Members of the Semiahmoo Peninsula basketball community hit the court last week to honour one of their own.
On Friday night at Semiahmoo Secondary, the school’s basketball program hosted the first Game for Skylar, a pickup hoops game that honoured the memory of former star player Skylar Sheehan, who passed away April 18 – his 20th birthday – due to heart complications.
Forty people turned up to play, and another 50 came by to watch and show their support, Semiahmoo Totems senior boys basketball coach Ed Lefurgy said.
The game served as a fundraiser for the Surrey and White Rock chapters of KidSport, which raises funds to help cover sports-registration costs for disadvantaged young athletes. The game raised about $6,000, Lefurgy said, adding that KidSport chapter presidents Ronnie Paterson (Surrey) and John Hogg (White Rock) were on hand to watch the game.
Lefurgy expects the game to become an annual affair.
“Friday was a tremendous success,” he said.
“We just felt like the best way to honour Skyler and remember him was to just lace ’em up and go play,” he said.
Sheehan had been a star on the court for the Semiahmoo Totems and was among the reasons for the school’s basketball resurgence in recent years under Lefurgy.
Speaking to the Peace Arch News back in 2014 – after Sheehan had accepted a full athletic scholarship to the University of Calgary – Lefurgy said “as soon as Skylar came in, he changed our program with his talent and his commitment.”
In his Grade 12 season with the Totems, Sheehan – whose father, Dave, also played Canadian university basketball, at the University of Victoria – helped lead the Totems to one of the program’s longest winning streaks in years, culminating in a second-place finish at Surrey Championships.