Okanagan Nation hosting all native basketball tourney

Entering the 2011 Junior All Native Basketball tournament as the defending champs, it’s the goal of the Syilx girls team to stay on top.

Entering the 2011 Junior All Native Basketball tournament as the defending champs, it’s the goal of the Syilx girls team to stay on top.

“Absolutely,” said Syilx co-coach Amanda Montgomery, whose  team plays at 6:30 p.m. on Monday. “And to have fun.”

Montgomery, who coaches with Peter Waardenburg, said the group looks good for the championship which begins in Penticton on Monday. The team, made up of players in the Okanagan Valley, has been practicing since the Fall on Sundays. The players can only get together once a week because they play on their respective school teams.

“The girls are excited,” said Montgomery. “Some nerves will come along with it. Team is definitely capable of repeating. They will come up against some tough teams.”

The tournament will have 37 teams (18 girls, 19 boys) from the province in the First Nations under-17 tournament with games being held at Penticton Secondary, Princess Margaret, KVR Middle School and Skaha Lake Middle School. Admission prices for the tournament are: week passes $25 for adults and $15 for youth and elders; and daily passes $10 for adults and $5 for youth and elders. Children 10 and under are free. Boys action begins at 8 a.m.