Last week when all eyes in the boys basketball community turned to Langley for the B.C. AAA championships, athletes around North American were quoting their coaches on Twitter.
The hashtag, #QuoteYourCoach, was trending, and tweets brimmed with inspirational idioms, training tips, inside jokes and, thankfully, only the occasional clich‚.
I asked a handful of current and past Vancouver basketballers if they had anything to add. Here's a sampling:
Cam Smythe (@cameronsmythers), a Tupper Tiger who graduated to play prep at Cushing Academy in Massachusetts, grew up in the R.O.A.R.S. system of volunteer coach Jeff Gourley. (The acronym stands for the school's code of conduct: Respect, Ownership, Attitude, Responsibility, Safety.)
Gourley is a coach with a lot to contribute, and Smythe remembers him saying this: "It's the journey not the destination. He said it a lot and has stuck with me."
St. George's Drew Urquhart (@Durquhart11) came to Vancouver from the Okanagan and trained this season under veteran coach Bill Disbrow. "He calls me Nerdavious," tweeted Urquhart, "because his friend found two weird names and mixed them together, so he calls me that." The respected coach, who Urquhart called "Dizzy" Disbrow, will praise the players when they're hitting their stride. When this happens for Urquhart, he hears his coach say, "Nerdavious be going dancing."
Mindy Minhas (@mindyminhas96) chimed in on two coaches, Churchill's Rick Lopez and Drive's Pasha Bains, but not to quote them. On what they've taught him, he offered this:
On Lopez: "Not only is he a great mentor, he has helped me see that I can use my basketball skills to be a leader to others. Mr. Lopez is extremely knowledgeable and has helped shape me into a player I am and has taught me to work hard and never give up."
And on Bains: "[He] is like an older brother/father to me, he has always been there for me on and off the court and has taught me numerous life skills. He is a role model for me and somebody that I've always looked up to."