High school hoop stars give back at holiday clinic

The holiday spirit of giving was front and centre when six former Comox Valley high school basketball stalwarts got together Dec. 23 for a basketball clinic at Georges P. Vanier Secondary School.

Heads of the Class Passing on their extensive knowledge at the clinic were Scott MacKinnon

Heads of the Class Passing on their extensive knowledge at the clinic were Scott MacKinnon

The holiday spirit of giving was front and centre when six former Comox Valley high school basketball stalwarts got together Dec. 23 for a basketball clinic at Georges P. Vanier Secondary School.

The clinic was for high school students all over the Island and players came from as far as Port Alberni for this special event.

The reason the clinic was so important was because of who was running it. The combined talents of Ryan MacKinnon, Scott MacKinnon, Brandon Ellis, Kali Ellis, Keenan Milburn and Calvin Westbrook made the event a big success.

The idea for the clinic originated when Scott MacKinnon contacted Vanier junior boys’ basketball coach Tony Edwards and told him he was interested in setting something up while everyone was home for the holidays. Edwards then contacted coaches all over the Island and the event snowballed from there.

Initially, it was just the two MacKinnon brothers, Ellis and Westbrook, but after the word got out, two more were eager to join them.

All of the volunteer coaches have had full-ride scholarships for basketball. Brandon Ellis has played professionally in Germany and Vancouver, and Scott MacKinnon has played professionally in the Philippines.

Westbrook is at Trinity Western University in Langley. His team goal is to make it to the national championships and hopefully play professionally overseas when school is finished.

Ryan MacKinnon has been playing at the University of Victoria and is currently in his fourth year in the education program. Once finished school, if the opportunity arises, he would love to play professionally, but if not, he hopes to travel the world and coach while doing so.

Brandon Ellis has retired from playing basketball due to an ankle injury but is currently an executive director of the non-profit organization called I-Ball.

Scott MacKinnon spent five years at the University of Lethbridge and is currently coaching at Queens University in Kingston, Ont.

Kali Ellis played for four years at Thompson Rivers University, and once school is finished, she wants to come back to the Island to coach.

Milburn is currently playing at the University of Calgary on a scholarship and is in his fourth year of business. He has recently reached all of his basketball goals and hasn’t had a chance to set new ones, but he would love to coach in Calgary after his schooling is finished.

The clinic cost each of the students $20, and there were over 30 participants. The majority of the proceeds were donated to the Comox Valley Food Bank, and a small portion went to the Comox Valley Youth Basketball Association.

Tom Brown, vice-president of the food bank, accepted the donation and said he was very impressed with the turnout and wanted to thank the coaches for their time and effort.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
SD71 to address COVID-19 exposures with virtual town hall

The meeting is set for Thursday, March 4

Courtenay Elementary is the latest school on a growing list that has COVID-19 exposures. Google Maps photo
Courtenay Elementary latest school on growing list of COVID-19 exposures

Exposure dates at the school on McPhee Avenue are Feb. 22, 23 and 24

A decision to terminate the CVEDS contract aligns with the CVRD board and municipal partners’ interests to pursue economic and community development initiatives at a more local level. File photo of CVRD office in Courtenay
Comox Valley Regional District board votes to terminate CVEDS contract

The Comox Valley Regional District board has decided to provide the Comox… Continue reading

Island Health has announced a COVID-19 outbreak at Glacier View Lodge, a long-term care facility in the Comox Valley. File photo.
Island Health declares a COVID outbreak at Glacier View Lodge in Courtenay

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at a long-term care facility in… Continue reading

The Village of Cumberland and the Cumberland Community Forest Society (CCFS) are offering two new spring break camps, open to children ages eight to 13. Photo supplied
Village and Cumberland Community Forest Society co-hosting spring break camps

Submitted The Village of Cumberland and the Cumberland Community Forest Society (CCFS)… Continue reading

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 vaccination set to start for B.C. seniors aged 80-plus

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Tofino Resort and Marina has temporarily shut down after several staff members tested positive for COVID-19. (Nora O’Malley photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at Tofino Resort and Marina

Resort apologizes to Hesquiaht First Nation for Valentine’s Day boating incident.

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hill using a homemade trip camera. Schroyen presents Animal Signs: The Essence of Animal Communication on Nov. 30. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in hit-and-run

Investigation into death expected to be lengthy and involved

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

Most Read