Ballenas Secondary School’s Liviano Canil capped off a whirlwind summer with the U-16 Boys Basketball team with a gold medal at the Western Canadian Summer Games in Fort McMurray, Alberta.
Canil, heading into Grade 11, played a key role in earning Team B.C.’s gold in their final tournament of the summer.
It was quite a way to cap off an exciting summer that saw Canil and Team B.C. travel across Canada for tournaments, plus a trip to the Vegas Classic in Nevada.
Team B.C. rolled through their competition, opening the tournament with a whopping 123-12 win over Nunavut.
Canil and Team B.C. rolled to a 69-59 win over Saskatchewan in game two. In their third game Team B.C. came away with an 86-41 win over Alberta and would go on to a 66-60 victory over Manitoba for the gold.
“I’m really happy we were able to do it,” Canil said. “We had been building up to the Summer Games in Fort McMurray and to be able to win the gold medal was the ultimate way to finish off a fun summer with Team B.C.”
“I’m really happy that I got the chance to play with such a talented group of players and really learned a lot.”
Canil was leaned on in Team B.C.’s final tournament of the summer to lock down opposing team’s scoring threats.
He was able to showcase his defensive skills and help lead his team through an undefeated round-robin portion of the tournament, all the way to the gold medal.
“It’s nice to help any way you can,” Canil said. “Being called upon to step up on the defensive side of things really gave me a confidence boost in my game.”
“I enjoy the offensive side of things too but it’s a whole different mentality, playing defense against the other team’s top player.”
After the growth and success he’s had with Team B.C., Canil will now shift his focus to the weight room ahead of his upcoming season with the Ballenas Whalers.
“I can’t wait for it,” Canil said. “I’m really looking forward to getting out there and putting what I’ve learned over the summer out there on the floor with my teammates.”
“Personally, I’d like to try and put on a little bit more muscle before the season starts so we’ll see what I can get done before then.”
Canil and the Whalers will come into this season with a senior–heavy team.
Though they missed out on provincials last season, in large part due to not having their team together while the senior boys volleyball team took a run at provincial, Canil has a good feeling about the upcoming season.
“We’ve got a good group,” he said. “There’s plenty of talent to go around on this team, lots of guys that like to work hard and will do whatever they can to win games.”
“I think that we’re going to hang with a lot of the teams that we had problems with last season and I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t make a run at the provincials.”