City high-school basketball organizers are on the rebound this year following the loss of the AA provincial championships.
The Tournament Capital hosted the provincial championships for boys and girls for 15 years, losing out this year to the Lower Mainland. The reasons include a desire by the majority of schools to stay closer to home as well as changes in the ranking structure with creation of a new AAAA level (none of Kamloops’ high schools are in the largest category).
To compensate for the loss of the AA championships, more emphasis is being placed on the Fulton Cup — the city championship.
Unlike the structure of the larger provincial league, the city championship throws most of the schools together, from the biggest — South Kamloops secondary — to the smallest — St. Ann’s. The tiers include A, AA and AAA, as well as a second tier of AAA.
It’s a structure that is reminiscent of the glory days of high school basketball in the heartland of Indiana, where the smallest schools had the smallest hope — and the most outlandish dreams — of winning the state championship.
Centre stage is host venue TCC, a welcome change from the dark gyms where many players are used to competing.
Fulton Cup was also expanded in the past several years to include a junior division.
Another bonus is that 14 bursaries and another 14 entries to the Red Devils camp will be given out to competing players.
“Anyone can win this thing,” Sa-Hali’s Arjun Dhaliwal told The Daily News.
Even if some schools have a better chance due to their larger numbers, upsets are always possible — making for an exciting mix.
We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by publisher Tim Shoults, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.