Basketball BC honours Abbotsford hoopsters
The Basketball B.C. Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet, held last week at the Langley Events Centre, was a special occasion for the Abbotsford basketball community.
The hall of fame’s class of 2011 included a pair of locals – Jake Braun and Tom Skerlak.
Braun was the longtime head coach of the Mennonite Educational Institute senior boys basketball team, and led the Eagles to a pair of B.C. AAA titles in 1963 and 1970 before moving on to coach the Trinity Western University Spartans.
Skerlak, a Welland, Ont. native, played his university basketball at Simon Fraser University, and is a member of the Clan’s 1,000-point club. He went on to represent Canada internationally, and now works as a teacher at Abbotsford’s Yale Secondary.
On the awards front, Jacob Doerksen was named the outstanding male basketball player at a B.C. university for 2010-11. In his fifth and final season of CIS eligibility, the Rick Hansen Secondary grad led Trinity Western to the national championship game, where they fell to the Carleton Ravens. Doerksen was named a first team CIS all-star after finishing third in Canada West in scoring (21.6 points per game), second in field goal percentage (62.1) and eighth in rebounds (7.8).
Two other local players were nominated for Basketball B.C. awards, but came up short. University of the Fraser Valley point guard Tessa Klassen was up for the top B.C. university female prize, but SFU’s Nayo Raincock Ekunwe got the nod. Klassen led the Cascades on a surprising playoff run to the Canada West Final Four and the CIS East Regional.
Calgary Dinos forward Matt Letkeman, a Yale Secondary grad, was nominated for the top university male playing outside B.C. award. Letkeman, who won the Canada West men’s basketball rookie of the year prize, lost out to Carleton’s Phil Scrubb.