Hoops community split over b-ball program

People on both sides of the debate are weighing in over the apparent demise of a Basketball BC program at GW Graham.

The postponement/suspension/demise of a proposed Basketball BC program at GW Graham has created a fire storm of reaction.

Proponents of the program say an opportunity has been lost and blame a small and self-interested group for bringing it down.

Opponents of the program say they weren’t consulted, and believe it will siphon off top players and hurt what they’ve built in their own schools.

Announced in early May, the program would have started this fall at GWG, and been open to any eligible student in the entire school district. In Wednesday’s Chilliwack Progress, Chilliwack secondary school basketball coaches Joe Mauro and Joe Ogmundson both expressed concern that the program might, intentionally or unintentionally, serve as a recruitment tool for GWG.

While that put the focus on the CSS bench bosses, Sardis secondary school junior girls basketball coach Gina Graves says many more people have issues.

“It is very disheartening to read on Facebook that the large egos of two coaches had this program postponed, when that is not the case,” she said. “It was not the actions of two coaches, but the actions and concerns of multiple coaches within the district which resulted in it being postponed. For this program to have been successful, all coaches needed to have been consulted before it was introduced, rather than reading about it for the first time in the newspaper.”

But even within one school, opinions can differ.

Richard Tagle is one of the longest serving senior coaches in the district, with a tenure surpassed only by Mauro and Ogmundson.

While he agrees communication and consultation should have been done. At the same time, without assigning blame to anyone on either side, he also feels a great opportunity may be slipping away.

“To provide an opportunity to kids to advance themselves is what our education system is all about. We are here to allow kids to reach their potential and excel,” he said. “We, as coaches at this level of development, are here to develop, enhance and improve the skills of our players and students. This isn’t about championships won, banners on the wall or who has the best team.”

Tagle believes the conversation would be vastly different if the program was centered around math, english or science skills. Because it’s basketball, he believes competitive concerns are getting in the way.

“For some of the athletes in the district, university is affordable on an athletic scholarship, and aren’t we suppose to help them excel?” he asked. “I was excited to have the opportunity to have Al (UFV head coach and proposed program head coach Tuchscherer) coach my own children.  I believe that my two children would have benefitted greatly from him. Both my children will be at Sardis next year, and I am saddened that my Grade 12 daughter will miss out on this opportunity.”

One parent who has opposed the program didn’t respond to Progress interview requests this week, but parents in favour of the program offered their take.

“As a mother of three teens who have been passionately involved in club and school basketball for the past 8 years, I was thrilled to hear of this new program,” said Kirsti Dueck. “Having attended the information session, my kids were excited to try out. One of them called it ‘a dream come true’ and ‘something I have waited for my whole life.’ I am still unclear as to why this positive experience for our children has become such a political one.”

Vedder middle school’s Sue Northey sees the value in the program, and hopes it can still be salvaged.

“A West Vancouver program similar to this one operated on neutral territory (the West Van Rec Centre). could Chilliwack not run the programme out of the Landing Sports Centre, the YMCA, a more central school or a rotation of schools,” she questioned. “Is there a stipulation with this program that if they do join they may not transfer to GWG? These questions could all have been asked and answered had other coaches been given the opportunity for feedback prior to going public.”

Just Posted

Clarinetist brings classic Christmas tunes to Chilliwack Library

Jack Kopstein was the musical entertainment for Christmas in the Stacks at the Chilliwack Library

DFO responds to ‘state of emergency’ call from First Nations

‘Our shared goal is to fully restore the sustainable, natural fish passage at the site’: DFO

Chilliwack RCMP offer tips to avoid holiday thefts

Neighbours watching out for neighbours can help avoid stolen parcels

A surprise under the mistletoe at Christmas in Williams Park

New addition to annual Langley light show records first marriage proposal

Chilliwack named as one of the most generous cities in Canada on GoFundMe

Chilliwack took the number-two spot while Kamloops was at the top of the list

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

Snowfall warning issued for Coquihalla Highway

Up to 25 cm of snow is expected to fall in the region by Thursday

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by pellet gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

B.C. guide fined $2K in first conviction under new federal whale protection laws

Scott Babcock found guilty of approaching a North Pacific humpback whale at less than 100 metres

Feds urge Air Canada to fix booking problems as travel season approaches

The airline introduced the new reservation system more than three weeks ago

Most Read