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 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 […]

John Oliver Jokers' Queenie Salazar can't fight back her tears of joy after the Grade 9 guard helped South Van's John Oliver Jokers to their first B.C. senior girls basketball championship tournament berth in 27 years last week in the school's own gym. (Photo by Wilson Wong 2020. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Girls Basketball

The Joy of John Oliver’s basketball Jokers: After 27 years, ‘perpetual underdogs’ have their day, punch tickets to B.C. Quad-A championships!

VANCOUVER — Before he can can even begin to express the joy these days that comes from being a John Oliver Joker, Pat Lee offers an apology to the curious reporter at the other end of his cel phone connection.