Five hour drives for practice? All in a Cariboo day’s work

Vaughn Mueller and his squad are at a serious disadvantage at the 2012 BC Summer Games.

Vaughn Mueller and his squad are at a serious disadvantage at the 2012 BC Summer Games.

The head coach for the Cariboo-North East boys basketball team has had to deal with some serious travel pains in preparation for the Games.

With the Cariboo-North East Zone 8 region spanning from 100 Mile House to Fort Nelson, there is a large gap between some players and the gym they practice at.

His roster can be broken down into players from three different locations – Vanderhoof, Prince George and Quesnel.

The team prepared for the games by practicing in Vanderhoof, which is an hour drive from Prince George, and a two-and-a-half hour drive from Quesnel.

“I think it comes down to if you want to do it, if you’re really committed to it, you’ll do it,” Mueller said.

Mueller comments on coaching his two players from Quesnel, saying that it isn’t easy travelling five hours back-and-forth from practice, but the boys have stayed motivated.

Cole Einseale has given up a lot of time for basketball. The 13-year-old from Quesnel spends his school lunch hours in the gym playing basketball and his evenings finishing his homework.

He carpools with a teammate to and from practice to take the stress off of their parents, who will then not have to worry about driving them to Vanderhoof and back.

“I really like basketball a lot and I want to be a leader on the court,” Einseale said.

Einseale, who began playing organized basketball at the age of nine, enjoys the sport so much that he decided to leave his position playing rep soccer to make more time to improve his basketball skills.

“I was quite impressed by them. Quite often you will see that once you get into the season, you notice that [travelling] weighs on them,” Mueller said. “They are always the first ones there.”