An Aldergrove father of four has spearheaded a revival of school basketball programs in this community.
After launching the Aldergrove Basketball Club last year interest and participation in the sport has blossomed and led to a revival of the high school varsity basketball program.
The all-free year-round program wraps up its first year this week, with four high school teams — Grade 8 Boys, Junior Boys, Junior Girls and Senior Boys — set to begin their season this coming week. Most importantly, the teams will all have full rosters to draw from, thanks to the developmental work of the Aldergrove Basketball Club.
Aaron Campbell, who played basketball at Aldergrove Secondary during the ‘90s when the sport was enjoying huge popularity here, couldn’t be more pleased. And he is now organizing a celebration at the high school that will also help raise funds for next year’s basketball program.
The first annual Basketball Fundraiser Night takes place this coming Saturday, Dec. 2 at the Aldergrove Secondary School gym. The event will feature two basketball games, with the Aldergrove Secondary students versus the staff playing at 6:30 p.m., followed by an Aldergrove Secondary alumni game at 8 p.m.
During the evening there will be a barbecue concession, 50/50 draws with multiple prizes, a silent auction and vendor tables set up by local business supporters of the club. Tickets are $5 each and will be sold at the door as well as via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
“We’ve already sold 200 tickets — a local business bought 200 tickets which I will be donating to kids at Shortreed and Parkside elementary schools — and some of our special guests will be Neil Brown (coach 1994-95), Fred Andrews (coach 1999), and players Randy Nohr, James Maksymiu and Jeremy Luypen,” said Campbell.
“It’s a celebration of our first year as well as Aldergrove Secondary’s 60th anniversary, and will raise funds for next year’s basketball program.”
In its inaugural year the Aldergrove Basketball Club has provided 70 open gym sessions at Aldergrove schools, with 200 hours of free basketball for 3,500 visits by players. Those are impressive numbers, especially considering there was nothing in structured basketball sessions in recent years.
Best of all, Campbell has stuck to his plan to keep it all free, so that anyone can participate whatever their financial circumstances might be.
“We’ve been able to provide new equipment, registration fees, jerseys, socks, etc., thanks to donors in the community. This way kids have been able to play basketball year-round, not just eight games in the school season, and this has improved their skills. We also have alumni drop in and this has helped provide mentorship for the kids.”
The club’s Junior Boys team is wrapping up their ABA season this weekend at the semi-finals and hoping for good results to qualify for the finals next weekend in Abbotsford.
Meanwhile the high school basketball season starts Monday, Nov. 27 (the Aldergrove Junior Boys first game is at home this Monday, Nov. 27, 3:30 p.m. versus Langley Secondary’s team). The Junior boys are practicing Monday to Thursday, 7:15 a.m. led by head coach Ryk Pichie with Campbell serving as an assistant coach.
Then when the high school season wraps up the ABA begins its new season, from April to November 2018.
The club also books the high school gym Mondays to Thursdays, 7:15 to 8:15 a.m., for practices.
“Kids are getting up at 6 a.m. so they can practice, and going to bed at 8 p.m. because they’re tired — parents are so pleased to see their kids having a healthy lifestyle and having fun while they’re at it,” said Campbell.
The club has a Facebook page and Campbell can also be reached at 604-401-6257.