Basketball In Ns

Sample essay topic, essay writing: Basketball In Ns - 1400 words

Basketball was first introduced to Nova Scotia as early as 1895 but in the past thirty years the popularity of the sport has really taken off. The high concentration of universities in the province, the tradition and esteem of the high school programs, and the continued support from a large and knowledgeable basketball community have made the game a staple of Nova Scotia life, culminating with the capital city of Halifax becoming known as the basketball capital of Canada. When you talk about basketball in the Maritimes you can break it down into different levels of competition. There are the club systems throughout the province, the regional and provincial teams, then high school basketball, then you have to look at intercollegiate basketball, and finally pro basketball that was here for a short period of time. Another way of looking at how the sport has come along in the past thirty years is by focusing on the people who have been an integral part in its development. People such as Bob Douglas, Mickey Fox, Ritchie Spears, Brian Heaney, Steve Konchalski, and Bill Robinson, who through different roles have made and continue to make an impact on basketball in this province.

Others who will not be discussed as much but whose role was just as important are those who laid the groundwork for all of the aforementioned. People such as Stu Aberdeen who created a legacy at Acadia University and in the process developed some of the best coaches this province has ever seen. Others like Al Yarr, Terry Symonds, and Frank Baldwin, whose tremendous efforts at the minor, high school, university, and national levels earned him the name Mr. Basketball. The foundation that was set by these people has allowed basketball to flourish in Nova Scotia on every level. In the 1970's basketball in Nova Scotia was starting to gain popularity and in the minor system, the community YMCA and the Halifax Martyrs started basketball programs that provided children with an opportunity to play

At the high school level the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation took control of administering interscholastic athletics in 1971 and made many changes which improved the league. One of the improvements was to change the provincial format to qualify eight teams instead of just four, which allowed for more excitement as underdog schools had a chance to upset higher ranked teams en route to the championship. This led to many first time winners as teams from around the province such as Liverpool and Amherst Regional won the championship in the early part of the decade. Another first time winner was Halifax West as traditional powerhouses from Queen Elizabeth and St. Patrick's faced greater competition. Another sign of the game's popularity was the fact that it was being played in the summer time.

After watching rare broadcasts of NBA playoffs, in which one of the halftime events was pitting the greatest players in the game one on one, this format was adopted in Halifax and tournaments were held with the winner gaining bragging rights throughout the city. At the university level, Brian Heaney took over as coach of the St. Mary's Huskies. The former Acadia superstar took over the Huskies in 1971 and for the next eight years under his reign St. Mary's replaced Acadia as the premiere basketball squad in the province.

During the decade St. Mary's won the national championships in 1973, 78, and 79 respectively and reached the finals on two other occasions. The Axemen remained highly competitive and won the nationals in 1971 and 1977. They were a formidable opponent for the Huskies, which resulted in one of the greatest intercollegiate rivalries in the province's history. "The two strong teams made the Atlantic Universities Athletic Association the strongest conference in the country for the first time as Acadia or SMU captured five national championships during the decade." (1) Some of the star university players during that time period were Mickey Fox, Steve Konchalski, and Fred Perry, all of whom are still very active within the Nova Scotia basketball community.

Konchalski is presently coaching the St. FX X-men and has had a legendary career while Fox and Perry have been instrumental in developing the game in different communities throughout the province. Although it is not specific to basketball it is worth mentioning that after the 1971 Canada Games in Saskatchewan, premier Gerald Regan, aware that something had to be done after a poor performance, organized a committee, which came up with legislature that resulted in a department of recreation. It was the first of its kind in Canada because it was an independent body responsible for the promotion of sport, culture, and recreation. The Terry Symonds TournamentAnother event that started in the 70's was the first Provincial Black Basketball Tournament. It began in the summer of 1973 at the St.

Pat's gym in Halifax with hardly any publicity but it continued the next summer and has grown into what is now called the Terry Symonds Invitational Basketball Tournament. It was named after the man who devoted his time and effort not only to basketball but also to the black community as a whole. When Symonds died in 1990 from leukemia the tournament was named in his honour with the majority of the proceeds going towards charity. The event will be in its 28th year of existence this summer and it attracts some of the best basketball talent ever seen in Nova Scotia. Teams from N. S., all over Canada, and the U. S., compete in different divisions with the "A" division consisting of only players who have played at the university level or pro.

"The tournament is more than just a sporting event, though. It's a social and cultural event as well, with dances and other activities supplementing the games." (2) Another contribution is the motivation that the tournament provides for the kids of the different communities. Coaches have been known to attend games for scouting purposes and it is a way for talented athletes to get recognized and possibly attend university because of it. The strength of the AUAA in the seventies was not carried through to the 80's, as the University of Victoria were the undisputed champions of university basketball in Canada from 1980-1986 followed by three consecutive wins by the Brandon Bobcats. The talent pool in maritime university basketball seemed to be at least temporarily dried up.

With the western schools having a lock on university basketball many critics questioned the amount of talent in Nova Scotia saying that the wins by Acadia and St. Mary's in the 70's were largely due to the fact that a lot of the star players were not home grown products. This placed a lot of pressure on the 1987 Canada Games team to show once and for all that Nova Scotia was rich in basketball talent. Bev Greenlaw was chosen as the head coach with Mark Parker assisting and the NS team featured Augie Jones and Wade Smith who were St. FX stars at the time, along with three front line players from Acadia University.

The team gained important victories over Manitoba and Ontario in the preliminary round. Since the games were held in Nova Scotia there was a lot of support as 1200 people packed the gym at Breton Educational Centre to watch as Nova Scotia dominated the Quebec team in the final on their way to a 91-76 victory. The victory was a defining moment for the development of the game in Nova Scotia because we were able to prove to the rest of the country that our minor league and high school teams could produce high quality players. At the high school level during the 80's, QEH was the dominant force as they won several provincial titles and also tournaments all over the country. Bob Douglas who has become a local legend coached the team; his coaching success at QEH spanned three decades and has coached or influenced almost all of the best players that ever came out of Nova Scotia. In the 80's alone the QEH Lions won four consecutive provincial titles and Douglas was recognized with the National Association of Basketball Coaches'. The high school league in general was very competitive and by the mid point of the 1980's basketball was the most popular sport by both girls and boys at the high school level.

All throughout the province great teams were being developed along with outstanding individual players. Some of the strongest teams d ...

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