It had been close to a year-and-a-half since the Wolf Pack last travelled Outside the territory to play.
That changed over the last two weeks as the basketball club was able to send four teams – one girls’ and three boys’ squads to Langley, British Columbia to lace up in the Bball Nationals tournament.
The last time the Wolf Pack sent a team to an away tournament was just before the 2020 Arctic Winter Games — which were cancelled on March 7, 2020 because of COVID-19.
“Between then there’s been lots of changes,” said Wolf Pack head coach Tim Brady. “There were new things we were contending with, just as everybody has, so it was fun, it was really good to get out.
“I think all our players, all the kids in our program really enjoyed it and felt the same way.”
During the pandemic, Brady said Wolf Pack coaches tried to make practices as game-like as possible.
“There’s nothing like playing against a different team, that’s a unique experience,” said Brady. “I think there was a little bit of nerves.”
For the girls, Brady said it was their first away tournament ever.
“It was really the first time they played together as a group,” said Brady. “It was great for them to get a sense of what that experience is like.
“For all our teams it was a bit of a yardstick on where we are at and what we need to do to focus on and work on going into the future.”
Brady said the girls showed a strong mindset in supporting each other “extremely well.” The boys’ teams had some prior Outside experience and Brady said they were competitive and gave great effort.
It was also a time for the coaching staff to gain more experience and see where the Wolf Pack players are at.
“We had the opportunity after every game to talk about specific aspects of coaching and what do we need to work on,” said Brady.
Brady said the coaching staff came back with a list of things to spend more time with the players on.
“There’s some strategy stuff and some tactical but there’s lots of skill work as well we need to bring back into our training sessions,” said Brady.
“That’s what the game does. It opens your understanding of where you’re at in that moment and what you need to prepare for in future moments when we may see something similar.”
It was the third time the Wolf Pack had sent a team to the Bball Nationals in Langley. Brady said now that the players got the taste of Outside competition again, they can’t wait to get out and play in more tournaments.
Contact John Tonin at firstname.lastname@example.org