The Lower Mainland High School Boys Basketball Association, the group responsible for the regional tournament that qualifies five AAA boys teams for the B.C. championships, criticized member school St. George’s for threatening legal action to gain entry into the tournament.
“It is most unfortunate that those who use the threat of legal action are rewarded for this type of behavior. Acting in the best interest of our member schools and their players and volunteer coaches, we were not prepared to bankrupt our association by having to hire lawyers.”
The statement was released Wednesday afternoon and widely distributed to high school basketball coaches and administrators with the B.C. High School Boys Basketball Association.
“The limited resources we have go to cover the cost of operating our zone association and more importantly, providing scholarships to our graduating student-athletes. While we are very disappointed with the result and believe that it is not in the best interest of our volunteer-driven association and the basketball community in general, we are confident that this year’s Lower Mainland Tournament will be a highly competitive and entertaining event for everyone involved.”
Six coaches from Richmond, Burnaby, New West and Vancouver sit on the executive of the regional association, which this year includes St. George’s basketball coach Guy daSilva in the rotating position of president.
The statement followed an announcement Sunday that the Lower Mainland association was not able to prepare a draft for the zone tournament because of “potential legal action” from St. George’s. The private school retained the law firm Farris to argue the Saints basketball team merited direct entry into the tournament and threatened litigation in a Feb. 17 letter addressed to the Lower Mainland association.
In response to the legal threat, the president of the B.C. basketball association, James Johnston, directed the Lower Mainland association to give Saint George’s direct entry in the tournament, which created a 13-team draw.
Johnston said Thursday he was not surprised by the private school’s course of action and said the letter was not overly threatening.
Thirteen Lower Mainland teams compete for five berths to the Telus-sponsored B.C. Championships, set for March 11 to 17 at the Langley Events Centre.