Bandits guard Tyrrel Tate, along with the Heritage Park Middle School Highlanders Grade 9 girls team shows off the brand new mesh installed at the school. It’s the first of several planned upgrades by the team to courts in the Fraser Valley. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Fraser Valley Bandits bring the mesh to Mission

Pro basketball team installs brand new netting at Heritage Park Middle School

The Fraser Valley Bandits brought a little love to Mission’s Heritage Park Middle School basketball court last week.

The school’s 10-foot single standing rim outside now has a brand new mesh courtesy of the team, and the bright orange netting was installed by the team as a service to the community and the Fraser Valley as a whole.

The addition is one of several minor upgrades planned to local courts by the team at spots all across the region. The Bandits are working with the Abbotsford Basketball Association to clean up courts in Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack and Aldergrove over the coming months. Team officials will be doing things like putting up nets, sweeping courts and improving the conditions for locals to play.

Team officials said the main goal is to grow the game locally, and develop an increased awareness of the Bandits.

The HPMS installation, which occurred on June 5, saw the Bandits bring out star player Tyrell Tate to help out with putting the net in and also meet with the Highlanders Grade 9 girls basketball team. That team finished an impressive third overall at the provincials, which was the best result by any HPMS at that level.

Bandits representatives said HPMS was the first stop on the Fraser Valley upgrade tour partly because of that team’s strong performance at provincials, but also because of the work of long time coach Frank Chan, who was not available to attend the event on June 5.

HPMS teachers and coaches Angie Vetter and Greg McNeill were there, and Vetter said the new netting will be appreciated by the students.

“Every recess so many students come and play basketball and this new net gives them something positive to do at the school,” she said, noting that it can be a bit of a task to chase down the ball without mesh.

Vetter said 2019 will be remembered as a special one for the Highlanders Grade 9 girls team.

“These guys really persevered and had a great season,” she said of the team, who were also invited to the installation. “To finish third in the province is amazing, especially coming from little Mission, B.C. We’re very proud of them.”

She said there continues to be a big buzz about basketball in Mission, and the Bandits have helped grow local interest. She said the game is popular both at the high school and club level in Mission.

Tate spoke to the team after the net was installed and encouraged the girls to play the game.

“If you love it then stick with it,” he said. “There will be ups and downs but let the passion take control.”

Tate played NCAA Division II basketball with North Carolina’s Fayetteville State and went on to play in the NBA’s Developmental League now known as the G League with the Idaho Stampede, Canton Charge and Texas Legends.

He was born in Calgary, but grew up in North Carolina, making him a great fit for the Bandits and the Canadian Elite Basketball League as the CEBL wants to maintain a significant Canadian presence in the league.

Tate also told the girls that there is a lot of potential in the sport for girls, with more and more chances to make a living.

“The women’s game is really growing,” he said. “And I think it’s becoming much more respected. There is the WNBA or you can go overseas so there are a lot of opportunities.

“It’s not always about going to the biggest school – I went to a smaller one – it’s about maximizing your time wherever you’re at.”

For more details on the court improvement program, contact the Bandits manager of marketing and communications Andrew Savory at asavory@thebandits.ca.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

UFV offers mental-health screenings as part of Beyond the Blues

Activities at event from Jan. 27-31 include stress bingos and colouring

Second earthquake in two days strikes near Agassiz

A 2.6-magnitude recorded Saturday morning

Province bringing 421 new affordable childcare spaces to Fraser Valley

Supporting early childhood educators and creating spaces go hand in hand, minister says

Aspiring pot-sellers can apply in two weeks to operate stores in Abbotsford

City will accept applications to operate one of four new stores; public consultation to follow

Nine Abbotsford citizens fleeced for over $68,000 by bitcoin scammers

Police warn public about fraudsters who threaten arrest

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

Man clings to roof of car driving along busy road in Maple Ridge

The man was also seen jumping on the vehicle

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Most Read