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

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.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

It’s the Valley Huskers (left) and the Regina Riot (right) in the final of Football Canada’s online logo contest.
Valley Huskers face Regina Riot in final of Football Canada logo contest

Vote in the online poll to see the scarecrow named the best amateur football logo in the country

A ambulance drives past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
9 Lower Mainland hospitals to postpone non-urgent surgeries as hospitalizations surge

Record number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals across B.C.

(File)
Two injured in rollover crash on Seabird Island

One treated for serious, non-life threatening injuries

Letisha Reimer, 13, was killed Nov. 1, 2016 in a stabbing at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
UPDATED: Second-degree murder conviction stands for Abbotsford school killer

Judge finds that Gabriel Klein is criminally responsible for death of Letisha Reimer

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

Memorial for Travis Selje on 64th Avenue in Cloverdale, west of 176th Street. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Epilepsy-defence driver found not guilty in crash that killed Surrey teen Travis Selje

Accused testified she has no recollection of the crash and believes she had an epileptic seizure that caused the collision

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

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

Firefighters carry equipment from the scene of Monday’s Willoughby fire. The April 19, 2021 blaze turned the Alexander Square development at the corner of 208th Street and 80th Avenue to rubble. (Rob Wilton/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley Fire: The aftermath of the inferno

The scene remains active as investigators work to determine a cause

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

A Mercedes SUV is covered at a gas station in the Clayton area following a deadly shooting there on Sept. 28, 2019. Carlos Monteith, the man charged in the Clayton shooting, was sentenced April 22 on charges related to a different shooting in New West in November, 2019. (File photo)
Man gets 6.5 years in prison for shooting as he awaits trial for separate Cloverdale slaying

Carlos Nathaniel Monteith sentenced for possessing a prohibited weapon and discharging a firearm with intent

Most Read