VICTORIA – With the backing of the Vikes Athletics department, the Vikes Basketball Alumni get set to host an inaugural Senior Boys Invitational this December 28-30. All twelve games will take place at the CARSA competition gym on the UVic campus.
Greg Wallis, the owner of Passion Sports, a Victoria apparel company, is on board as the tournament’s principal sponsor. No stranger to the world of hoops, Wallis was a local high school star at Reynolds SS before winning Pac West and Canada West all-conference recognition at first Camosun College and then Simon Fraser University. Furthermore, he has directed basketball camps on Vancouver Island for over a decade.
“I am really pleased to be involved with this high level basketball event, which I hope is the first of many others to be held here at the university. Eight high quality teams and some outstanding players should provide three days of real entertainment. Passion Sports is proud to lend its support,” Wallis said.
Vikes Alumni basketball chair Phil Ohl echoed these sentiments and, in thanking Wallis, encouraged fans in the region to attend the games.
“Any profit we can make through gate receipts will go towards establishing a scholarship for a current high school player to attend and play for UVIC,” said Ohl.
Day 1 action begins on Wednesday, December 28, with the first of four games tipping off at 3:00 p.m. In this opener, BC AAAA #1 Walnut Grove takes on Kitsap’s Kingston HS. The Langley based Gators, unbeaten to date, feature 6’8″ forward Jake Cowley, back from a short prep school stint in Ontario, as well as sharpshooting guard Ty Rowell. The visiting Buccaneers boast three returning all conference performers in 6’6″ wing Andrew Shaw, plus guards Gabe Gregory and Liam Young.
At 4:45 p.m., AA power Lambrick Park, led by twin snipers Austin and Calvin Somers, faces off against another Washington state visitor, Ballard HS. With a potential provincial championship season a year ago sabotaged by injury, the hometown Lions will hope for better health this time round. The Seattle based Beavers counter with a fast and clever backcourt duo in Shay Curcuruto and Simon Czyzewski, just two of a squad which more than holds its own in one of the toughest leagues in the country.
On the other side of the draw, Washington’s Vashon Island HS makes a very welcome return to Victoria. The tough and feisty Pirates, who count former Vikes star guard Zac Andrus among their most famous grads, are perennial state A contenders. They will match wits at 6:30 p.m. with Oak Bay, paced by provincial U17 star Jaden Touchie and a host of 6’5″ front court men.
In the 8:15 p.m. finale, pre-season AA #1 SMUS returns most of last year’s provincial finalists, including guards Jamison Schulz-Franco and Ryan Hindson. The Blue Jags wait on the potential availability of Quinn Ngawati, with the 6’5″ pivot very possibly required for end of year national U19 rugby duty in matches vs USA. Harry Ainlay SS, Alberta’s dominant AAAA team over the past decade, provides the opposition. The Edmonton based Titans lean heavily on a trio of talented youngsters, with guards Brandon Meiklejohn, Philip Sabry and Ariel Mutware also members of the 2016 provincial U17 team.
Daily admission for is $5 for adults and $2 for students.