The North Shore Invitational Tournament is no more.
Instead, the longstanding high school basketball tournament has partnered with the Quinn Keast Foundation for the brand new No Regrets Basketball Tournament. The new tournament hopes to re-energize the annual competition by packing gyms, adding more teams, and awarding scholarships to outstanding players, according to Tom Keast, president of the Quinn Keast Foundation. "We're hoping for as many people as possible," he said. Keast compared the enthusiasm at many basketball season openers to what he hoped the No Regrets tournament could achieve.
"What Handsworth and a few other schools do is on the first basketball game of the year, or close to the first game, they try to get students into the gym and fill it."
The tournament's title is inspired by Quinn Keast, an all-star high school basketball player who was also Tom's son. Quinn was killed in a pedestrian car accident on the night of his high school graduation in 2006. His sudden death inspired the "No Regrets" mantra, a phrase that Quinn deeply believed in.
"That was Quinn's philosophy," said Tom. "He wanted to give basketball everything he possibly could and not have any regrets about it."
The No Regrets tournament will host 16 boys' teams and, for the first time in tournament history, a girls' bracket. Eight girls teams will take part. At the end of the three-day tournament, which will feature teams from across Western Canada, scholarships will be awarded to players who display dedication to the sport.
"We're going to award two $500 scholarships at this tournament," said Keast. "Each coach has been asked to nominate one person from their team."
Winners of the scholarship will have to demonstrate a strong basketball work ethic and a good attitude.
"The on-floor demeanour tells you a lot about the character. That's what we're looking for," said Keast. He's hoping the tournament will become an annual competition. "We're in this for the long haul," he said. The first annual No Regrets Basketball Tournament runs Dec. 10-12 with games taking place at Carson Graham, Collingwood, Handsworth, and West Vancouver secondaries. For more information on the tournament visit noregretsbball.com.