Miguel Tomley (right) is still hoping to play for the Tamanawis Wildcats this season. (Howard Tsumura photo, VarsityLetters.ca)
Feature High School Boys Basketball

Tomley returns to Tammy, still hoping to play

SURREY — One of the most talented players to grace the B.C. high school hardcourts since Steve Nash departed in 1992 is back in his hometown.

However Miguel Tomley, the Grade 11 point guard extraordinaire from Surrey’s Tamanawis Secondary who played a large portion of the current campaign with Ontario’s Orangeville Prep before returning home nine days ago, may not get the chance to suit up again for his hometown Wildcats.

B.C. School Sports has denied his appeal for eligibility on two occasions based on its contention that he has already completed one full season of play.

Section 3, D.2.1.1 in the BCSS eligibility rules states “an individual student-athlete is only eligible to compete in one (1) thirteen (13) week sanctioned season of play per sport in each school year.”

There is, however, some contention as to whether Orangeville Prep’s team is a sanctioned school, or a basketball academy.

Tomley, who spoke with VarsityLetters.ca on Thursday evening following a workout at the Richmond Oval, says he remains hopeful that the dialogue between both his school and BCSS can continue in a diligent and constructive manner.

“In the most respectful way possible I am hopeful that this process can continue,” Tomley said.

In outlining the reasons for his departure from Orangeville, Tomley said the No. 1 reason he elected to come back home before the end of his season in Ontario was that his mom Alisha had just given birth to a baby girl, Maliyah, now two weeks old.

“At the end of the day, I wasn’t first looking at whether I would be able to play or not (at Tamanawis),” Tomley said. “I just had to be there for my mom and my family.

“My mom is a single mom, and she has done a lot for me and my little brother (Grade 6 Kevin), so I had to come home and support her.”

While Tomley continues to remain hopeful that he will be able to rejoin his teammates on the basketball team at Tamanawis this season, he says he has also thought long and hard about next season, with his plans to suit up for the Wildcats in his senior year.

“I have been thinking about it and I definitely want to play my senior year at Tammy and it’s because I want my mom to be able to see me for another year before she has to watch me on TV (college) or on a computer screen (prep school).”

Tomley said he grew up a lot over his time back east.

“I’m a big momma’s boy and leaving her and my brother was tough, but I learned a lot about life. I learned to be a man.”

Walnut Grove senior forward Jake Cowley also left to begin the current season at Orangeville Prep but returned before the current B.C. high school season started.

BCSS granted him eligibility for the campaign on the eve of the season and he’s helped the Gators to a No. 1 spot in the VarsityLetters.ca Quad-A rankings.

Tomley had played at Tamanawis for his entire high school career.

Last season, he was the driving force in leading them all the way to the championship final of the Telus B.C. senior boys Quad-A championships where the Wildcats lost to the powerhouse Kelowna Owls.

Tamanawis is now entering its Fraser Valley league playoffs.

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