Basketball Cape Breton began in the winter of 2012 with Sport Nova Scotia inviting those interested in improving the game of basketball to a meeting. At this meeting there were basketball minds from all over the island, with various coaches from elementary school to representatives from the CBU Capers. The notion was to create more communication from all the different organizations already operating. We already had great success with teams from Cape Breton with great coaches but thought we could share our skills for improvement. A steering committee was formed to create the structure of an organization and Basketball Cape Breton was formed.
From there a Board of Directors was elected and our work began. We contacted as many people in the community as we could think of to listen to their opinions and expertise. We had overwhelming positive feedback from the Basketball Community. Not everyone was on board as it was something new and some were just comfortable with what they have done up to that point. Overall most agreed working together and sharing knowledge was a good thing.
With focus being on having the most kids playing as possible we came up with the idea of breaking Cape Breton into 6 areas ( West, East, North, South, North West and Central). We contacted coaches from these areas and made up teams to start our first Spring Rec League.
Another idea was to select our rep teams and do so as fair as possible to make sure we had the best players playing on the team. We came up with the idea of having independent evaluators that would select the team without having any personnel connection to the players, (no politics). This has worked out with great success. We have players from all over Cape Breton on our teams and they have created lifelong friendships.
Many challenges took place in year 1 and we knew we had to change the way we operated. Every year we would try to improve on things. We understood people’s frustration and never took it personally but used it as constructive criticism. Scheduling was the biggest problem as it will always be. So we changed the format to change from 1 game at a time any time of the week to weekend tournaments where each team would play 2 games on the same day. This would leave weekdays for practice time.
We now have teams in jr. mini, mini, bantam, midget and Juvenile as well as senior ball. We have players from all over Cape Breton Playing now and hope to continue to grow. We have rep teams that play from October to NS provincials in April where we have won numerous banners in different levels. We also have teams that compete in the summer tournaments in other provinces such as PEI, NB and in Maine against teams from Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. These teams play in the development, competitive and open divisions and also have won tournaments at the highest level.
We have help numerous coaching clinics with many coaches getting certified under the Canada Basketball Program. With these clinics we continue to share our ideas and experience with each other to improve our skills island wide.
We held our first BCB Skills Elite Camp this year with great success with 38 players working very hard to improve their skills. The most impressive part was the support from over 25 different coaches and parents that put in time to give the kids the best possible experience.
We have come a long way and realize we can still improve every year. On behalf of BCB I want to thank everyone who has helped over the years to improve our organization. It is key to remain positive and open to new ideas so we can continue to offer the kids the best experiences possible.