By Trevor Beggs, Now-Leader contributor
SURREY — With the sound of a buzzer, some thrilling high school basketball careers came to a close.
Many of Surrey’s best basketball players took part in their final high school game on Thursday night. The girls and boys put on two offensively dominant performances during the Winner’s Circle All-Star Basketball Classic at Enver Creek Secondary.
Some of the students bid farewell to teammates after playing together for the entirety of their high school careers.
“It’s awesome that we get one more chance to play in front of family and friends,” said Jordon Chen of Semiahmoo Secondary. “It’s been a wild ride with this group and we’ve done some great things. I’m going to miss this group for sure.”
Chen and his teammates from Semiahmoo have enjoyed an incredible run during their senior seasons. They won the Surrey RCMP Basketball Classic for the second year in a row. The Totems also finished as runner-up during B.C. high school basketball provincials last month.
Their success was highlighted by the fact that they had more all stars (four) than anyone else on the boy’s side. That includes the towering Adam Paige, who had a few highlight-reel dunks and was noticeable all game long.
Semiahmoo head coach Ed Lefurgy knows his group will relish the memories that he says have blown by.
“This tournament parallels their high school experience,” Lefurgy said. “It goes by a lot faster than they all think it will.
“For a lot of these guys, they’ve played against each other for five years,” he added. “We’re very appreciative that Rick (Inrig) and Kevin (De Boice) have given these guys a chance to square off one last time.”
The boys from Semiahmoo weren’t the only ones to reflect on past success during high school finales on Thursday.
“I remember winning provincials in my grade 11 year,” said Shelvin Grewal of Lord Tweedsmuir. “Not many people get to experience that. The team I played with, a lot of the girls on that team are still friends and people I talk to every day.”
“It hasn’t hit me yet, but in a few weeks when everything has wrapped up and your not with your team every day, it’s gonna be kind of sad,” she said.
“If you love basketball, you’re going to miss it,” said Sullivan Heights head coach Lani Kramer. “It was a great game, the girls competed, and they were rewarded with a very special night.”
Although basketball has come to an end for some, other doors were opened.
Some will continue to play basketball after high school. That includes Miguel Tomley, who is likely off to a Div. 1 basketball school after his stellar high school career wrapped up.
When asked about what he wants to do in the future during the scholarship ceremony at halftime, Tomley gave a short, sweet answer.
“To play in the NBA,” he said with a smile.
Seven other scholarships were handed out on Thursday. The most emotional one was awarded to Panorama Ridge player Gavin Malhi. His teammate, Raphael Alcoreza, passed away on Dec. 7 after collapsing during a game the previous week.
“Basketball gave me the ultimate platform to overcome tragedy and begin to feel comfortable with myself again,” Inrig read from Malhi’s scholarship application.
“I’ve learned not to take life for granted.”