Ryan Hindson’s first season playing basketball at Victoria, B.C.‘s St. Michaels University School was a good one. But it wasn’t supposed to be.
“People were looking at our team and saying, ‘They’re not going to do anything this year,’” said Hindson. “But then we started to click and started to play well. We had some big upsets, knocking off No. 1 and No. 2 seeds … We worked really hard and surprised a lot of people.”
The St. Michaels Blue Jags won division two at last year’s B.C. High School Championships. But then 11 of the team’s 13 players graduated.
Midway through this past season the Blue Jags weren’t even in the top 10 in B.C.‘s high school rankings.
“We weren’t expected to do much at all,” said Blue Jags coach Ian Hyde-Lay. “We just dogged it out and hit our stride at the right time and a couple big upsets at the provincials … We weren’t expected to do much this year – our team was pretty much all Grade 11 – so there’ll be a lot expected of us next year.”
The team far exceeded expectations and Hindson was a large part of its success.
The 17-year-old led the team with an average of just over 22 points, and almost seven rebounds, a game.
“He’s our most dangerous attacker,” said Hyde-Lay. “He’s very, very good attacking the rim, getting to the basket. He draws a lot of fouls, he’s a tremendous offensive rebounder, so most of his points come in transition situations.”
After a slow start to the season the Blue Jags went on to reach the division two final at the B.C. championships in March.
They downed top-seeded G.W. Graham Grizzlies of Chilliwack in the semifinal with Hindson leading the team with 21 points.
The Blue Jags then came out flat in the final, losing 68-40 to West Vancouver’s Collingwood Cavaliers.
“We had a really inexperienced squad and that game was in a really big stadium. The other team was very experienced. And we kind of panicked in the first quarter and let the game get away from us,” said Hindson.
After the final Hindson was named a championship All-Star. In fact, he was named an All-Star at every tournament the Blue Jags played this season, including his team’s zone championship on Vancouver Island and at four regular season tournaments.
With his consistent contributions to the Blue Jags, Hindson was given the Billy Greenwell Award at the school’s year-end sports banquet on Wednesday. It’s a prestigious award given each year to the school’s top player and isn’t often won by a Grade 11 player.
“I was very surprised. There are a lot of guys on the team I thought deserved it more than me,” said Hindson. “So to hear my name called was a surprise and caught me off guard a little bit.”
“It reflects his contribution to the team,” said Hyde-Lay. “Ryan wasn’t our only player to have a really good season, but for a team that wasn’t a great scoring team, he was the one guy who could score and pretty consistently.
“He’s made a lot of strides as a player. He’s a tremendous raw athlete, very quick and a very good jumper,” he added. “He’s adjusting very quickly, efficiently and effectively to probably the highest level of organized basketball he’s played.”
The Blue Jags, who finished with a 24-15 season record, qualified for the provincials by placing second in the Lower Vancouver Island Senior Boys AA Championship. They reached the final with a 36-point performance by Hindson in their semifinal win.
Before his time as shooting guard for St. Michaels, Hindson played for Yukon at the national U16 championships, the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games and the 2014 Arctic Winter Games, helping the team take bronze.
He plans to play for St. Michaels again next season in his senior year.
“I have to give a shout-out to my dad (Scott),” said Hindson. “He was the one who developed my love for basketball and when I was a kid he always went and shot hoops with me. He never let me win, so I developed that competitive fire, and if it wasn’t for him I don’t think I’d be in this position now.”
Contact Tom Patrick at