by Emeralde O’Donnell
Contributor, Black Press
During the fourth game of the wheelchair basketball round-robin at Heritage Park Secondary School on Saturday, Zone 4 beat Zone 8, finishing with a final score of 35-17.
Coaching alongside Arley McNeney, assistant coach Justin Chohan said the team’s strategy is to “go into each game with lots of fire.”
And that they did.
Ben Higgle, Gloria Chan, and Paula Higgins played with particular fire. Ben Higgle graced the court with impeccable aim, and scored a total of 17 baskets.
The 15-year-old started the sport eight years prior, when he was at a tournament and realized that he “just really loved the sport.” After, he mentioned that he enjoyed the “intensity of it.”
The second top scorer on the Fraser River-Delta team was Gloria Chan, who finished with a total of six baskets. Like the other players, the 18-year-old was always giving 100% and was always after the ball.
At one point in the game, when the ball was navigating its way around the court with no one to direct it, she and an opposing player entered a race to gain ownership of it.
Just inches away from the other player, it seemed like Gloria was about to fail, but in a sudden burst of unforeseen energy, she pushed ahead as speedy as a rocket and gained control of the ball.
“I love the rush and intensity of the game when we’re on offense,” she said.
Higgins, a picture of flaming focus, remained on the ball during the whole game – a determined, but serious, smile on her face.
No matter what she was doing, whether intercepting a pass or dribbling the ball down the court, it was always with a smile.
Recently, the accomplished girl of only 17-years-old, made Team BC. “It’s exciting ’cause I get a chance to go to Jr. Nationals in March… that’s the first step to a gold for Canada Games next year,” she explained.
Furiously steering and pumping their way through the quarters, they and their teammates played an excellent game.
*Emeralde O’Donnell is a student at Robert Bateman Secondary School in Abbotsford…