A pair of 14-year-old basketball players hoping to make the Belmont junior boys team this fall are carrying the West Shore banner into this weekend’s B.C. Summer Games in Abbotsford.
Markus Modrovic and Noah Messelink, both from Langford, are looking to help Zone 6 (Vancouver Island-Central Coast) make an impact on the provincial basketball scene.
Modrovic, a quick and agile player who likes to attack opposing defences, expects to slot into the Zone 6 lineup at power forward or small forward. He hasn’t played much basketball on the mainland, but has a simple strategy for the weekend: “Have a lot of fun. Meet new people. Win.”
While his Dunsmuir middle school team didn’t have the most successful season this past year, Modrovic said he practised a lot to be ready for the Zone 6 tryouts, which just happened to be down the road at Royal Bay secondary and overseen by head coach Davey Sundher, who is also the Ravens senior boys coach.
And the squad has started to come together just in time for the Games, Modrovic said. “I feel like we’re looking good. In the beginning we weren’t looking so good, but now we are because we’re starting to build chemistry.”
Messelink, who sees himself as a perimeter shooter who can unleash an accurate shot when it’s needed, will line up at small forward or shooting guard this weekend. He admitted he’s not as quick as his basketball buddy, but “we both contribute in different ways.”
Working with Sundher and other players has been a good way to learn more about the game’s subtleties and other styles of play, the boys said. And having a variety of skills sets spread through the team is important, they agreed.
“If driving isn’t going well, you can go to shooting, and if shooting isn’t going well you can go to defence, or rebounding,” Modrovic said.
Neither player has attended the Games before, but Messelink’s older sister, Makenzie, played basketball for Zone 6 in 2014 in Nanaimo.
Being close to her situation, he observed how fun it was spending time with the zone team, getting to know them, being able to play a sport you really like and having fun doing it.
“I’m just really excited and I hope it can go well,” Messelink said.
Added Modrovic: “You get to make those friends and have them for life and get to talk about that experience that you had.”
West Shore athletes and team officials at the 2016 B.C. Summer Games
Abbotsford, B.C. July 22-24:
Athletics – Nico Pryma
Baseball – Charlie Strandlund (coach), Jayden Cull
Girls basketball (3 on 3) — Maggie Fehr, Tiana Maat, Hannah Massey
Girls basketball (5 on 5) – Jordan Scoville
Equestrian – Rachel Brears
Golf – Nolan Thoroughgood
Girls softball – Devon Rees
Swimming – Sarah MacDonald (mentor)
Girls volleyball – Jocelyn Sherman
Boys volleyball – Logan Judge
Girls basketball – Mikayla Strandberg
Girls softball – Sierra Gillis
Swimming – Ella Maureen Lane-Sangha
Boys basketball – Markus Modrovic, Noah Messelink
Girls basketball – Mya Bains, Rachel Gschiel, Emily Brown, Emilie Daitl
Equestrian – Montana Garrington
Box lacrosse – Liam Phillips, Ryan Atkinson, Matthew Perry, Brandon McClintick
Field lacrosse – Casey Wilson, Matthew Atkinson
Sailing – MacKenna Renaud-Kehoe
Boys soccer – Ben Ooms
Synchronized swimming – Mara Lambert-Wilson
Girls beach volleyball – Hannah May, Olivia Godek
Girls volleyball – Taylee Pomponio, Gracie May
Girls rugby – Alexis Dunning
Girls basketball – Makenna Gargus
Field lacrosse – Brodie Strugnell, Jacob Mellish
Boys soccer – Jaydon Hutchinson
Girls softball – Jade Hadley, Carmen Eilertsen
Baseball – Josh Walker
Field lacrosse – Seve Cordero
Girls rugby – Elissa Alarie (adult supervisor), Amanda Thornborough (asst. coach)
Towed watersports – Kristen Leech