Trinity Western freshman guard Shemaiah Abatayo was forced to hit the court running this season after six straight months of COVID lockdown in the Philippines kept her out of B.C. from March through August. (Photo by Mark Janzen property of Trinity Western athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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Shemaiah Abatayo: As Trinity Western’s ‘rookie’ guard preps for a hopeful 2021-22 re-start, she dishes on six months of COVID-forced lockdown in the Philippines!

LANGLEY — Shemaiah Abatayo, like the rest of Canada’s hard-luck Class of 2020 university freshmen recruits, will get a second chance to make a rookie impression when U Sports basketball courts flash their figurative green lights this coming fall.Nothing could have beaten the on-court experience that a 2020-21 Canada West season would have provided Abatayo […]

Jayden White of the Yale Lions has overcome the odds to rebound from injury and find a place next season at the University of Alberta. In Edmonton, she will play hoops, major in education and continue her studies in American Sign Language. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of Varsity Letters 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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Jayden White: Special signs along the way speak the truth of compassion, tenacity Yale Lions forward carries to Alberta Pandas!

ABBOTSFORD — Ask Jayden White what it means for her to have walked the walk through a star-crossed high school basketball career, and she’ll show you this photo of the inside of a Gatorade bottle cap containing the bone chips surgeons extricated from her knee back in 10th grade.“The biggest one is the size of […]

It's been tough for high school recruits in the Class of 2021 to find places on college and university teams, yet Brookswood's Quinn Jasper and Harrison Robinson of Lord Byng have landed with Douglas College and Langara respectively. (Photos property of Howard Tsumura and Wilson Wong 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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“They need to be really persistent…” B.C. high school Class of 2021 grads in tough to find spots on crowded university & college rosters!

VANCOUVER — What’s the toughest challenge for a talented B.C. high school basketball player looking to continue his or her career as a student-athlete this coming season at the college or university level?How about simply finding a place to play?Student-athletes from B.C.’s hard-luck Class of 2021 have not only lost their entire senior season of […]

The Tessa Beauchamp Foundation has been aided in its fundraising efforts by the WLA's Langley Thunder. Pictured at a fund-raising event are (left to right) Amy Beauchamp, Caitlin Nagel née McNaughton, Cecile Dadson née Ehman and Steve Beauchamp. McNaughton and Dadson each played basketball at Holy Cross with Tessa Beauchamp. (Photo by Garrett James property of Langley Evens Centre 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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Adversity’s award: Why the Tessa Beauchamp Scholarships mean so much more to B.C. high school’s courageous Class of 2021!

SURREY — For almost a decade, it has distinguished itself as a memorial scholarship by asking its many Grade 12 student applicants to ponder a question so deeply understood by its namesake.And when you very fittingly digest that same question these days, over the final weeks of the most challenging of school years, it’s hard […]

G.W. Graham's 6-foot-2 forward Julia Tuchscherer (left) will graduate a year ahead of schedule and join her dad Al and older sister Deanna with the Fraser Valley Cascades next season. (Photo by Wilson Wong property of Wilson Wong photography 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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Post-marked UFV: How GWG Grizzlies’ Grade 11 post Julia Tuchscherer will pivot into the paint with U Sports’ Cascades next season!

ABBOTSFORD — For about as long as Julia Tuchscherer can remember, she’s had a knack for making all of the numbers add up.She’s even done it in these challenging times, heading down the home stretch of her Grade 11 year at Chilliwack’s G.W. Graham Secondary with a 4.0 grade point average within a core of […]

Sir Winston Churchill's Marah Dykstra will help lead her team as one of the new additions to the 20-team field at the 2021 Tsumura Basketball Invitational at the Langley Events Centre. (Photo by Wilson Wong property of Wilson Wong 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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Tsumura Basketball Invitational: Churchill, Seaquam, SMUS join girls draw as boys, girls 40-team field now official for December 2021!

LANGLEY — We are thrilled with the 40 teams who have now finalized their participation in this coming December’s 2021 boys and girls Tsumura Basketball Invitationals at the Langley Events Centre.(The full list of finalized teams is included at the bottom of this story)Yet what has us even more excited is the response we have […]

Anthony Luyken and his daughter Aieisha. (Photo by Dan Kinvig property of UFV athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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The Luyken Legacy: For UFV’s father-daughter duo of Anthony & Aieisha, building community through basketball is a lifelong calling!

ABBOTSFORD — Anthony and Aieisha Luyken are a father and daughter with a most special tie to the sport of basketball.Today, Varsity Letters is happy to help share, through the efforts of one of our founding partners, the Fraser Valley Cascades, the story of their incredible, life-defining love affair with the sport and its impact […]

Sage Stobbart has carved out her niche as one of the top defenders in the Big West Conference. (Photo by Mark Honbo property of UC Davis athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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Sage Stobbart: Seycove’s former B.C. AA MVP turns her shot-blocking/three-point shooting skills into a sweet science with D1 UC Davis Aggies!

As an environmental sciences major at UC Davis, Sage Stobbart is gaining an ecological understanding that makes her feel more at home than ever in the great outdoors.Yet ask the redshirt junior forward about the other side of her life as a student-athlete, that of the agile and versatile 6-foot-3 junior forward with the Aggies’ […]

Walnut Grove's Kiera Pemberton glides through the paint against Duncan's Cowichan Thunderbirds during 2019 B.C. Quad-A tournament at the LEC. (Photo by Dan Kinvig property of University of the Fraser Valley athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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15 Players to Watch in 2021-22: Meet Quad’s A’s blue-chip stars, a crop of (mostly) well-seasoned rising seniors with the itch to play!

LANGLEY — Today, we wrap up a week of looking ahead to next season with 15 B.C. Quad-A senior girls basketball players to watch for the 2021-22 season.The list was prepared by the B.C. Secondary Schools Girls Basketball Association. Varsity Letters did not take part in the player selection.QUAD AKIERRA BLUNDELLKIERRA BLUNDELLSchool: Brookswood (Langley)In 2021-22: […]

Kalie Saari (left) and Jayse Matonovich of Kamloops' Sa-Hali Sabres welcome one and all to the debut of the 15 Players to Watch next season in B.C. senior girls AAA basketball. (Photo by Jody Vosper property of Sa-Hali Secondary athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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15 Players to Watch in 2021-22: B.C. girls Triple-A basketball has its greatest strengths centred around its Class of 2023 and beyond!

LANGLEY — From an organic standpoint, it’s B.C. high school girls basketball’s most unique tier. Very quickly, however, it’s beginning to gain its own identity.With the recent switch to a four-tiered province, the former top tier — AAA — has become a melting pot of sorts, a new home with both holdover programs and those […]