Members of the U13 Similkameen Thunder Back row: (left to right) Asst coach Cole Marven, Nate Webber, Dariun Eustache-Peone, Jugrag Lidhar, Charlie Louie, Landon Klippenstien, Simon Brown and head coach Mishak Potash. Front row: (left to right) Nash Marven, Graden Lebedoff, Harmon Sidhu, Ethan Potash, Junior Louie, Devon Cohen, Rylan Lebedof. (Contributed)

Similkameen team making noise on club basketball circuit

The Similkameen Thunder first their first season on the club basketball circuit in fine fashion.

It’s billed as the “little team that could.”

The U13 Similkameen Thunder finished its first club basketball season in fine form, winning almost half its games on the 24-game schedule.

The idea of starting a club program began some time ago when a group of parents got together and formed a plan to put the community back on the basketball map.

Cole Marven was one of those people.

He was a member of the last Similkameen Elementary Secondary School team to go to the provincial championships, two years straight in 2000 and 2001.

He now has an eight-year-old son, Nash, and a bunch of other local kids he wants to see one day have that same experience.

“Keremeos is kind of known as a small town but we’ve always had really great basketball. So we just decided to put a club team together,” said Marven, who is assistant coach working along side head coach Mishak Potash.

“When we looked around five years ago, we saw kind of a dip in our high school basketball and to me that’s a reflection on what’s happening when the kids are younger. The club is a really cool experience for the kids, you get to play some big, well-established programs like Kelowna and Penticton.”

Marven described club play at that level as a “real eye opener” for the young team, going up against other players who started the game when they were just seven years old.

“They don’t really get to see what other basketball is like, so when you go out there and you see these kids (from other clubs) working in an organized program it’s really something,” he said. “But the way we did this year, I think we have some of the best athletes going for a small town.”

Unlike some of teams the Thunder played, the Keremeos club goes with the concept of equal playing time for everyone.

For that reason as well, everyone who signed up at the start made the team.

The club is parent-driven, and parent-funded and the Keremeos players are not “cookie cutter” according to the coach, noting each player is coming from a very diverse background.

“That’s what I love, we have ethnicity and it’s cool to see. We’re grinders here,” said Marven.

There were a few times during the season, which ran from January to June, where the team didn’t fair so well on the scoreboard. But Marven believes that only made his players stronger.

READ MORE: Senior boys place ninth in province

“Sure, some of the kids took it hard, but I told them you don’t always learn from your wins. But you do learn from your losses,” he said. “There’s always going to be somebody better than you, it’s up to you to improve. We improve as coaches just as players improve.”

Next year it’s hoped the club will have a U10 team and a U14 team, both with a single purpose.

“Our goal here is to make Similkameen basketball a name, and for that I’m really excited for this group and their future,” said Marven.



Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Send Mark Brett an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Vehicle smashes sign and cars in Summerland school parking lot

Driver of a Ford Expedition lost control, crashing into two other vehicles

Dangerous driving in Keremeos and Vernon nets jail time

Gary Patrick Richard will serve 73 days in jail for dangerous driving and other offences

Top classic car show cruises back into Penticton

Peach City Beach Cruise runs June 21 to 23 in Penticton

Penticton pharmacy restricted from dispensing opioid treatment drugs

B.C. College of Pharmacists alleges Sunrise Pharmacy dispensed treatment drugs against rules

Historical Red Bridge celebrated in Canada Post heritage stamp series

Keremeos resident remembers bridge as spot to swim half a century ago

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Emerging artists given chance at Shuswap’s Roots Blues Festival

Chosen participants can perform two 40-minute sets on the Wednesday or Thursday night, and more.

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

Dancing with Shuswap Stars attracts Rust Valley Restorers

TV show stars join quest to hone some fancy footwork

Officials remain optimistic in the face of closure of Shuswap’s Waterway Houseboats

Sicamous mayor and chamber of commerce concerned for staff who lost jobs

A Kelowna medical research company needs adults with autism spectrum disorder for a study

Three-hundred-fifty patients worldwide will participate in the study

B.C. church’s Pride flag defaced for second time in 12 days

Delta’s Ladner United Church says it will continue to fly the flag for Pride month

Most Read