It has been 14 years now since youth basketball has been introduced here in Vanderhoof, and the success has been instrumental in the development of the young athletes in our community. 14 years ago Coaches: Gary Simrose and Vaughn Mueller organized the original Vanderhoof Youth Basketball League. “We were over- whelmed by the turn out and enthusiasm that first year, and we knew we were onto something big”, said Mueller. The following year the league evolved into the Junior Grizzlies Youth Basketball League organized by Greg and Dave VanDolah, and then later it became the Steve Nash Youth Basketball League organized by Eric Lytle and Warren Cullum. “We have been very fortunate in that we have had a fantastic core of volunteers to organize and operate the league over the years, and the dedication and commitment of these individuals has been evident in the development of youth basketball, and basketball as a whole in Vanderhoof.
This year we have a new executive made up of Barb Ziler (president) Debbie Simrose (vice president) Debbie Montgomery (secretary) Darlene Turner (treasurer) Tanya Lobelle (registrar) and Gary Simrose and Vaughn Mueller (coaching and officiating coordinating and instruction) “All of us have an invested interest in the development of young basketball players and are committed to make all of our youth’s Steve Nash experience a positive one, said Mueller”.
The development of our young athletes is beginning to pay dividends as we had the most athletes to date experience success in the Basketball BC Elite Development Program this past spring. This program allowed all the top athletes from our region to compete in both the Provincial Jamboree (Langley) and the BC Summer Games (Surrey) this past summer against the top basketball players in British Columbia. Young athletes: Dakota Clapperton, Jonathan Mueller, Jordan Unger, Braedon Bray, Hunter Brophy, Caleb Wale, Becket Fawcett, Kassidy Dick, Dani Marks, Mikaela Turner, Jordyn Cullum, Madyison Blattner, Emma Floris, Kaitlyn Verduzco, Kailly Duncan, Nicole Bublitz, Samantha Pratt, Megan Baher, and Spring Fawcett all played for their Basketball BC Regional teams and are all former S.N.Y.B participants.
Steve Nash Youth Basketball has been the foundation for many young basketball dreams. Just a few of many of our former Steve Nash participants who have gone on to post secondary excellence both academically and athletically include the following: Talon Milne (SFU), Brad VanDolah (WP) Jeff VanDolah (OUC) Ezra & Aaron Gwilliam (LCC) Tylor Hynd (UVIC) Dana Clarkson (TRU) Amanada VanDolah (GPRC) Jessica Wallace (UNBC) Elana Arnold (MRC) and Riley Wallace (GPRC)
For Talon Milne the Steve Nash league was the beginning of a long line of basketball achievements. Milne say’s, “my dedication and competitive attitude stems from learning and practicing with these people. I built a drive and a love for the sport unconsciously. The support I’ve had from coaches and individuals who are committed to helping young athletes in Vanderhoof, was unconditional.” Tallon played five years in the Steve Nash league and five years for the NVSS Vikings. While a Viking he captured Zone and Provincial honors as well as a fourth place finish at the Provincial AA Tournament. Talon also played for 3 years on B.C. Regional and Provincial teams. “Growing up playing basketball helped define my character as a university athlete”, said Milne “Starting with the Jr. Grizzlies then into the Steve Nash league I gained experience with many selfless, dedicated coaches and volunteers in Vanderhoof.” All Talons’ hard work was rewarded as he earned a scholarship to play in the highest collegiate league in Canada (C.I.S) for The University of Simon Fraser Clan. Talons basketball experience created other opportunities as well. Basketball was influential in him striving for great things, not only was he a great basketball player, but a great ambassador for his community and his school. He was a straight “A” student and now is working towards a Bachelor of Science (Kinesiology degree). “Growing up in Vanderhoof a basketball community, gave me many life skills that I have also transferred into my school and work.” says, Milne.
If you would like to volunteer as a coach helper or official, please feel free to contact any of the executive members listed above. We are offering coaching and refereeing clinics to help you build your skills. Registration information is finalized and obtained from elementary school offices, or Omineca Source for Sports. Look for our booth in the CO-OP mall on Saturdays for more information and registration sheets. Early registration discounts end on October 15 so register early and save. For more information find us on facebook.
Vanderhoof Youth Basketball Association (Steve Nash Program)