REPORTING · 6th April 2011
The 7th Annual Cultural Warming Kitimat Open Basketball Tournament was on the weekend of April 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Twenty teams came from all over British Columbia to compete for over $10,000 in prize money.
“Teams are from all over really; we have a couple of teams out of Vancouver actually which is a real special treat for us,” said Shaun O’Neill. “We have two teams out of Vancouver. Players came from Vancouver last year to join two Prince Rupert teams and they had such a good time last year that I think they rounded up some of their buddies to come back this year.”
Kitamaat Village provided two teams as well. Other teams came from Kispiox, and the Nass Valley.
There were 12 teams entered in the men’s tournament and eight teams played in the women’s tournament. Games began at Mount Elizabeth in Kitimat and the Recreation Centre in Kitamaat Village on Friday April 1st. The finals were played at the Recreation Centre Sunday starting at 6.
The Woman’s Final was between the Haisla Sr. Woman’s Team and the Canyon Wildcats. The first period ended at a lopsided 24-12 in favour of the Haisla. However, the Wildcats were not done just yet and they came back tie in the second and third period. The energy in the room was strong and after a fierce 4th period, the game ended 67-64 in favour of the Haisla.
Most of the energy trickled out of the room for the Men’s final between Rupace and the Dusters. Rupace was a combination of Rupert and Terrace players while the Dusters came from Vancouver. Rupace and the Dusters had faced each other before. The game started evenly matched but Rupace’ player’s took plenty of injuries through out the final game. The final score was 102 - 86 in favour of the Dusters.
The Womans All-stars included Kaitlyn Alexander from the Rupert Rain, Celina G from the Crimson Tide, Kaitlyn Stewart from the Haisla Sr. Women, and Miriah Tart and Sam Azak from the Canyon Wildcats. The MVP of the woman’s tournament was Miranda Ross from the Haisla Sr. Women.
In the mens tournament, Sean Dusdale from Rupace, Ray Guss from the Vancouver/Haisla Team, Andrew Nyee from Greenville, Ryan Humchitt from Belle Bella and AJ Adusei from the Dusters were the All-stars. The MVP of the mens tournament was Jacob Thom from the Dusters.
The winner of the Joe Iannarelli Award, which goes to a player who has overcome some sort of obstacle to participate, was awarded to Deanna Smith. She entered the tournament after having surgery on her hip and injured her back in two games but still managed to play in the finals.
The Vancouver Dusters won out against Rupace
Deanna Smith was awarded the Joe Iannarelli Award.