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A message from Howard T: Some changes to my coverage at B.C. girls and boys senior basketball championships

LANGLEY — Hello to all of my loyal readers here at Varsity Letters.

I felt it was important today for me to let everyone know that there will be some changes to way I will be covering both the B.C. senior girls and boys tournaments which run Feb. 28-March 2, and March 6-9, here at the Langley Events Centre.

Getting straight to it, I will unfortunately not be able to provide game-by-game coverage of every game being played at all four tiers on Day 1 of the two senior championship tournaments.

There are a couple of reasons for this and I list them in terms of importance:

1 For reasons of age, health and mental sanity, I am simply not able to push myself through these kinds of 16-to-17 hour days anymore.

I am not satisfied with my personal contribution when I do and equally important, I am not able to bounce back the next day to write, edit, post and broadcast to a level I feel is acceptable.

2 Finding help able to perform at the required level, especially during the daytime hours of opening day, is very much a challenge and this season, that help is not available to me on opening day of either tournament.

To that end, I felt I owed it to everyone counting on that coverage here at Varsity Letters to know that it won’t be as all-encompassing as previous Day 1’s.

Instead, I will be attempting to be as fair as I can on Day 1, taking into consideration where the largest interest from my reading audience comes from, and floating between the gyms to provide a select number of stories for the day.


The final three days of each tournament are more manageable, but there will still be situations where I face holes in my coverage ability.

For example, in the 1:45 p.m. game slot on Day 2 of the girls tournament I will attempt to cover the three games which all share that tip-off time.

You may think I am over-stating things here, but there is a bottom line to all of this that is part of my credo: Any team’s game on the championship side of the draw at a provincial tournament deserves the utmost respect because of the commitment it has taken for players, coaches and families from both sides to simply walk through the gym doors and take part. For me, this well never change.

I have three writers who have dedicated their time away from family to come and help me over the next two weeks and so to Dan Kinvig, Aaron Martin and Nicolas Hauka I extend huge thanks.

And I have been doing my best to help find new, young writers who have the requisite skill level and the desire to pursue opportunties.

Presently I am working with three, but they will ultimately choose the paths in life which suit them the best.

As I have said to many of my peers, all of whom couldn’t agree more that there is no issue finding young people who can take photos, shoot video or help broadcast games, but finding writers even close to the standard of deadline writing with flair is nearly impossible. This is not to denigrate any of those four skill sets. It’s simply where young people have chosen to go forth in out ever-evolving world.

Covering high school basketball started out as something I did because it was fun and filled with enjoyment.

It’s still the over-riding factor for me.

But the reality is I can’t keep doing all of this forever at the same pace I am currently at.

I don’t have all the answers yet, but whenever I get them, I’ll always share them with you here first.

My sincere hope is that you understand that I don’t have a crystal ball.

See you around the gyms at the LEC


If you’re reading this story or viewing these photos on any website other than one belonging to a university athletic department, it has been taken without appropriate permission. In these challenging times, true journalism will survive only through your dedicated support and loyalty. VarsityLetters.ca and all of its exclusive content has been created to serve B.C.’s high school and university sports community with hard work, integrity and respect. Feel free to drop us a line any time at howardtsumura@gmail.com.

5 thoughts on “A message from Howard T: Some changes to my coverage at B.C. girls and boys senior basketball championships

  1. …you are a gem Howard and have done so much for both boys and girls B.C. high school, college and university basketball!! You are the last person who needs to apologize!!

  2. Hi Howard. You may want to recruit some high school English students who have a knack for writing and are interested in this type of thing. Yes, a huge undertaking for small crew. Just a thought! I appreciate the coverage!

  3. Hi Howard, Absolutely nobody can begrudge you the highest of accolades for the promotion of high school basketball that you have done over the years. You are a legend! Your writing up of games is incredible. I have been following the game via your posts all season, and as I head south in a few days, you were to be and will be my lifeline back to the year-end scene. Perhaps BCIT (or other post-secondary) journalism students could earn their stripes as a practicum in this field, though that also means more work for you.
    You’re too damn good!

  4. There was never going to be another ‘Howard’. Hopefully there will be a team that can carry the torch. Our young athletes, coaches, parents and friends and family don’t deserve what you have done but we have been blessed to have you.

  5. You are an amazing part of basketball! We all understand and frankly I don’t know how you.have done it for so long and so all encompassing. Thank you for everything you do!

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