Island teens part of winning basketball team

  • Jul. 15, 2009 6:00 a.m.

By Heather Ramsay-Two local youth made the cut and ended up on the champion team at the recent King Kamehameha Classic in Honolulu. Skidegate’s Tyler Moody, 18, and Cole Edinger, who turned 17 while he was in Hawaii, were playing for Queen Charlotte Secondary at a high school tournament in Smithers when the recruitment process began. They were offered the opportunity to join the Canadian team heading to a high school level basketball tournament that takes place every summer in Hawaii. Thanks to the fundraising efforts organized by Kris Olsen through the Queen Charlotte Teen Centre, the cousins were able to participate in the week-long tournament June 23-30. Funding for each boy, at $2,600 US, came from the Skidegate Band Council, Gwaii Trust and the Teen Centre. The youth were guided by a University of Toronto coach, stayed in the Honolulu Hilton and had a great time on their first trip to Hawaii. They even got to spend some time at the beach. Not only that, but Mr. Edinger ended up scoring the basket that won the game, 54-53, and the tournament for the Canadians. Mr. Moody says the Canadian team, made up of two other boys from BC and six from Ontario, was down by one point when his teammates “made a couple of steals and some blocks and then everyone [on the other team] just moved away.” Then Mr. Edinger did a crossover, a spin and a lay up and scored two points for Canada with 10 seconds left in the game. After that, says Mr. Moody, the team just kept the ball away from the others and let the time run out. It was the first time a Canadian team has competed at the King Kamehameha tournament and they beat high school basketball players from all over the United States. “Everyone was amazed. They didn’t know Canadians could play basketball,” said Mr. Moody. Mr. Moody says the team only practiced once together before the games began, but they all trained before they headed out. He said their team was full of point guards and shooting guards with no one taller than 6’1″. The other teams, from places like Los Angeles, Oakland and St. Louis, had players up to 6’7″ tall.

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