Summer basketball takes flight in Oak Bay, Saanich

More than 40 teams participated in a summer tournament at Oak Bay High and St. Margaret’s School in Saanich. (Courtesy Flight Basketball)More than 40 teams participated in a summer tournament at Oak Bay High and St. Margaret’s School in Saanich. (Courtesy Flight Basketball)
More than 40 teams participated in a summer tournament at Oak Bay High and St. Margaret’s School in Saanich. (Courtesy Flight Basketball)More than 40 teams participated in a summer tournament at Oak Bay High and St. Margaret’s School in Saanich. (Courtesy Flight Basketball)
More than 40 teams participated in a summer tournament at Oak Bay High and St. Margaret’s School in Saanich. (Courtesy Flight Basketball)More than 40 teams participated in a summer tournament at Oak Bay High and St. Margaret’s School in Saanich. (Courtesy Flight Basketball)
More than 40 teams participated in a summer tournament at Oak Bay High and St. Margaret’s School in Saanich. (Courtesy Flight Basketball)More than 40 teams participated in a summer tournament at Oak Bay High and St. Margaret’s School in Saanich. (Courtesy Flight Basketball)
More than 40 teams participated in a summer tournament at Oak Bay High and St. Margaret’s School in Saanich. (Courtesy Flight Basketball)More than 40 teams participated in a summer tournament at Oak Bay High and St. Margaret’s School in Saanich. (Courtesy Flight Basketball)
More than 40 teams participated in a summer tournament at Oak Bay High and St. Margaret’s School in Saanich. (Courtesy Flight Basketball)More than 40 teams participated in a summer tournament at Oak Bay High and St. Margaret’s School in Saanich. (Courtesy Flight Basketball)

Six years ago a crew of local youngsters wanted to play some basketball outside of school.

The group of kids at St. Michaels University School formed a team, went out on a couple of club basketball trips – they returned feeling defeated – and committed to put in the time to improve.

That was the beginning of Flight Basketball, said general manager Michael Acheampong.

Today Flight offers skills development for young athletes in Grades 1 through 12.

“It grew from word of mouth and by the time we knew it, we had a girls team then the next year two teams,” said Acheampong, who played for the University of Victoria Vikes nearly a decade ago.

Every year the program has grown and even during the most stringent COVID-19 restrictions, they used Zoom to run ball handling and yoga sessions. Summer came with camps, and an ease on restrictions allowed some outdoor games and a tournament hosted at Oak Bay High and St. Margaret’s School.

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More than 40 teams came from as far as the Lower Mainland – Flight had six boys teams an six girls teams in the tourney.

“It’s nice to have a travel team. Flight was able to get out for a one day-tournament (at Langley Event Centre) … That was fun for the kids, just to travel again and have the camaraderie,” Acheampong said.

This year, as the original group of sixth-graders head toward high school graduation, Flight plans to run year-round sessions alongside its usual weekend skills academies.

“We thought it would be nice to have another program outside of their school team to play on and do trips,” Acheampong said. The club recently held tryouts for fall ball.

Visit flightbasketball.ca for more.

c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca


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