The 59th All Native Basketball Tournament is Now Underway

2/12/2018

Drumming, dancing and cheers opened the 59th annual All Native Basketball Tournament in Prince Rupert.

The jammed packed Jim Ciccone Civic Centre saw the Gingolx Cultural Dancers perform at the tournament's opening ceremonies for the first time as the teams took to the court for an introduction.

Gingolx Chief Councillor George Moore also took the time to recognize one of the youngest members of the group, Jordana, who  helped in making the Gingolx appearance possible.

"This young lady, we needed $26,000 dollars to ensure all of our people could get here. She single handily raised $7,000."

The group included many speakers as well including Skeena Bulkley Valley M-P Nathan Cullen and spoke about what this tournament celebrates.

"People I talk to across the country seem to think it's just a basketball tournament and don't seem to understand why I come every year. It's about our nations coming together. It's celebrating sports, our people, our athletes; some of our older people too, the food. May be a little romance, but not too much."

The tournament takes place throughout the week and wraps up Saturday.