Basketball tournament in Duncan goes to the Next Level

Nash Taylor plays for the Next Level U13 team against South Island at Queen Margaret’s School last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Nash Taylor plays for the Next Level U13 team against South Island at Queen Margaret’s School last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Nick Fotos plays for the Next Level U13 team against South Island at Queen Margaret’s School last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Nick Fotos plays for the Next Level U13 team against South Island at Queen Margaret’s School last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Nash Taylor plays for the Next Level U13 team against South Island at Queen Margaret’s School last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Nash Taylor plays for the Next Level U13 team against South Island at Queen Margaret’s School last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Jonah Spivack plays for the Next Level U13 team against South Island at Queen Margaret’s School last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Jonah Spivack plays for the Next Level U13 team against South Island at Queen Margaret’s School last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Tristan Blott plays for the Next Level U13 team against South Island at Queen Margaret’s School last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Tristan Blott plays for the Next Level U13 team against South Island at Queen Margaret’s School last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Hayden Sherman plays for the Next Level U13 team against South Island at Queen Margaret’s School last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Hayden Sherman plays for the Next Level U13 team against South Island at Queen Margaret’s School last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cameron Lewis plays for the Next Level U15 team against Dime Valley at the Cowichan Community Centre last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Cameron Lewis plays for the Next Level U15 team against Dime Valley at the Cowichan Community Centre last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Reid Rowan plays for the Next Level U17 team against Dime Valley at Cowichan Secondary School last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Reid Rowan plays for the Next Level U17 team against Dime Valley at Cowichan Secondary School last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Mason Copeland plays for the Next Level U17 team against Dime Valley at Cowichan Secondary School last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Mason Copeland plays for the Next Level U17 team against Dime Valley at Cowichan Secondary School last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Kaiden Lewis plays for the Next Level U17 team against Dime Valley at Cowichan Secondary School last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Kaiden Lewis plays for the Next Level U17 team against Dime Valley at Cowichan Secondary School last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Kaiden Lewis plays for the Next Level U17 team against Dime Valley at Cowichan Secondary School last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Kaiden Lewis plays for the Next Level U17 team against Dime Valley at Cowichan Secondary School last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Ian Meiner plays for the Next Level U17 team against Dime Valley at Cowichan Secondary School last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Ian Meiner plays for the Next Level U17 team against Dime Valley at Cowichan Secondary School last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Anthony Friesen plays for the Next Level U17 team against Dime Valley at Cowichan Secondary School last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Anthony Friesen plays for the Next Level U17 team against Dime Valley at Cowichan Secondary School last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Kaiden Lewis plays for the Next Level U17 team against Dime Valley at Cowichan Secondary School last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Kaiden Lewis plays for the Next Level U17 team against Dime Valley at Cowichan Secondary School last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

With the exception of one game that went into double overtime, everything ran without a hitch as the Cowichan Valley’s Next Level Sports Academy played host to 25 teams from across Vancouver Island for a basketball tournament last weekend.

“Double overtime is great, too,” Next Level coach Sandeep Heer said. “But we were trying to fit in so many games.”

The 25 teams came to Cowichan from seven clubs, with girls and boys teams in U13, U15 and U17 divisions, playing three games each at three different venues: Cowichan Secondary School, the Cowichan Community Centre and Queen Margaret’s School.

Winners weren’t crowned in the separate categories, but each team got to play three competitive games. The tournament was well received, with the location a big positive as teams came from Victoria and Sooke, as well as Port Alberni and the Comox Valley, and everyone was able to return home at night.

“I think it was very successful in terms of being able to run it and have different teams come here,” Heer said. “We got a lot of positive feedback.”

The teams now branded Next Level have played together for about three years under different names, Heer explained, but they’ve settled on this brand for now.

“We’re trying to have Next Level grow and succeed in the Cowichan Valley,” the coach said.

The club has plans to add U9 and U11 teams next season. There are a few more tournaments still to come this spring, including two in Victoria and one at Vancouver Island University.

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