Five high school seniors off to all-star game

Ballenas and Kwalikum high schools send five players to Island Classic in Victoria

Kwalikum Kondors (above from left) Wylder Carson-Austin

With high school basketball season in the rear view mirror, five Parksville Qualicum Beach seniors are taking part in the 2015 Island Classic All-Star game on March 28 in Victoria.

Chelsea Hoey will represent the Ballenas Whalers, playing on the Girls North Island team.

The Kwalikum Secondary Kondors are sending Grade 12’s Ryan Becker, Shane Craven, Wylder Carson-Austin and Jesse Goring to the Island Classic.

Kwalikum is the only North Island school with the honour of sending four members to the Island Classic this year.

“It’s an honour to be going,” Carson-Austin said. “I think it’s just really cool that all four of us get to go after the season we had.”

After winning their league title and the North Island title, the Kondors had a chance to make it to provincials as the number one seed out of the north.

Having the Island tournament at home was a big bonus for the team and upsetting Lambrick Park to make it to the Island final was the highlight of the tournament.

“To play in front of the whole school, it was awesome,” Jesse Goring said.

“Beating Lambrick Park was awesome, that was the highlight of our year. They weren’t too happy when we saw them at provincials after we beat them in the Island tournament, so that was pretty cool.”

For the Whalers, Hoey is about as decorated as a player you can get at the Island Classic.

Chelsea Hoey

Racking up countless player of the game awards, tournament MVP awards and to cap off her high school career, being named second team all-star at the provincials, Hoey will represent her school well at the Island Classic.

“It’s going to be a cool experience,” Hoey said. “I think it just really shows all the hard work has paid off that we all put in during practice over the season.”

“It’s been fun playing here and to finally make the provincials in my senior season was amazing,” Hoey said.

“It was a great way to finish my high school career as a Whaler.”

After the Island Classic, Hoey will also take part in the B.C. All-Star tournament, where 20 of the top players from the girls provincials, at all levels, will have their own all-star game.

“That one should be fun too,” Hoey said. “Just to be able to play with girls from all the different levels is going to be a great experience.”

The Island Classic will be one more memory for this group of seniors as they say goodbye to their high school basketball careers.

“When you put in the hard work, it’s nice to get the recognition,” Craven said. “It really just gives it all that much more meaning at the end of it all.”

Ryan Becker echoed the same sentiment, knowing the importance of going with all three teammates.

“It means a lot to all of us,” Becker said. “We put in a lot of hard work, not just us four but the team as well, so to be getting this chance to go to the Island Classic together really means a lot.”

“We had a good season and there were lots of people that noticed.”

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