OK, so it may not have been The Phantom of the Opera leaving Broadway. Or, Ol' Blue Eyes checking out of Vegas.
But 15 years is a heckuva run.
When Brian Peters, the co-chair of the provincial AA high school basketball championships, bade farewell to the teams and fans who had hung around the TCC for the award presentations on Saturday evening, a curtain came down on a proud part of our city's sporting history.
For 15 years, the AA championships came to Kamloops and for 15 years some of the best student-athletes in B.C. put on quite a show.
Jack Buckham, an iconic figure on our high school scene, had a vision back in the day and it turned into a show that would arrive just as winter was turning into spring, first in what was then Riverside Coliseum. In recent years, the event had been centred in the TCC, a facility that is perfect for something like this.
Local organizers, led by Peters and Lindsey Karpluk, had expressed a desire to keep the AA tournaments here at least through 2016, but other people have a different vision. Instead of a three-tiered high school athletic system (A, AA, AAA), they see a fourth tier.
While hardly a new idea, it gradually has gained traction and now seems to have reached the mountaintop. There will be a news conference Wednesday at the Langley Events Centre at which it is expected some light will be shed on the future. But one thing is certain - the AA tournaments won't be coming back to Kamloops.
And that's a darn shame! It also will be a shame if, as expected, the girls and boys tournaments are split up and held at different times or at different venues.
Because it is an amazing feeling to sit and watch an awards presentation at this event. With most of the competing teams seated on the gym floor on which they had shed so much sweat and tears, the awards are handed out amid heartfelt applause and standing ovations.
As an added touch, parents of the tournament MVPs - in this instance, Michelle Bos of the Surrey-Holy Cross Crusaders and Drew Schulz of the Kelowna Christian Knights - are invited down to the trophy table. Mom gets flowers, Dad gets handshakes and their athlete gets an armload of swag.
It's a great touch to a marvellous event.
On this night, Holy Cross won the girls' title, beating the Vernon Panthers, 69-37. While this one was over early on the scoreboard, it was something to watch how hard the girls played right to the buzzer. There was a 34-point spread and 3:30 to play when Vernon's Megan Johnston drove to the basket, only to have Nicole Vander Helm of the Crusaders impede her progress. Both girls went down hard, quickly got back to their feet, and away they went.
While the outcome was a forgone conclusion, it was heart-warming to watch the Vernon coaching staff put all five of its seniors on the floor to finish the game.
The boys game featured the nicknameless Brentwood College, from Mill Bay on Vancouver Island, against Kelowna Christian.
Nickname or not, Brentwood started with some attitude, as Shalev Sharabi drained a trey on its first shot. It wasn't long before the scoreboard read 7-0 and Knights head coach Eva Linttell was using a timeout.
Nerves were very much in evidence in the first quarter, which ended with Brentwood ahead, 11-6.
However, the Knights tied it on an Eric Langlois field goal and Brentwood called time. Coming out of the timeout, Schulz, the best player on the floor, drove to the hoop and laid the ball in for a 16-14 lead.
That was it for Brentwood, which chased the rest of the game. Jordan Charles, its 6-foot-5 all-star, put up 20 points, but Brentwood simply couldn't get the ball to him often enough.
Schulz, a 6-foot-1 guard who finished with 17 points, punctuated the victory with a rousing third-quarter dunk that gave his guys a 39-31 lead and sent a surge of electricity through the crowd.
Later, as Schulz was accepting the MVP accolades, one spectator asked a young woman, "Who is that?"
The response: "That's the one who dunked."
With apologies to the hulks of baseball, chicks dig dunks, too.
Just like Kamloops dug the AA provincials for 15 years.
But now it's time to say goodbye. And it isn't easy.
Because it really has been fun to watch these teenagers compete. It's wonderful to see the emotion in their games and the respect they have for each other and the game they play.
But after a 15-year run the curtain has fallen.
Turn out the lights. It's over.
(Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Daily News. He is at firstname.lastname@example.org.)