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

Car catches fire while being towed by motor home on Hwy. 97

The incident occured just north of Sage Mesa Rd., no injuries have been reported

Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee supports added regulations, rezoning of Three Blind Mice

The recommendations will be presented to Penticton city council at an upcoming meeting

Rain in the forecast for much of the Southern Interior

Rain for much of the day in most areas clearing in the evening

South Okanagan wildfire monitored closely for hot spots

The Eagle Bluff wildfire, north of Oliver, is classified as held

Warmer fall weather could extend wildfire season: AccuWeather

Above seasonal temperatures are expected throughout September, October and November

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

Swimming advisory issued for Summerland beach

Bacterial counts exceed guidelines

B.C. Pizza Huts raise over $100,000 for Type 1 diabetes research, prevention

The fundraising is part of its annual Sun Life Walk to Cure Diabetes

Civil claim filed over motocross track west of Summerland

Track was constructed on agricultural land around 2016

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Most Read