The B.C. high school basketball season may be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it won’t keep Surrey’s student athletes off the court entirely.
Last week, BC School Sports – the organizing body for post-secondary sports in the province – announced the BCSS Basketball Pandemic Challenge, a three-week event that is “aimed to help student-athletes across the province stay active during these unprecedented times.”
In addition to helping student-athletes stay active, BCSS says the aim of the event is also to “raise awareness of the importance of school sport” and to “provide an opportunity for student-athletes to safely connect and better themselves through training and friendly competition.”
The basketball challenge, which is open to all students in Grades 8-12, consists of three one-week challenges between Feb. 8-26. Week 1 of the challenge is the ‘Mikan Drill’ – a 60 second drill that is a “left-right alternating layup drill using a single ball.”
“The ball must hit the backboard, the student must re-bound their own ball, and if they are unsuccessful with the layup they must continue on that side until they are successful,” according to the rules, which were outlined in a Jan. 21 post on the BCSS website.
“A designated counter must keep track of the number of successful layups that go into the net during the 60 second period.”
Week 2 – from Feb. 15-19 – is a free-throw challenge, in which competitors try to see how many shots they can sink out of 20. The final week’s challenge is three-point shots, with students attempting to sink as many three-pointers as they can in a 60-second span.
In a non-pandemic environment, the high-school basketball season would be in the home stretch by now, with playoffs and provincial championships fast approaching.
Semiahmoo Secondary teacher and senior boys basketball coach Ed Lefurgy told Peace Arch News Wednesday that “things have been very different around here” in the absence of a regular season, adding that athletes and coaches “are trying to move forward.”
Members of Lefurgy’s team will be taking part in the upcoming basketball challenge, he said.
Despite not having a season, Lefurgy’s team has been practising three times a week since September – “Just skills, as we are not allowed to do any games,” he said – but is currently in the midst of a two-week break from the court.