The Interior’s best boys and girls basketball players will be looking to shine on the court this weekend during the 2013 Okanagan high school all-star games hosted by the UBC-O Heat.
Four separate games will be played to highlight the 52 boys and 39 girls.
Representing Penticton from Princess Margaret Secondary School will be Colton Van Kamp (junior), Mauro Patterson (senior), Jas Sahota (senior), Megan Blair (junior) and Danielle Ruocco (junior). From Pen High are Jordan Farmer (senior), Natasha Reimer (junior) and Emily Clarke (senior).
The junior girls will kick things off at 3 p.m. with the best junior boys taking the main court at 4:30 p.m. The evening will bring out the senior players; the girls tip-off at 6 p.m. and the boys at 8 p.m.
This will be the fifth consecutive year the Heat programs have hosted this event and have seen players graduate to wear the Heat uniform. Last year, Greet Gill starred in the senior boys’ game scoring 32 points, the highest total on the day. This past season he was a fixture in the starting lineup as a Heat rookie scoring 176 points in 22 games for an average of eight points per game. The top female was Julia Reichert with 17 points. Only in Grade 11 last year, Reichert signed on to star with the Heat next season. She is playing in her fourth straight all-star game.
Kelly Olynyk of the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the National Collegiate Athletic Association played in this game in 2009 as a representative of South Kamloops.
“It is always an honour to be selected to an all-star game,” said Heat men’s coach Pete Guarasci. “There are many basketball players in the valley that deserve this opportunity to compete against their valley peers. As evidenced by the amount of provincial championships won by teams from the Interior this season, there is a high level of basketball being played. This is my first year and I’m overwhelmed by the response we get for hosting this game. This is the Heat’s chance to give back to all the support we get from the basketball community.”
The driving force behind this event, Heat women’s coach Heather Semeniuk, is always flabbergasted at the positive response she receives.
“Every person I talk to they are just so excited to participate in the event,” said Semeniuk. “It makes the effort worth it for all involved.”