Following a two-year absence, there was a Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School (PSO) junior varsity basketball team in action in the school’s gym on Feb. 14. The stands were plenty full as basketballs swung around backs, bounced between legs and flew at the net.
“It went pretty good today. First home and away game there. We won the first one 48-22 and then the second game, we had a mini-game, we had enough time to do it, 19 to 13,” says coach Norman Taylor. “I was kinda shocked how [many] fans we had.”
In action was the junior varsity team, notes Taylor, adding there’s a senior varsity team as well.
“Mine is junior varsity [with] some grade sevens if they would like to play because there’s no basketball in elementary schools. That’s why it’s really hard to get teams going in junior high and senior high because there’s no elementary ball.”
They’ve been playing for almost two months but getting gym time has been a real challenge, says Taylor. They have about one and a half hours per week but students are really disciplined and really willing to learn, according to the coach.
“They really like playing basketball. They wish they had basketball in elementary school. I give them strict rules; you know, show up on time, pay attention, listen. Because it is practice and the games will follow.”
Word of the team is getting out there, according to Taylor, noting that the Williams Lake team that came to play them had seen them in a Quesnel tournament.
The resurgence for the team came about due to three or four students who wanted to play with the teachers also wanting to give it a try again, according to Taylor. Since then, the team has been growing and there are now nine regulars who come out and three grade sevens. Kameron Taylor is the team’s assistant coach.
Next, the team will be visiting Williams Lake for a game.
“The end goal is just to get experience, experience for the basketball players. The team I’ve got now, three or four play basketball [before] the other six or seven have never played basketball before. So my goal is to get them experience and to keep on playing for next year and the following year and then play for the senior varsity team,” says Taylor.
“Basketball is back.”