In the past five years of my high school basketball career, I have made the storied journey to the Langley Events Centre for the British Columbia Provincial Championships. Once for junior and this year, in my last year of high school basketball, for senior. Both times that I have been fortunate enough to cross the threshold of the facility as a participant, rather than a spectator, this place has left me with countless memories and emotions. As a high school basketball player your ultimate goal is make it to the Langley Events Centre. If you are fortunate enough to do so, this place provides the seminal moments that I know will shape the person I become.
However, we as players regularly do not really take into account the amount of work and effort that goes into making those four days so spectacular. While we give praise to the coaches, officials, and representatives who put on the tournament, we often overlook one of the biggest contributors. The Langley Events Centre and their staff have become as much a part of this tournament as anything, and yet the players who dream of coming here each year rarely give it the recognition it deserves and are distracted by the event in which they are participating in. In fact, until I was tasked with writing this article, I myself had never really given it much thought.
After considering it, I am honoured to have been chosen to write a personal letter, thanking the Langley Events Centre and its staff for framing our memories so perfectly. Housing the biggest basketball tournament in the province is no easy feat and making it run so smoothly doubles that degree of difficulty. Each one of the four games I played this past tournament went off without a hitch. The courts are probably the best I have ever played on and the staff works hard to make sure each is properly cleaned and maintained before, during, and after each game and that is a huge thing for players. There are very few things that are worse than playing on a dirty, slippery floor. Furthermore, there was the overall management of the games: Each game began as on time as any sort of unpredictable event could, the transition between games was smooth and quick, and the score and stats keepers were professional and exact. Then, last but certainly not least, there was the facility managers and general staff who made it their top priority to make sure that those of us in and around the tournament enjoyed every second of it.
Maybe this is why, as a participant, the amount of time and effort that goes into an event of this magnitude was taken for granted. Because it was done so well, we were able to focus on our task at hand -- going out and giving it our all on the biggest stage in the Province.
Overall, having experienced the Provincial Championships both as a player and a spectator I can firmly say that there would be no better place to hold it then the Langley Events Centre. So, on behalf of the players, coaches, and spectators, I would like to take this opportunity to send this message: You gave us center stage. You shined a spotlight. You welcomed everyone. And, however brief this moment may seem, it will last for eternity. Thank you for making all of this happen. You will always be a part of us!
Sullivan Heights Stars