Parker Hendsbee (right) chucks a ball at Dupreez Smith during a friendly race at Chilliwack secondary’s pep rally at the school on Wednesday.

Hard work the equalizer for small-statured Storm

They're little, but they're fast and feisty. And the Chilliwack senior boys basketball team hopes that's enough to win games.

Word on the street is the Chilliwack Storm senior boys basketball team could be in for a tough season.

They’re young and they’re small, a bad combination to have in a league of towering six-foot-something trees.

The Storm have skill. But physically, they’re likely get manhandled this year.

They’re also likely to have a lot more losses than wins, but don’t tell that to co-captains Brandon Isaac and Brandon Gandire.

They’re not hearing it.

“That’s for people to think, but we’re coming in here thinking we’re going to win every game,” Gandire said defiantly. “We’re going to play every game strong and take it to every team. Underdog or not, that’s what we’re hoping to do We want to prove everyone wrong.”

Why so confident?

Both guys know how much hard work they’ve put into this, and they have faith it’ll pay off.  Storm players start trickling into the gym at 6:30 a.m. every weekday. By quarter after seven, nearly the entire team is there, shooting baskets and honing their skills through drills.

“In the beginning of the season only four guys were coming out, but when the others saw the hard work paying off in games, they started coming out too,” Isaac said. “I’m up at 6:15 a.m., and I come here as soon as I’m ready.”

Over the last few years, coach Joe Mauro has hounded dozens of players to show this kind of dedication. He has long lamented the lack of work ethic, and couldn’t be happier about his current group.

“This is an incredible group of kids, with seven of the nine boys coming out for those morning workouts on a consistent basis,” the bench boss said. “They’ve re-energized me.”

Peer pressure may be one motivator for these boys — seeing a teammate working hard makes it difficult to not do the same.

“It may be that, or it may be them recognizing that, ‘If I don’t get in the gym to better myself, I could be sitting at the end of the bench,” Mauro said.

As proud as he is, the realist inside tells Mauro this group will only go so far. Fast forward a year, with growth spurts and experience factored in, and they may be able to do serious damage.

In the meantime…

“We have one kid who’s six-foot-one, and the rest are five-foot-something,” Mauro said. “I’m hoping if we run the ball as fast as we can, and shoot well from the outside, we can compensate a bit.”

Isaac said any team that faces these underdogs expecting them to roll over and die will be surprised.

“If we keep working the way we’ve worked the last two months, it will start paying off,” he said. “I’d like us to make playoffs and see what we can do from there.”

Just Posted

Greg Moore Raceway rolls into 2018 season

With new faces on the board, Chilliwack’s hidden gem is ready to step into the spotlight.

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

CRA scam the email edition targeted the Mounties in Chilliwack

Fraudsters claim to be from the Canada Revenue Agency but the CRA never operates this way

COLUMN: Student voices give me hope for the future

Student Caleb Pennington wanted to know why something was taken off the agenda. So he asked.

Chilliwack newcomers celebrate multicultural community

Local Immigration Partnership helping new Canadians and refugees settle into new life

VIDEO: NatureKids “critterscape” at Cheam Lake Wetlands

A group of children helped keep invasive species in check at the local park

A frustrated Trump lashes out at special counsel Mueller

In a series of weekend tweets naming Mueller for the first time, Trump criticized the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election

B.C. teachers’ union to ask for higher salaries to help with shortages

B.C. starting teacher salaries are $10,000 to $15,000 lower than Ontario or Alberta says B.C. Teachers’ Federation president.

Few political staffers on Parliament Hill report sexual misconduct: survey

Sixty-five of the 266 survey respondents said they had personally experienced at least one incident of sexual harassment.

Experimental pot lab sprouting cannabis-infused drinks, new edibles

Nestled inside Canopy Growth Corp.’s sprawling marijuana facility outside Ottawa is a special laboratory

Federal committee to examine human trafficking in Canada

The Commons committee plans on holding hearings in Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver.

Anti-pipeline protestors block Kinder Morgan tanker near Seattle

Protest was spurred on by the 28 anti-Kinder Morgan activists arrested in Burnaby

Some surprises in new book about B.C. labour movement

“On the Line” charts history of the union movement back to the 1800s

B.C. cyclist races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Casey Brown captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

Most Read