A number of sports organizations are joining forces to bring a multi-day provincial basketball event to the Lower Mainland in June.
Fraser Valley Bandits announced Thursday that it is partnering with Canada Basketball and Basketball BC to launch the inaugural BC Basketball Festival to Langley Events Centre (LEC) from June 13 to 19.
"BC’s pro 🏀 team is throwing a huge basketball celebration in Langley this June, and players and fans of all ages are invited to join the action."@IamDanielChai for @ListedVan – @DailyHiveVan: https://t.co/5j4bKaiozH
— Fraser Valley Bandits (@FVBandits) April 1, 2022
It is a youth and adult basketball event that will feature a variety of activities for athletes, fans, and teams to enjoy, including multiple divisions of boys and girls, as well as adult basketball competition, 3×3, wheelchair basketball workshops and more.
Two key additional fixtures adding to the festival experience are a partnership between the Bandits and the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council (ISPARC), as well as the Basketball BC Provincial Club Championships for female and male youth ages 14 to 17.
Adding further to the tournament atmosphere is the Junior Bandits Classic, for boys and girls within the age categories of under-10 to under-13. More details regarding the collaboration between the Bandits and ISPARC, as well as registration details regarding Club Championships and the Junior Bandits Classic, are expected to be announced later this spring.
The multi-day experience will draw teams and fans from across the province for one of the largest basketball events of the summer, which will be punctuated by a Bandits home game versus the Scarborough Shooting Stars on June 18.
“Thank you to all of the partners for creating this opportunity to showcase the power of participation. Sport literally saves lives and lifts communities,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport for the Province of British Columbia.
“Every time we make space for athletes to achieve their dreams, we are empowering them to thrive,” Mark added.
Players, teams, and coaches interested in learning more about the BC Basketball Festival are encouraged to register their interest by filling out a link in order to receive communications regarding the event.
Alternately, further details can be found at https://www.thebandits.ca/festival.
“It is an honour to align with a group of like-minded partners who are focused on creating an annual festival that not only celebrates the past, present and future of basketball in British Columbia, but also champions core values of inclusion, accessibility and competition,” said Bandits president Dylan Kular.
“We are excited to welcome teams, clubs and coaches from across the province to our home at LEC and to collaborate with our supporting partners to create a memorable event that we can build on in future years.”
“The BC Basketball Festival will be a tremendous opportunity for fans of all ages to get back on the court and enjoy the game we all love,” said Michael Bartlett, president and CEO of Canada Basketball.
“British Columbia has a rich basketball history and Levon is on a long list of players from the province who have made a significant contribution to our national team programs over the years. On behalf of Canada Basketball, I would like to extend my appreciation to the years Levon spent proudly representing Canada and wish him all the best in the next stage of his career.”
In addition to uniting BC’s basketball community, the goal of the festival is to spotlight the rising popularity of the sport of 3×3 basketball, as well as the importance of developing coaches and officials.
Last summer, Basketball BC and the Bandits aligned to host the Summer Slam 3×3 tournament for under-13, under-15 and under-18 boys and girls teams, as well as an adult division.
The BC Basketball Festival builds upon the precedent set by the Summer Slam, which hosted more than 80 teams in 2021.
The Bandits opens its season on the road on Wednesday, May 25 against the Ottawa BlackJacks. Following a three-game road swing to open the year, the Bandits will make their debut at LEC against the Saskatchewan Rattlers on Saturday, June 4.
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