Hoops Classic a slam dunk for Heart and Stroke Foundation

Nav Parmar always promised himself that when the time came, he'd organize an event to honour his uncle.

Surinder Mann died of heart failure last year and Parmar wanted to contribute to the Heart and Stroke Foundation in his memory.

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In mid-June, with the help of his family, including cousins Nav Mann, Baljeet Mann, uncle Kap Manhas and friends Jessey Minhas, Sunny Brar, Ryan Lidder, organized the the P.G. Summer Hoops Classic, a three-on-three junior and senior boys high school basketball tournament at Kelly Road secondary.

They also had support from Family Dental Care which Nav Mann and Minhas own.

The sold-out tournament, which featured 12 senior boys teams and eight junior boys teams, netted a whopping $7,004.30 that was donated to the Northern B.C. and Yukon branch of the Heart and Stroke Foundation based in Prince George.

"We had the best high school players participating," said Parmar, who helps coach the Junior Timberwolves Academy with UNBC men's basketball head coach Todd Jordan. "It was very competitive and entertaining. It was an excellent opportunity for high school players to showcase their skills and everything worked out to how we envisioned it."

The team of Tyrell Laing, Trevor Foster and Johnny Tatla from PGSS won the senior boys division, while Malcolm MacDonald, Colburn Pearce and Adam Lee from Duchess Park won the junior boys side.

Lori Cruddas, the area manager for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Northern B.C. & Yukon was astounded with the donation that was presented to her last week.

Parmar's goal was $10,000.

"Those funds means we can reinvest them into our mission," said Cruddas. "It means a lot. Seven thousand (dollars) is amazing. In northern B.C., there is a huge focus on prevention. They had a vision and purpose they wanted to execute. We're thrilled we came on board."

The money will be used for local programs such as life-saving health promotion and community programs such as the Living with Stroke program, placing free health materials information materials in hospitals and health clinics, anti-tobacco advocacy, placing Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in public spaces and providing free electronic tools such as the Heart and Stroke Risk Assessment.

Cruddas said the tournament was a slam dunk in getting younger athletes involved who competed for a good cause.

"The appeal of the tournament was that it was for a population aimed at young and fit people," she said. "The Heart and Stroke Foundation wants to keep them passionate about healthy living. We couldn't ask for a better model because we want them to be fit for their whole lives."

As for next year, Parmar hopes to make it a co-ed tournament to get female players involved.

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