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NWT high performance basketball teams selected
Opportunity available to excel in sport

Richard McIntosh
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, September 29, 2011

Yellowknife high performance basketball coaches Nick Diem and Coal Marshall speak proudly about the players on their respective teams who will be competing in the Yellowknife Basketball Association league, but truly have their goals set on sending players to Team NWT and nationals.

NNSL photo/graphic

Kent Alacida of the Yellowknife Junior Hotshots basketball team takes part in the Tulita Invitational Basketball Tournament in 2009. - NNSL file photo

Diem, who enters his second year as head coach of the boys team, is looking to improve their 2010 third-place finish in the Victoria Day Classic tournament in Calgary. After that, many of the players will be using their court time to sharpen their talents for an opportunity to play on Team NWT at the Arctic Winter Games in Whitehorse in March and ultimately for the national team in the 2013 Canada Games held in Sherbrooke, Que.

"Last year, we had 10 players who were under the age of 15 and can potentially stick together as a unit to play at the Canada Games," said Diem.

The girls team, however, is looking to regroup.

"We were hit hard by graduation last year. We lost six seniors from our team so this is a bit of a rebuilding year for us," said Marshall.

The final roster of 14 girls was decided after a grueling full week of tryouts. The team continues to practice three days a week in preparation for their first tournament of the year hosted by Grand Prairie in early December.

As with the boys team, many of the girls will compete for a position on Team NWT.

"Hopefully we will bring 10 girls from Yellowknife, to join 10 from Hay River, and another 10 from smaller communities to tryout for a roster that only has 10 positions," said Marshall.

Diem's official title is sport technical director of Basketball NWT and he is currently working individually with coaches from smaller NWT communities to establish basketball programs across the region. Beginning this weekend, both Diem and Marshall will be running the Steve Nash Youth Basketball Program. Youth interested in the camp can register this Saturday at Range Lake School gym from 12:30 until 2:00 p.m. for children ages six to 10 and at the William McDonald Middle School gym from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. for ages 11 to 14.

The camp runs every Saturday from Oct. 1 to Feb. 11. All players who register receive a ball, jersey, and bag. For more information on Basketball NWT or the Steve Nash Youth Program visit the Basketball NWT website.

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