The NHL playoffs may be in full swing and summer sports like softball and beach volleyball moving into the sun, but there will always be a place for basketball at the Arrowsmith Community Recreation Association.
ACRA helped celebrate National Youth Week May 1-7 by hosting its first Extreme 3-on-3 Hoop Challenge tournament for area teens. The event, sponsored by the Regional District of Nanaimo, drew nine teams for play in junior and senior divisions to the recreation centre gym at the Coombs Fairgrounds May 5.
“There’s a lot of youth who like to play basketball, but there’s just no venue like this,” said Michael Briones, one of the event’s co-ordinators. “There was an RDN drop-in program for a while that kind of folded; hopefully this is a start that can lead to something new starting up.”
Briones organizes a pair of 10-week drop-in basketball programs, each Tuesday evening from September to December and January-March at the rec centre.
“That’s always been very popular, but it’s over now, and here in Parksville we just don’t have tournaments like this.”
ACRA has celebrated National Youth Week with a variety of activities over the years, organizer Kim Longmuir said, including music events, a challenge night and other games. But it had never tried a basketball tournament until the association was approached by Briones with the idea.
“Basketball has been very popular here, so I said, ‘Let’s try it,’” said Longmuir.
Participants were treated to free T-shirts, cookies and bottled water, courtesy of Coombs Market and Riptide Graphics, and Dairy Queen offered gift certificates as prizes.
Jack Chen, centre, goes up for a shot between Jacob Laroque-Wall, left, and Aaron Paetkow during the first Extreme 3-on-3 basketball tournament May 5 at the Arrowsmith Recreation Centre in Coombs. — Image Credit: J.R. Rardon/PQB NEWS