Big battles at Tall Man Basketball Camp

Big battles at Tall Man Basketball Camp

Chilliwack hoops coach Kyle Graves believes big players develop better by facing big players.

While Stef Curry of the Golden State Warriors leads a small-man revolution at the pro level, high school basketball is still a big man’s world.

No player can change a team’s fortunes more than a towering forward who can shoot and defend, and there’s not that many of them around.

GW Graham’s Geevon Janday is one of those rare birds.

The Grade 11 forward stands six-foot-five. He can score inside, dominate on the glass and even drain the odd shot from three-point land.

Janday is the main reason the Grizzlies are ranked among B.C.’s top teams with a legit chance to win a championship at year’s end.

But Geevon and other big men have a problem.

Because they’re so rare, there’s rarely two on the same team at the same time, and how’s a guy supposed to develop his post moves when most of his foes in practices and games are significantly smaller?

“In a way it’s good (going up against smaller players) because I have to make moves to get around faster players, but when it gets down to the paint it’s kind of not as helpful,” Janday said.

That’s why formerSardis Falcons coach Kyle Graves helped start the Canada Basketball B.C. Tall Player Camp last year, and ran it for a second time this past October.

A former big man himself back in his Sardis playing days, Graves felt his game suffered because he couldn’t test himself against others his size.

“You can go a whole career and never play against someone who’s as tall as you, and that hurts your development,” Graves explained. “In high school I felt like I was an amazing player because I could score 30 points every game against five-foot-10 guys.

“But when I got to to my first year of university finally playing guys my own height, it was a steep learning curve.”

Graves believes he wasn’t taught a lot of low-post basics (footwork/body positioning, etc) until that first year at UFV.

“Which isn’t the right time to learn those types of things if you really want to become the best you can become.”

At the camp, Graves watched a Grade 8 student standing six-foot-three ‘get his butt kicked’ by a Grade 12 student standing six-foot-eight.

“Sometimes you need to get your butt kicked for development,” Graves said. “For a Grade 8 or 9 player to get taught these things early, it’s giving them more time to maybe develop into something special.”

Janday was one of 30 players at the camp.

The next tallest player on his GW Graham team is six-foot-two. At one point, all of the players at the camp lined up shortest-to-tallest and Janday was ninth shortest.

He was battling guys who were six-foot-10 and loving every minute of it.

“Being six-foot-five in Chilliwack, most of the time I’m a giant,” the teenager said. “Going there to play against the tallest of the tall, it was a lot different than going against guys who are a head shorter than I am.

“Even a couple inches is the difference between a guard and a post player — having an inch on someone is huge going up for layups or blocking shots, finishing a shot or not.”

Last year, Janday practiced daily against Jon Steele, a six-foot-seven center who now patrols the court at Thompson Rivers University.

“Jake (GWG head coach Mouritzen) first invited me out to practice with the senior team when I was in Grade 8, and it was a back and forth battle the entire time going against Jon,” Janday said. “He definitely helped me with my physicality, and now whenever I go against bigger opponents I remember those battles and I can bring that back out.”

Graves had some heavy-hitter coaches at the camp, including former national teamer and current Canada Basketball coach Michael Meeks and former national team bench boss Ken Shields

He’s hopeful that his Tall Man camps can eventually produce players of that calibre. Perhaps Janday will be one.

“He did very well and the coaches said he didn’t look out of place,” Graves said. “He just has to continue expanding his game and competing against bigger guys in and out of Chilliwack.

“He needs to seek out ex-college guys, guys who are bigger and stronger than him, and not just be happy scoring against guys who are his age and size.

“He’s got shooting touch, he continues to grow physically and I think he’s got real potential to play post-secondary basketball.”

— Graves and his Chilliwack Basketball Club are running a holiday break shooting camp with former UFV allstar Manny Dulay Jan. 2-3 for boys and girls in Grades 6-9 and 10- 12.

The cost is $45.

Email coachkylegraves@gmail.com or

visit chilliwackbasketballclub.ca for more info.

Just Posted

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Volunteers will gather at South Gate Shopping Centre on Fathers Day before fanning out to help clean up downtown Chilliwack. (Facebook photo)
Kindness Chain Chilliwack Association organizes Fathers Day cleanup

Volunteers will spend 90 minutes fanning out to gather trash in downtown Chilliwack

Folks look through some of the items for sale during the Voice of Hope giant garage sale at 7350 Barrow Rd. in Chilliwack on Saturday, June 19, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Giant garage sale today in Chilliwack supports Kenyan widows, orphans

Funds go to Chilliwack-based Voice of Hope charity to improve quality of life for impoverished Kenyans

Ben Holwerda of the Chilliwack Spartan Swim Club competes in a swim meet at the Landing Leisure Centre on Feb. 12, 2011. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack Landing Leisure Centre to close temporarily for scheduled maintenance

Pools, steam room, and sauna at Landing Leisure Centre closing for maintenance July 19 to Sep. 4

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack woman’s 100-km birthday marathon to benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Surrey Fire Service battled a dock fire along the Fraser River late Friday night (June 18). It was on Musqueam Drive, near Industrial Road, around 10:45 p.m. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Fire engulfs pier on Surrey side of the Fraser River

Dock has reportedly been unused for a long time

People in Metro Vancouver can expect to experience a short wave of heat just in time for Father’s Day, according to Environment Canada. (Black Press Media files)
Short-lived heatwave headed for Metro Vancouver this weekend

Temperatures are expected to be up to 10 degrees higher than average Sunday and Monday

Most Read