R.A. McMath's Travis Hamberger (left), here being defended by Centennial's Leif Skelding at the 2018 B.C. Junior Varsity championship tournament, will lead his Wildcats into the 2020 TBI this coming December. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2020. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Boys Basketball

TBI Boys 2020: With a plethora of positivity and plenty of warm hoops karma, B.C.’s best accept invites for an early-season date at the LEC!

NORTH DELTA — Jesse Davis. Everett Swaim. Justin Sunga. Bobby Mabeny. KC Ibekwe. Ben Manns. Caleb Lyons. Rav Randhawa. Clay Kurtz. Karn Shergill. Rourke MacDonald. Travis Hamberger. Gyan Sandhu. Rhys Maestre. Milan John. Daniel Marcelo. Ekman Sohal. Arars Jahangiri. Jaydan Bains. Kyle Kong.

While our world remains virtual these days, that’s nonetheless a 20-man squad of rising Grade 11 and 12 talent which could hold its own anywhere on the continent.

And with all of our collective karma directed towards a safe-and-sound 2020-21 B.C. high school basketball season, it’s also a list of 20 of the finest (one player from each team) set to take part in the 2020 Tsumura Basketball Invitational Dec. 9-12 at the Langley Events Centre.

G.W. Graham’s AAA tourney MVP Clay Kurtz will bring his hard-nosed game back to the LEC this December as the senior leads the defending B.C. Triple-A champion Grizzlies. (Photo by Paul Yates property of Vancouver Sports Pictures 2020. All Rights Reserved)


(alphabetical order with preseason rank, tier)

Abbotsford Panthers (No. 2, AAAA)

A.R. MacNeill Ravens (Richmond) (No. 6, AAA)

Burnaby South Rebels (No. 1, AAAA)

Byrne Creek Bulldogs (Burnaby) (No. 8, AAA)

Centennial Centaurs (Coquitlam) (No. 10, AAAA)

Claremont Spartans (Victoria) (HM, AAAA)

Duchess Park Condors (Prince George) (No. 1, AAA)

Fleetwood Park Dragons (Surrey) (HM, AAAAA)

G.W. Graham Grizzlies (Chilliwack) (No. 7, AAA)

Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers (Surrey) (NR, AAAA)

Magee Lions (Vancouver) (No. 2, AAA)

R.A. McMath Wildcats (Richmond) (No. 3, AAA)

Sands Scorpions (North Delta) (NR, AAAA)

Sir Charles Tupper Tigers (Vancouver) (HM, AAA)

Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs (Vancouver) (HM, AAAA)

St. Patricks Celtics (Vancouver) (No. 4, AAA)

Tamanawis Wildcats (Surrey) (HM, AAAA)

Terry Fox Ravens (Port Coquitlam) (No. 8, AAAA)

Yale Lions (Abbotsford) (No. 6, AAAA)

Walnut Grove Gators (Langley) (HM, AAAA)

Byrne Creek’s Bobby Mabeny (left), in pursuit of  Terry Fox’s Cam Slaymaker,  will leads his Bulldogs at the 2020 TBI. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2018. All Rights Reserved)

The TBI has proudly sought to combine, over the past number of seasons, the best teams from B.C.’s two largest tiers (Triple- and Quad-A), yet beyond that, attempting to offer growth opportunities for young teams sitting just off the radar, as well as building programs who while not always provincially ranked, are set to reach their own version of a team zenith.

Put them all together, and you’ve got an eclectic but competitive batch of teams… from this coming season’s projected No. 1’s in defending B.C. Quad-A champ Burnaby South, and runner-up Triple-A Duchess Park of Prince George, to a Triple-A St. Patrick’s team from Vancouver ranked No. 4 in the preseason and set to be bolstered by its B.C. JV championship-winning team.

We’ve asked some of the province’s most consistent programs at the two tiers to return, and we’re delighted that teams like 2018 B.C. Quad-A champ Lord Tweedmuir of Surrey, PoCo’s Terry Fox Ravens, East Vancouver’s Sir Charles Tupper Tigers and Coquitlam’s Centennial Centaurs will be a part of the field.

Sir Winston Churchill’s Milan John (left), the younger brother of New York Giants’ tight end Rysen John, is one of a handful of rising Grade 11s expected to impact the roster of the SWC Bulldogs this coming December at TBI. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2020. All Rights Reserved)

Vancouver’s Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs are a young team on the rise, and its crosstown rivals, the Magee Lions, are looking to parlay a return to the provincial tourney in 2020 into a spot amongst B.C.’s best with a solid core of experienced rising seniors.

However you care to dissect the field, you will find a truly committed culture of excellence in each of our 20 invitees.

And while our apologies go out to those programs that we were unable to accommodate this season, our intention is to do our best in providing opportunities to other growing programs in future years.

Note that this will be our second season as a 20-team affair.

Closer to our actual tip-off date, we’ll release the official TBI 2020 boys draw.

Duchess Park’s Caleb Lyons will be among the best of the bluechip Class of 2021, and one of the first stops over his senior season will be at the LEC when the Condors come south to play at the Tsumura Basketball Invitational in December. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2019. All Rights Reserved)

All coaches have been made aware of the fact that eight of the 20 teams will be selected to begin play on Wednesday, Dec. 9, with the winners of those four Round 1 games moving into the Sweet 16 portion of the championship draw the next day.

We’re genuinely excited to welcome all of our participants.

Think positive, be safe, and see you all down the road for TBI 2020.

Howard Tsumura


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.


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