Semiahmoo's Marcus Flores (12) and Andre Juco (11) are part of the Quad-A No. 1-ranked Thunderbirds' team which will face Eastside Catholic on Dec. 9 during TBI week at the Langley Events Centre. (Photo by Paul Yates property of Vancouver Sports Pictures 2022. All Rights Reserved)
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Quad-A No. 1 Semiahmoo brings Seattle-area’s Eastside Catholic Crusaders and top prospect Cofie to the LEC! 35 years after Richmond-DeMatha, the B.C.-U.S. tradition continues!

LANGLEY TOWNSHIP — The players on B.C.’s No. 1-ranked senior boys Quad-A basketball team likely aren’t aware of it, but when South Surrey’s Semiamoo Thunderbirds take to the court later next month at the Langley Events Centre, they’ll be paying a bit of a tribute to one of this province’s pioneering programs: The 1980’s-era Richmond […]

Cole Bekkering and the rest of the Semiahmoo Thunderbirds carry the boys Quad-A No. 1 ranking into 2022-23. (Photo by Paul Yates property of Vancouver Sports Pictures 2022. All Rights Reserved)
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B.C. boys high school basketball 2022-23 pre-season rankings have arrived! Semiahmoo, St. Pats, STA and Unity Christian each earn No. 1 status!

LANGLEY — With the 2022-23 B.C. boys high school basketball season just days away from official tip, it’s time to unveil the new Top 10 rankings for all four tiers.As a note to Varsity Letters’ readers, I have previously (for the past 20 years or so) ranked the boys largest tier of play — from […]

Holy Cross senior Ose Ehizode (with ball) pictured at last March's 2022 B.C. Quad A provincials against Abbotsford's Justin Manning, leads his Crusaders into a TBI 2022 opening-round clash against Victoria's Oak Bay Bays. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of Varsity Letters 2022. All Rights Reserved)
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BOYS Tsumura Basketball Invitational 2022: This season, the TBI enters its second decade with a 32-team field in three separate brackets!

LANGLEY TOWNSHIP — Welcome to the countdown to the 2022 Tsumura Basketball Invitationals!We’re back bigger than ever as we start our second decade at the home of B.C. High School Basketball: The Langley Events Centre.The dates to mark on your hoops calendar?The boys tournament gets us underway with four days of the competition from Dec. […]

One of the best UBC head coach Kevin Hanson has coached is Jadon Cohee. This season Cohee returns after a brief absence as one of the team's assistant coaches and will bring the energy on the bench Friday as SFU pays a visit to War Memorial Gymnasium. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2020. All Rights Reserved)
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Buchanan Cup 2022: UBC hoops notes include the return of Jadon Cohee, our look at three rising ‘Birds in Luka Lizdek, Nikola Guzina, Triston Matthews and more!

VANCOUVER —Kevin Hanson loves the fact that his 2022-23 Thunderbirds are getting a great taste of post-season atmosphere before the conference season even gets a chance to tip off.On Friday, a little over two months after the ‘Birds kicked it all off in front of a near-capacity home crowd of 2,103 on Aug. 16 with […]

UBC Thunderbirds' fourth-year guard James Woods (left) turns a corner on UNLV's Elijah Parquet en route to a 33-point performance and 'Birds win in the team's season opener in mid August. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of Varsity Letters 2022. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Boys Basketball University Men's Basketball

Buchanan Cup 2022: For UBC’s James Woods, a career defined by beating the odds makes ‘Boy Wonder’ a well-earned nickname!

VANCOUVER — Deep down in his basketball soul, James Woods has always been Boy Wonder.It’s the nickname he picked up before he was old enough to shave, before he even started to play high school basketball for Langley’s Walnut Grove Gators.And on Friday night (7:30 p.m.), when he pulls on his No. 11 UBC jersey […]

Simon Fraser forward Jahmal Wright is one of only three returning Red Leafs with substantial playing time in 2021-22. SFU unveils its new team on the road Friday as it visits War Memorial Gym to face the UBC Thunderbirds in the Buchanan Cup classic. (Photo by Wilson Wong property of SFU athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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Buchanan Cup 2022: “Coach, you’ve got a lot of new guys…” Simon Fraser Red Leafs face host UBC Thunderbirds on Friday with a new-look team intent on finding some instant karma!

BURNABY — A reporter takes a seat last week in the Burnaby Mountain office of Simon Fraser head men’s basketball coach Steve Hanson, offering an apology ahead of what must be the most obvious observation of all.“Coach, you’ve got a lot of new guys…”Willing to indulge his inquisitor in the playful manner in which the […]

Your author, presenting with pride, the MVP trophy at the 2015 Tsumura Basketball Invitational, to McMath Wildcats' Jessica Jones. (Photo by Wilson Wong 2015 All Rights Reserved)
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A message from Howard: After 40 years, I’ll bring a new writing direction to Varsity Letters for the 2022-23 high school and university sports season!

NORTH DELTA –  Heartfelt greetings to all of you, my loyal, longtime readers.It’s been five months since I decided to take a break from my writing life.As was the goal from the very start, my decision to take sabbatical after 40 years of daily practice — first from my typewriter, and of course later, in […]

Sure to be a pair of shining stars at TBI 2022 this December are Caden Karrion of B.C. Triple-A No. 1 St. Patrick's, and Kiera Pemberton of B.C. Quad-A No. 2 Walnut Grove. (Photos by Wilson Wong 2022. All Rights Reserved)
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Tsumura Basketball Invitational 2022: The TBI has grown to 64 teams! Check out the new format as we unveil December’s boys and girls fields!

LANGLEY — The 2021-22 B.C. high school basketball season may be but a month in the rearview mirror, yet the journey to a new campaign’s tip-off is already well underway.While Varsity Letters is currently on an extended sabbatical, the one piece of news we did promise last month was unveiling the boys and girls entrants […]

It's time for a rest. Thanks for all your support of Varsity Letters and see you in September. (Photo by Blair Shier property of Blair.photo 2022. All Rights Reserved)
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It’s time for a rest: Varsity Letters will begin a six-month sabbatical with a planned September return!

NORTH DELTA — Hello to my loyal and cherished readers.I wanted to let you all know that for the first time in my career, I have decided to take an extended leave from writing.In simple terms, by the time I finish tapping out this story, I will begin a near-six month sabbatical to rest and […]

While he did most of his damage shooting the ball, Okanagan Mission's Wil Zylyk kept everybody honest with dribble-drive game during the B.C. senior boys Triple-A championships at the LEC. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of Varsity Letters 2022. All Rights Reserved)
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Howie’s High School Hoops Hamper 2021-22 finale: Random thoughts as the off-season beckons!

LANGLEY — Some random thoughts and remembrances as I pack the 2021-22 B.C. high school boys and girls basketball season into my over-stuffed memory banks and look ahead to the game’s off-season hibernation:BREAKINGTo those who pay attention to our early pre-season polls, I have taken great pride in not only producing the Quad-A poll the […]