Twenty years after leading SMUS to the B.C. AAA title, Canadian sports icon Steve Nash holds court once again, this time with 24 others on the list of the 25 greatest players in the B.C. championship tournament history. (Photos property of B.C High School Boys Basketball Association 2020. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Boys Basketball

Wow, the ultimate GOAT list! The B.C. Boys Championship Tournament’s 25 Greatest High School Basketball Players of All Time!

LANGLEY — Welcome to the list to top all lists in the world of B.C. boys high school basketball. 

With the 75th birthday of the heralded classic set to tip off Wednesday, a special committee struck by the B.C. High School Boys Basketball Association to celebrate its diamond anniversary has produced its list of the B.C. Championship Tournament’s 25 Greatest Players of All Time.

“It was a very difficult task… very challenging,” admitted 75th anniversary committee chairman Paul Eberhardt, a former BCHSBBA president.

“But at the same time, it was a lot of fun,” continued Eberhardt of the list presented below in alphabetical order. “We went over dozens and dozens and dozens of names, and the common theme to it all was ‘How can we not include him?’”

Robert Sacre of the Handsworth Royals, the 2006 AAA MVP, is part of the BCHSBBA’s Top 25 all-time list. (Photos property of B.C High School Boys Basketball Association 2020. All Rights Reserved)

The selection committee abided by the following guidelines in their selection:

1 Overall multiple B.C. tournament success and performance (multiple all-star teams and/or MVP’s, as well as team success).

2 Dominant individual tournament success and performance.

3 Continued excellence in basketball after his high school career.

Centennial’s Lars Hansen (right) was perhaps the single most dominant player of his generation and take his rightful place on the all-time 75th anniversary 25 greatest players list. (Photos property of B.C High School Boys Basketball Association 2020. All Rights Reserved)

Clearly, on a list that begins with 1954 grads Don Steen of Burnaby South and John Kootnekoff of Mission, and extends forward to Jadon Cohee of 2013’s Walnut Grove Gators, the list is expansive.

Centennial’s Lars Hansen (1972), St. Michaels University School’s Steve Nash (1992), Handsworth’s Robert Sacre (2006) and South Kamloops’ Kelly Olynyk (2009) comprise the list’s exclusive NBA section.

No school had more than one player included on the list with the exception of the Richmond Colts who had three in Alan Tait (1980, Oregon State), Ron Putzi (1988, New Mexico State) and Pasha Bains (1998, Clemson, Simon Fraser, UBC).

Richmond’s Ron Putzi dunks during the 1988 championships. (Photos property of B.C High School Boys Basketball Association 2020. All Rights Reserved)

“It was an honour for our committee to make these selections,” said Eberhardt, “but we also felt pressure because there were so many great players, that no matter who you picked, you were going to be missing somebody.”

THE BCHSBBA TOP 25 PLAYERS OF ALL-TIME

(in alphabetical order)

Pasha Bains (Richmond 1998)

Sandy Bisaro (Kitsilano 1997)

Paul Buday (Duke of Connaught 1952)

Jadon Cohee (Walnut Grove 2013)

Greg De Vries (L.V. Rogers 1991)

Willie Galick (Cedar 2005)

Brendan Graves (Lambrick Park 1991)

Lars Hansen (Centennial 1972)

Eric Hinrichsen (Carihi 1993)

Gerald Kazanowski (Nanaimo 1978)

Ken Kirzinger (Oak Bay 1978)

John Kootnekoff (Mission 1954)

Tyrell Mara (White Rock Christian Academy 2005)

Tony McCrory (Ladysmith 1995)

Steve Nash (St. Michaels University School 1992)

Randy Nohr (Aldergrove 1995)

John Olsen (Prince Rupert 1962)

Kelly Olynyk (South Kamloops 2009)

Ron Putzi (Richmond 1988)

Rob Sacre (Handsworth 2007)

Don Steen (Burnaby South 1954)

Ed Suderman (MEI 1963)

Alan Tait (Richmond 1980)

Ron Thorsen (Prince George 1967)

Brent Watson (Magee 1961)

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.

29 thoughts on “Wow, the ultimate GOAT list! The B.C. Boys Championship Tournament’s 25 Greatest High School Basketball Players of All Time!

  1. Wow committee must be full of 80 and 90 year-olds. Leaving Levon Kendall, Kyle Wilson, Chad Johnstone and Miguel Tomley off this list is a joke is insane.

  2. As so well stated by Paul Eberhardt:
    “It was an honour for our committee to make these selections,” said Eberhardt, “but we also felt pressure because there were so many great players, that no matter who you picked, you were going to be missing somebody.
    An extremely difficult process to go through with 75 yrs of glorious history and amazing players to choose from. I commend the committee for a job well done! Should provide much discussion which is the fun of it all!
    Stu Graham
    Basketball BC President

  3. Howard Kelsey should probably have been on that list. MVP in 1975 and broke Lars Hanson’s tournament scoring record. Then 10+ years with the National team.

  4. Hi Howars, ‘Old’ Hugh MacKinnon here. Billy Robinson Chemanius 1967, Jim Chapman David Thompson 1968. Two tremendous all round athletes. Robinson’s post high school (SFU, then leads Waterloo to National C.I.A.U. championship, then international and CANADIAN Olympic team success may be unparalleled. Chapman lost all his ’67 starters but leads David Thompson singlehandedly back to the ’68 Finals. pro baseball career followed!

  5. Is it reasonable to choose the best high school player based on the success that person had after leaving high school?

  6. Great list. Well done and clearly some will be left off that “could have” made the list. A few that come to mind for me are Levon Kendall, Jordie McTavish, Prentice Lenz & Howard Kelsey. All 4 had amazing BC High School Careers and then went on to have exceptional careers after HS.
    Nice list though and brings back some memories. Personally I miss the Agrodome

  7. Thanks for all the support and ‘love’ to those that voted for us.
    It does specify ‘multiple tournament years’ in the criteria.
    A ‘Top 75’ players All-time, regardless of the number of BCHSBBA tournaments one participated in is likely a much more recommendable way to go for our 75 th Anniversary.
    I have e-forwarded a list of those that should be seriously considered in any Top 75 All-Time selections.
    Cheers, Howard.

    1. Hmmmm pretty good. Naw I’m joking. Man a lot of guys I looked upto got a slap in the face with these pics Congrats to all 25. Well deserved forsure. The judges should hav looked a liiiiiiiiiitle further. If they going by “highschool” BC players Y’all got this backwards. Where mavis ? ……. some guys here because they did better after highschool. 😎🤫🤫🤫🤫🤫🤫🤫🤫 Good ol B.C. basketball 🤥

    2. Pretty difficult to please everybody when you take a 74 year history and limit it to 25 players.
      Also, you should look only at the best players when they were playing high school ball, not after they had left high school.Howard Kelsey should have made the list “hands down”!

  8. Not one Player from Vancouver College. Neil/David/Paul/Graham Williscroft. John Dumont. Gerald Cole. Travesty

    1. Peerless, I just came on to mention Jordie McTavish. Agrodome was the best.

      Your teammate Graeme Williscroft was a great player and a freakish athlete. Im sure his Dad could easily be on this list as a Provincial Champion and MVP at Vancouver College.

      There was also the player at WRC.

      You were a great player yourself and we played with some great players at VC and that was a great rivalry against Richmond High.

    2. Let’s Go Irish!

      Graham Williscroft is one of the best athletes I’ve ever seen in any sport, any level.
      I was a year younger at VC. I have a volume of memories of him flying overhead and jamming on everyone. His Dad Neil is in the entrance hallway at VC and everyone says his brothers David and Paul were amazing as well. Dumont and Cole are also legends at Vancouver College.

      Not to compare against our arch rival, but for those of us growing up in Richmond at the time, Williscroft was the freakiest athlete of them all in a strong year (1980 birth year), which also included Paris Jackson (later of the BC Lions).

      Great memories and some intense matchups between the two schools with a lot of great players from Richmond on both teams.

    1. I appreciate it, but no I shouldn’t. Too many guys that could do what I did, but better. At one point in my life it would have bothered me, but I’m a happy old guy cool with things. Thank you though.

  9. 75 years is too deep to not have at least a minimum of 5 years National Team or Pro Experience to be on this list… Phil Scrubb, Tommy Scrubb, Levon Kendall, Mark Trasolini, Howard Kelsey.. No disrespect but if they off the list with the money they have made hooping.. sheesh! And we got guys on the list who never made any money off their skill. Interesting..

  10. Q) Who actually sits on chairman, Paul Eberhardt’s selection committee?

    Why?

    Thus far these selections have been a clear mockery and incomprehensible travesty to the integrity of provincial tournament. It’s not only an extremely poor reflection on the BCHSBAA, but equally towards the selection committee. There cannot be bias, unawareness, politics, etc… to properly reflect the 75th Anniversary.

    By this, it’s obvious (to most), that glaring Team Canada and great players have unfortunately been omitted, namely:

    Levon Kendall – NT
    Billy Robinson – Olympics – NT
    Derek Sankey Olympics ‘76
    Alex Devlin – Olympics ‘76
    Kelly Dukeshire – FISU Gold
    Phil Scrubb – NT
    Thomas Scrubb – NT
    Andrew Mavis – Olympics – NT
    Greg Wiltjer – NT
    JD Jackson – NT
    Spencer McKay – NT
    Howard Kelsey NT
    Mike Jackel – NT
    Andrew Steinfeld – NT
    Jordie McTavish – NT
    Al Kristmanson – NT
    Ken McKenzie NT
    Phil Scrubb – NT
    Thomas Scrubb – NT
    Cord Clemens – NT
    Tom Johnson – NT
    Jauquin Bennet-Boire
    Chad Johnstone
    Chad Clifford
    Bob Burrows
    Gerald Cole
    John Dumont
    Marek Klassen
    Matt Letkeman
    Geoff McKay
    Bob Molinski
    Dave Morgan
    Connor Morgan
    Emmerson Murray
    Rob Parris
    John Randa
    Miguel Tomley
    Marc Trasolini
    Dave Way
    Neil Williscroft
    Kyle Wilson
    Jauquin Bennet-Boire
    Jacob Doerksen
    Joel Friesen
    Joey Haywood.
    Craig Higgins.
    Louis Johnson

    Respectfully,

    A. Fan

  11. Aaron Point 6th place finish tourney mvp 1984 still holds the ubc single game rebound record
    Howard Kelsey?
    JD Jackson?
    John Randa?
    Not the best list no way you could please everyone

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