the top teams in Alberta. So I figure if [there was] nationals, I would try to be a part of it.”
The chance to prove that his club is the best in Canada was one of the major reasons Hopkins committed to compete in bballnationals.
“A lot of people always say we’re the number one club in Alberta” Hopkins explained. “Last year a guy said we’re the number one team in Canada. And I texted him and said ‘how do you know that if you’ve never played me. [. . .] I felt like there should be a venue in Canada where you can display that talent. So I think it’s important if everybody is trying to figure out how they fare and how they fit that it’s important that everyone is on the same stage.”
The experience of being part of a national club basketball tournament, especially from a players perspective, is also a big part of the reason SWOOSH is attending.
“We were there last year and the atmosphere is pretty amazing” said Hopkins on the bballnationals experience. They do a good job of [organizing] the tournament.”
There are spots still available for U13, U15, and U17 age groups at bballnationals. Each team is guaranteed a minimum of six games and the tournament begins August 2nd at the Langley Events Centre.
Written by: Nick Bondi