It'll be stormy times for all challengers, says coach | Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper

It'll be stormy times for all challengers, says coach


A Storm will be hitting Port Alberni next month.
The Nanaimo-based Island Storm will be participating in the girls' division at the British Columbia Junior All Native Basketball Tournament.
The provincial championship, which is expected to feature more than 50 teams, will be held March 18 to March 23. Matches will be held at Alberni District Secondary School, Maht Mahs Gym and Athletic Hall.
Paul Wyse-Seward, who is coaching the Island Storm, believes his side will be successful at the Port Alberni event, which will feature players ages 17 and under.
"Our goal is to come away with the championship," he said. "I have a great feeling going into the Junior All Natives of coming out as winners."
The Island Storm roster includes seven players who also represented the team at the 2011 provincial tournament in Penticton. That Nanaimo-based team was simply called The Islanders.
"We had a rough go last year," Wyse-Seward said. "One of our elders had a heart attack going into our first game. Instead of coaching I was dealing with everyone's emotions."
The Islanders, whose thoughts were clearly elsewhere, ended up losing their first match. But they did rebound to win their next three games.
The club was eliminated from further play though when it lost its fifth contest of the tournament.
This year's provincial championship will also feature a double-knockout format, meaning squads will be ousted from further play upon losing a pair of games.
Previously only teams that placed in the Top 2 or Top 3 of their zone championships were allowed to advance to the provincial tournament, but in recent years organizers started allowing any club to enter the B.C. tournament, regardless of how they fare at their zone event.
Wyse-Seward is in favour of this format.
"It makes it that much more interesting, not only for playing but the kids (from different communities) get to meet each other," said Wyse-Seward, who is better known in Aboriginal basketball circles for his nickname of Nutso. "That's what it is all about."
The Island Storm is led by a pair of players, Brianna Wyse-Seward (Paul's daughter) and Gabby Jeffery.
But they will have plenty of teammates with them in Port Alberni.
Teams are allowed to bring a maximum of 15 players to the tournament. And the Nanaimo side will bring the maximum allotted.
Clubs, however, can only dress 12 players per game.
"We have a big team," Wyse-Seward said. "I voice it to everybody that plays for me that no matter how much you play you are still part of the team. It's no different than any professional team or Olympic team. When you win the gold you are still a part of the team (no matter how much you played)."
Wyse-Seward added he plans to give all 15 of his athletes some playing time at the provincials.
"When we play some of the lesser skilled teams I'll be resting some of the key players," he said.
Wyse-Seward will also coach a boys' team, the Nanaimo Native Sons, in Port Alberni.
Though the schedule has yet to be released, Wyse-Seward anticipates there could be a couple of times when his two squads are playing at the same time.
Should this occur he will handle the coaching duties for his girls' team. His cousin Mike Wyse, who is an assistant coach with the boys' club, would then be in charge of the Native Sons.
Wyse-Seward also has an assistant coach, Geno John, for the Island Storm. John's daughter Amber is a rookie guard with the team.

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