Coach Gourley's Newsletter
Busy time of the year and I have fallen behind on Tupper basketball news. A little thing called work, grad, scholarships and introducing all the new players and the younger players to concepts, drills and expectations hasn’t left me with a lot of time to keep everyone up to date. I am just getting around to an amazing event which a select few of us took part in on May the 6th .
I am under the impression that some things simply happen organically and here I am today taking the time to write and send this out to folks and it happens to be six years ago today when Quinn Keast was tragically taken from us.
The Quinn Keast Foundation opened yet another “Quinn’s Court’s” on May 6th and this time at Quinn’s old school, Ridgeway Elementary in North Vancouver. It was a real great afternoon to catch up with many people in the basketball community who we have just had time to shake hands or wave hello to during the busy basketball season. Add to the fact that it was the school’s 100th anniversary and this fitting tribute and legacy to an amazing young man made for an afternoon that will long be remembered by many.
Robbie Sacre’s mother Leslie was there and shared photo’s of her new grandson! It was great to see Quinn’s former teammate, U of Alberta grad Scott Leigh who is now in law school at U of Calgary. Yet another of Quinn’s old team mates from Handsworth, Tyler Kepky, Canadian national team member and now playing professional basketball in Germany was there as well. Speaking of Handsworth, head coach Blair Shier was there and donated this great photo.
Of course the pivotal folks behind the foundation, Jan, Tom and Jamie Keast were there to cut the ribbon and officially open the courts for play. I have included the link to this great foundation that they opened in their late son’s memory and encourage any of you who are not familiar with the amazing work which they do keep Quinn’s mantra of “NO REGRETS” and his memory alive to take a few minutes to view and read about what they do within the basketball community.
The Quinn Keast Foundation has benefited the Tupper Basketball program through it’s support of scholarships to two of Tupper’s all time great players.
James Lum and Cameron Smythe have both been recipients of the “Quinn Keast - Telus Classic – Most Complete Player” Scholarship. James was awarded the honor in 2009 and Cameron in 2011. Not only is this perhaps one of the most prestigious awards for a BC High School basketball player but it comes with a $2000.00 scholarship!
The scholarship’s which Tupper has been awarded and the friendship that I have experienced with all three of the Keast’s is not all which Quinn has brought to the Tupper basketball program. I am proud to have coached Quinn on the provincial basketball team back in the summer of 2004 and came to know & admire him not just as a basketball player but as a great young man during that summer. I was particularly gravitated to Quinn’s work ethic, his hustle and his fearlessness on the court.
The next season when we played against Handsworth I told my players before the game, “You watch Keast...watch him play with determination…watch him give his team everything that he has to help them all succeed – that is how I want you to play” The same speech was repeated the next season when we again were matched up against the #1 school in the province (It wasn’t pretty Handsworth by 60)
Today, the legacy of the having Quinn’s shoe in the trophy case at Tupper for the “Most Complete Player” has been a touch stone for our younger players. To speak to them about striving for goals that people thought were unattainable, to reach for the stars to play with “NO REGRETS”. Quinn affects this tiny east side school to this day and will so for years to come because I can almost hear James Lum or Cameron Smythe telling players they might coach in the future about Quinn.
His legacy does live on, “NO REGRETS!”
June 10, 2012