Christmas is a time for get-togethers and reunions.
Kwalikum Secondary has a special tradition with their annual alumni basketball tournament which has been going on for almost 30 years. It was renamed three years ago as the Bob Bate Memorial Alumni Tournament in honour of its co-founder Bob Bate, a long time teacher and coach at KSS who passed away in 2016.
The annual tournament generates fun and entertaining moments among current and former Kondors basketball players, who engage not only in a friendly and very competitive game of hoops, but also to get reacquainted with each other.
On Dec. 22, Soccer Players, which consisted of members who graduated from 2010 to 2015, played against the Glory Days, whose members are graduates from 2002 to 2008. The teams played a very close game with the former winning 59-57.
The competition was a bit intense from start to finish and it was in the last two minutes that the outcome was decided. They all played hard but teachers Dave Frampton and Butch Gayton officiated the game and were quick to keep the game clean and fair.
The younger Soccer Players proved to be a bit steadier and stronger down the stretch. Glory Days squandered a couple of free throw opportunities in the last two minutes and committed untimely errors.
Soccer Players will keep the alumni trophy for the second year in a row.
“It’s great to win again,” said Kevin Frampton, who was the MVP of the tournament again, keeping the Golden Sneaker Award for another year. “59-57. That’s a close game.”
There were six teams that competed in the tournament that included the current Kwalikum Kondors boys’ senior team.
There were not enough alumni women players that came out. The current Kondors team had to share some of their players and played a fun game.
Meanwhile, at Ballenas Secondary, the Whalers organized what is believed to be their first alumni basketball game. There were only two teams, the current Whalers senior boys team and a collection of former Whalers players. It was the latter that prevailed 104-77.
The younger Whalers had a depleted bench and although they led by five at the early going, using their strong three-point shooting, the older Whalers were just a tad better in the end.
However, coach Dave Stockton was able to use the game as a tune up when North Island League resumes in January. They are also preparing for the Annual Totem Basketball Tournament in Port Alberni.