Skip to content

All-Indigenous basketball team takes to the courts


BC Games

The BC Summer Games are filled with storylines from underdogs to goliaths. However, one team had to undergo an especially difficult journey just to arrive at the games in sunny Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. The Zone 7 (North West) Basketball team isn’t only unique because of the isolated communities it represents; this is also the first Basketball team in BC Summer Games history to be completely made up of Indigenous athletes.

Coach Cooper Wilson and his squad are made up of athletes and coaches mostly from the Haida Gwaii and Prince Rupert area. Due to the small populations and lack of organized competition in the region, the North West team includes an unusual amount of 11 and 12 year athletes, competing in games made up of teams with predominantly 13 and 14 year old players.

It took the team two and a half days to arrive in Cowichan for the Summer Games, starting with a 6-hour ferry ride from Haida Gwaii to Prince Rupert, where the team spent the night. The next day, they drove two hours to Terrace where they hopped on a flight to Nanaimo and then caught a shuttle to the Cowichan Valley.

In this elite Basketball tournament dominated by blue chip players with years of coaching and access to first-class facilities, this North West squad is made up of a majority of 11 and 12 year olds with their tallest player being 5’11″. But what the North West team lacks in size and experience they make up for with their effort and intensity.

While they are undeniable underdogs in the tournament, this team has already accomplished more than a gold medal ever could. When asked about what it means to represent his community, Coach Wilson couldn’t help but crack a smile knowing that community and Indigenous pride are woven into the fabric of his team and his people.

This team may not bring home a medal, but what they will bring home is the experience of competing in an elite tournament that will surely inspire others in their community. The future of sports and Basketball in the North West region burns bright. In a few more years, this group of 11 and 12 year olds will unquestionably be a force to be reckoned with at future BC Summer Games and in competitions throughout the province.

June 16, 2024The Prince George Spruce Kings announce the signed commitment of Carter Wishart (’05) for the 2024/2025 season. Wishart is a 6’1, 172-pound goaltender from Chaska, Minnesota, who spent the last two seasons with the Chippewa Steel of the North American Hockey League. In 58 NAHL games, Wishart had a 2.90 GAA and a .905 Save […] [...] Read more...
June 16, 2024BY COLE WALDIE Prince George Cougars Off the heels of a tremendous rookie season in the Western Hockey League (WHL), Terik Parascak shouldn’t have to wait long to hear his name called at the 2024 NHL Entry Draft. When they lower the lights on June 29 at the Sphere in Las Vegas, NV, Cougars fans […] [...] Read more...
June 13, 2024Joshua Greenwood and his Inner City Wardogs teammates are ready to throw some serious leather at the Rumble 32 boxing card in Quesnel on Saturday. The 17-year-old Greenwood will be stepping into the ring for the second bout of his young career, while Michael Brooks, Cartel Niedermayer and Thunder Innis will all duck under the […] [...] Read more...
June 13, 2024Engage Sport North is hosting a series of half-day summer camps at the Northern Sport Centre in Prince George to introduce children and youth, ages 6 -12, to sports they’ve never tried before. The Try-It Summer Camps run weekly from 1-4 p.m. in July and August and offer an assortment of various activities. Six weeks […] [...] Read more...


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *