Seeing basketball grow on the west coast is something dear to the heart of Jonathan Snow.
Snow and Sarah Purchase are the co-founders of the Humber Valley Basketball Club that was formed in the spring of 2017 with boys and girls embracing the concept of club basketball teams as a way to get more touches on the ball outside of school basketball.
The Humber Valley Basketball Club may be the new kid on the block when it comes to club championship tournaments, but the Newfoundland and Labrador Basketball Association has welcomed the club to the fold by awarding them hosting rights to the 2018 NLBA U14 boys and girls club championships.
The tournament, which will feature female action at Corner Brook Regional High and male competition played at Pasadena Place, will take place Jan. 12-14.
It’s the first time the club championships have been awarded to a new club and first time a club team from outside St. John’s has played host to the event.
The Humber Valley Mountaineers will tangle with some of the top teams on the island and most of the players will be the same ones who the Mountaineers will battle for gold at the 2018 Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games being hosted by the Town of Deer Lake.
Snow said the concept of club teams is big on the east coast, but it’s only starting to take off on the west coast where a couple of club teams have popped up over the past year or so.
“It’s getting kids more basketball,” Snow said.
Teams on the east coast seldom travel to the west coast for competition because they have teams in their area who can give them a run for their money, but west coast teams have to travel east on a regular basis to get the tough competition they need.
Snow believes having the best players in the U14 age category in one place will be a great showcase of the talent pool in the province and give people a sense of the growth the game has experienced on the west coast in recent years.
“It’s a way of promoting basketball beyond the east coast,” he said. “For us, at Humber Valley, we’re just pleased to get it because it’s one way of growing basketball here on the west coast.”