Karn Dhillon (left) who has reffed in parts of the last six decades posed at KitsFest with the late Felix Gonzales. Dhillon eulogizes his friend, who passed suddenly this week, remembering him for his huge heart and his love for his family. (Photo by Tim Braund property of Tim Braund Photography 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature Podcast

VL Podcast 02.24.21: Veteran referee Karn Dhillon, who reflects on the sudden passing of friend Felix Gonzalez, speaks to the tight-knit bond of BC’s hoops community

Welcome to the latest edition of the Varsity Letters podcast. Today we chat with longtime basketball referee Karn Dhillon on a variety of topics spanning a career that began not too soon after he graduated from Vancouver’s Sir Winston Churchill in the late 1970s. Dhillon also eulogizes his friend, longtime and well-loved referee Felix Gonzalez […]

If Utah Valley's Fardaws Aimaq can maintain his current pace and win the NCAA Div. 1 rebounding title, he would have the highest average since the late 1970s. (Photo by Jay Drowns, property of Utah Valley University Marketing 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Boys Basketball University Men's Basketball

Richmond’s rebounder for the ages: A craving for caroms has Utah Valley’s Fardaws Aimaq treading on historic NCAA Div. 1 hardwood!

As the NCAA men’s Div. 1 regular season draws towards its completion, the microscope trained one of B.C.’s high school basketball’s most remarkable grads has continued to intensify.Yet nothing is slowing down the per-game rebounding average of former Steveston-London grad Fardaws Aimaq, the 6-foot-11, 260-pound redshirt sophomore centre with the Utah Valley Wolverines.With four more […]

G.P. Vanier Towhees head coach Larry Street. (Photo by Wilson Wong 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature Podcast

VL Podcast 02.17.21: From Bby South to SFU to Fox, Moody, Vanier and the world, Larry Street has been a ‘Mr. Basketball’ for the ages!

Varsity Letters is back this week with one of B.C.’s most enduring basketball coaches and personalities: Larry Street. The former Burnaby South grad, who played collegiately at Simon Fraser and has, for the past generation, coached the senior boys varsity at Courtenay’s G.P. Vanier Secondary, Street joins host Howard Tsumura to chat about his lifelong […]

Fraser Valley Cascades' guard Jordyn Sekhon has remained ready for his big opportunity at the U SPORTS level. Until the pandemic hit, many felt that breakthrough was going to happen in 2020-21. Now, the former W.J. Mouat grad is counting the days until next season tips off. (Photo by Dan Kinvig property of University of the Fraser Valley athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Boys Basketball University Men's Basketball

A Sunday Read: After making the biggest shot of his life, UFV Cascades’ guard Jordyn Sekhon reflects on the power of preparation!

It was the late, great John Wooden who once quipped: “When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.”Delivered a full half-century ago, in an era where catchphrases weren’t so immediately fated to become commercialized cliches, the wise words of the Wizard of Westwood have retained a dignity and a depth of meaning so instantly relevant […]

The historic original basketball court at North Delta Secondary School lives on in the lives of those it has touched. (Photo graphic by Gabriel Lynn property of Varsity Letters 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Boys Basketball

May the circle be unbroken: How North Delta’s original 1957 basketball court was rescued & re-purposed as a unifying symbol for Huskies old and new!

NORTH DELTA — Basketball’s centre-court circle.Within the dimensions of the sport’s time-honoured schematic, it’s always been the place where the narrative begins… that perfectly circular gathering point measuring a regulation 12 feet in diametre which never fails to welcome its two combatants to Act 1, Scene 1.And just like theatre’s most well-trodden stages, the passing […]

Fingers are crossed that high school basketball can make its comeback for the 2021-22 season, and with that, the return of the TBI at the LEC. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of Varsity Letters 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Boys Basketball High School Girls Basketball

Tsumura Basketball Invitational: Optimism rules as we set tentative Dec. 2021 dates for an LEC return! Here’s our list of 40 boys and girls teams!

LANGLEY — Hope springs eternal here with all of us behind the scenes at the Tsumura Basketball Invitational.While our annual two weeks of early-season ‘Welcome Back’ to the B.C. senior boys and girls basketball world was, of course, cancelled this past December due to the global pandemic, we here at the TBI have our fingers […]

Ty Rowell (left) of the Cal Baptist Lancers, and Fardaws Aimaq of the Utah Valley Wolverines, each had spectacular efforts to lead their respective teams to victories in NCAA Div. 1 Western Athletic Conference games played stateside on Friday. (Photos property of Cal Baptist Athletics and Utah Valley University Marketing 2020. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Boys Basketball

Rowell and Aimaq! B.C.’s one-two punch of ‘Ty and Daws’ each play starring roles Friday in the WAC as Cal Baptist, Utah Valley both get big W’s!

It was a Friday night in which B.C.’s best Div. 1 men’s basketball talent took a backseat to no one in the NCAA’s Western Athletic Conference.Point guard Ty Rowell keyed a game-changing 16-3 second-half run with nine of his 17 points, the Langley-Walnut Grove grad never leaving the floor on a night in which he […]

Sands Scorpions head coach Matt McKay (crouching) isn't able to coach up his teamm during timeout this season, but the North Delta-based bench boss is hosting a series of online basketball clinics featuring coaches from all over North America. (Photo by Paul Yates property of Vancouver Sports Pictures 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Boys Basketball University Men's Basketball

It’s a continental hoops cuisine! Matt McKay’s virtual Sands Basketball Clinics unite B.C. & North American coaches in the name of the game!

NORTH DELTA — They say that silence is deafening, and in perhaps the cruelest of ways, that was the auditory state most common among both high school basketball players and their coaches as each began 2021 by walking into gymnasiums normally teeming with the activity of a season in progress.“We all realized that last Wednesday […]

Steveston-London grad Fardaws Aimaq is a rebounding machine with a firm grip on his basketball future just seven games into his sophomore season with the Utah Valley Wolverines. (Photo by Jay Drowns property of Utah Valley University Marketing 2020. All Rights Reserved)
Feature University Men's Basketball

Fardaws Aimaq: From Steveston-London to the top of the NCAA D-1 rebounding charts at Utah Valley…is the NBA next for B.C.’s rising 6-foot-11 star?

Look up… look way up!Okay B.C. basketball fans, do you see that name right at the very tip-top of the list of the leading rebounders this season for all of NCAA Div. 1 men’s basketball?In case you were wondering just where the winding basketball roads had taken Fardaws Aimaq ever since the 6-foot-11 centre took […]

In February of 1952, Bill Russell (right, pictured in his USF days) came to B.C. with a touring California high school all-star team, playing teams like B.C. champion Duke of Connaught. Vancouver's John Oliver Secondary gym played host to one of the games. (Photo graphic by Gabriel Lynn property of VarsityLetters.ca 2020. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Boys Basketball University Men's Basketball

A SUNDAY READ: It’s no fable! In 1952, before his 11 NBA championship rings, a 17-year-old Bill Russell toured B.C. high schools and discovered his hoops identity!

Malcolm Reid had heard the story many, many basketball moons ago.Last week, the head coach of the Vernon Panthers’ senior boys basketball team recounted it to me, and just like the day he first heard it from a man named Dick Abbott, it almost sounded like a fable.Earlier this month, Abbott — the father-in-law of […]