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PHOTOS: Cheers, sweat, respect highlight milestone year for Prince George Summer Hoops Classic

‘Unknowns’ prior to fifth annual tournament ends with 24 teams courting community support

Nav Parmar appeared to be at a loss for words Saturday night (June 1) after completing a basketball tournament that holds a special place in his heart.

The 2019 Prince George Summer Hoops Classic brought in 24 teams across three divisions for the fifth year of the annual three-on-three showcase, but Parmar admitted he had one person on his mind all day long.

“On Wednesday evening (May 29), my family and I were stricken by the news that my uncle, my mom’s younger brother, had passed away in Duncan at the young age of 50 years old,” he explained.

In the days leading up to the tournament, the assistant head coach of the UNBC men's basketball team was unsure if it was right to go on with the event, but decided to leave it all on the court in honour of his uncle thanks to inspiring words that came to mind.

“You know, it’s been a long three days, but one of the things he always taught me was ‘the show goes on’ and ‘to always keep moving forward’ no matter how tough times can be, you know, you just keep trekking forward. This day, for me, was for him. It was an emotional day, but I can quite honestly say being here today, I’m really glad that we were able to have this day because this one is extra special. There was a lot of unknowns.”

In the four years prior to the 2019 Hoops Classic, Parmar and his fellow organizers were able to raise under $50,000 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, with a goal this time around to get between $10,000 and $15,000.

Regardless of the total that will be tallied in the days to come, Parmar is humbled to see how many young people chose to make a difference by playing the game they love.

“You see the passion from the players to give back to the community just as much as the organizers every single year,” said Parmar. “So, I can’t be more proud of every single athlete in here because I see how driven they are to help out the cause and try to give back as much as possible. It’s humbling to give back to my own community.”

As far as highlights go for the tournament, Oliver Halpape hit a three-point buzzer-beater to earn his team the Junior Boys Division title, winning by a score of 48-45 against Tony Kibonge’s team.

Future UNBC lady Timberwolf Rebecca Landry and her ‘Team B.C.’ squad won the Girls Division by 12 points, 35-23 over their opponents captained by Tanesha Thomas.

The Senior Boys Division final favoured Duchess Park graduate Soren Erricson’s team, who wore their Prince George City Champion shirts en route to a 39-32 win over Cameron Sale’s campaign from D.P. Todd Secondary.

Halpape, Landry, and Graydon Wolitzki (Senior Boys) were all named MVP of their respective bracket.

There were eight teams in each category with the top three from each bracket receiving a medal, trophy, and/or a bag of goodies for each member.

The games played two 10-minute, running time halves on a half-court in the Duchess Park Secondary gymnasium.

The sixth annual Prince George Summer Hoops Classic will be taking place in 2020.

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