BCSD Grizzlies Basketball Team Play Western States Basketball Classic
This past January, the BCSD Grizzlies spent a challenging three days testing their skills against five American boys basketball teams. Representing the BC School for the Deaf, the boys high school basketball team was invited to compete at Tucson, Arizona’s School for the Deaf and Blind where the 2016 Western States Basketball Classic (WSBC) was held January 28 – 30.
In addition to the BC Grizzlies, five American boys teams and four American girls teams came from schools for the Deaf in Oregon, Phoenix, Tucson, Utah and Washington.
WSBC began in 1977 and was first hosted by the California School for the Deaf Fremont with only a boys tournament. New Mexico School for the Deaf was the first tournament champion. The tournament has had rotating hosts since it began with Arizona’s School hosting in 1985, 1993, 2003, 2013 and again this year.
The WSBC called this competition “a true Deaf tournament” because Deaf referees from around the United States came to Tucson for the Basketball Classic and all timers and scorekeepers were Deaf.
The BCSD Grizzlies’ first game was early on the Thursday morning of January 28. Battling against Washington School for the Deaf, the Grizzlies were defeated 50 – 11. In their second game on the same day, the Grizzlies lost to Utah School for the Deaf with a tighter score of 53 – 37.
Day two of the Basketball Classic saw the Grizzlies with a late game start at 5:30 pm against the tournament host, Arizona School for the Deaf. The game ended with Arizona winning 51 – 16. The Grizzlies fared no better in their final game on January 30, losing to Oregon School for the Deaf, with a final score of 40 – 29.
The BCSD Grizzlies may have been shut out of a win during the tournament, but they were proud to represent Canada in an otherwise all-American competition. The memory of the challenge of the games and the friendships made will go down in the Grizzlies’ history books.
BC Deaf Sports Federation wishes to acknowledge Hamber Foundation and BC School for the Deaf for their support of the Grizzlies team’s trip to Arizona.