Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by John Tonin

SHOWING THEIR SKILLS – Aspiring Team Yukon basketball players scrimmage during the 2020 Arctic Winter Games tryouts on Saturday at Porter Creek Secondary School.

Basketball holds their 2020 AWG tryout

The 2020 Arctic Winter Games are on the horizon.

By John Tonin on November 6, 2019

The 2020 Arctic Winter Games are on the horizon. On the weekend, the trials began for several sports. For the upcoming Games, athletes can try out for 21 different sports and Team Yukon’s cultural contingent.

At Porter Creek Secondary School on both Saturday and Sunday, the boys’ basketball tryouts were held. A large number of athletes took a crack at making the team. Basketball will be carrying 10 athletes.

“We had about 44 kids total, then a few more the next day,” said coach Tim Brady. “It was a big turnout. I wasn’t sure what to expect, maybe 20 or so and we doubled that.”

Brady believes that the large turnout for the tryout was a good reflection of the growth of the sport and the connection the territories coaches have with the players.

It was a wide range of age groups on the weekend. Some of the athletes were in Grade 8 while others were out of high school. Brady said he was happy to see the young players come out.

“I gave the younger players a real opportunity to participate in a selection process,” said Brady. “They will have a better idea in two years when they are older. There is a lot of value in just being there.”

Once the players had completed their warm-ups of sprints and stretches, Brady brought them in for a huddle. He told the group that in four months, 10 of the athletes will be playing for a gold medal.

“We are trying to create a story right away,” said Brady. “We want them to feel connected to the story. We want to play for gold and they need to see themselves in that story. That’s why we framed it that way.”

When it was time for the tryout to begin, the players were divided into teams and asked to play in the half-court.

“The plan was to get them to play without coaching interruptions,” said Brady. “We wanted to create an environment that maximized involvement.”

For the players on the sidelines who waited to get into the game action, those helping Brady do the evaluations, interacted with the players.

The athletes were asked to give peer-to-peer feedback and asked to identify things they could do better.

“It connected well with the guys,” said Brady. “They were able to talk about what they were seeing.”

The 10 person roster plus two alternates have already been chosen and the team will get to work practicing for the Games which begin March 15.

Brady said the team is looking to play position-less basketball. This will feature pushing the pace in transition, drive and kicks and lots of ball movement. The emphasis will be on drives to the basket and three-pointers.

“The ball shouldn’t stop,” said Brady. “It is a fun way to play the game.”

Team Yukon trials will run through January. Participation in a trial is required before a sports organization will select an athlete to participate on Team Yukon.

“Major games events like the 2020 Arctic Winter Games offer the opportunity to excel as an athlete, set personal bests, make friends from across the circumpolar North and create lifelong memories,” said Minister of Community Services John Streicker in a press release.

“I encourage all Yukon youth to take advantage of the upcoming opportunities and try out for a spot on Team Yukon.”

To learn about upcoming trials, aspiring Team Yukon participants from across the territory are encouraged to learn more about upcoming opportunities, either through their local coaches, territorial sports organization or by visiting Team Yukon’s Arctic Winter Games webpage or Facebook page.

Comments (1)

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Martha Porter on Nov 8, 2019 at 11:42 am

I would really like to get try out forms for Volley Ball and Basketball.

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