Snowball Classic back for 56th year

Abbotsford Secondary's annual basketball tournament returns starting Jan. 13

Abbotsford's Chase Claypool defends during last year's Snowball Classic basketball tournament. This year's event runs from Jan. 13 to 16.

Abbotsford's Chase Claypool defends during last year's Snowball Classic basketball tournament. This year's event runs from Jan. 13 to 16.

For the 56th time, some of the best young basketball talent in North America is coming to Abbotsford Secondary.

The annual Snowball Classic returns to the school starting on Jan. 13 and running until Jan. 16.

This year’s highlighted team is the five-time New York state champion Mount Vernon Knights. The Knights are ranked third in the state this season, led by point guard Marco Morency, who is ranked as one of the top players in the state.

Former NBA talent to come out of the school includes: Ben Gordon, Gus Williams, Ray Williams, Earl Tatum, Rodney McCray, Scooter McCray, Lowes More and Kevin Jones.

Knights coach Bob Cimmino was named to the New York state coaches hall of fame in 2011, and has been coaching the Knights for nearly 30 years.

NCAA recruits competing at the tournament include Knights players Morency, Gregory Calixte and Jason Douglas, along with Abbotsford’s Chase Claypool.

British Columbia provincial players at the tournament include: Lambert Pajayon, Jass Singh, Matt Lafontaine, Howard Wang, Brett Christensen, and Grant Shephard.

The host Abbotsford Panthers, Bateman Timberwolves, Mouat Hawks, Yale Lions, and MEI Eagles are the local teams in the tournament.

Other teams include: Vancouver’s Kitsilano Blue Demons, Chilliwack’s GW Graham Grizzlies, Vancouver’s St. George’s School Saints, the Kelowna Owls, Vancouver’s Winston Churchill Bulldogs, and Langley’s Walnut Grove Gators.

The tournament features five of the top ten 4A basketball teams in the province in the Owls (#1), the Bulldogs (#2), the Gators (#3), the Blue Demons (#4), and the Lions (#6).

Other top teams in their respective conferences are the Eagles (#9 in AAA) and the Grizzlies (#2 in AA).

Teams at the Snowball Classic are battling for the Peter Buhler Memorial Trophy, which was donated by the Abbotsford Secondary students’ council in his honour.

Buhler was an all-around athlete and participated in most of the sports offered at the school. He passed away in October 1962 from leukemia.

The Snowball Classic is recognized as the longest running tournament in the province. Vancouver College won the first ever tournament, with MEI being the first Abbotsford school to win back the title in 1963.

The host Panthers earned their first Snowball title in 1964. The Panthers last won a Snowball title in 1999.

The last Abbotsford team to claim the title was the Yale Lions in 2010.

The Fairfax Lions from Los Angeles won the 2015 tournament, defeating the Burnaby South Rebels 81-60 in the final.

It all gets going when the Panthers host the Timberwolves in the opening game on Jan. 13. Tip-off is set for 12:45 p.m. at the Abby Secondary gym. The final is set for Jan. 16 at 8 p.m.

A tournament pass for all four days costs $20, with the tickets costing $5 on Wednesday and $6 on Thursday. Admission for Friday and Saturday is $8. Student pricing is $2 on Wednesday and Thursday, and $3 on Friday and Saturday.

For more information on the event, visit snowballbasketball.com.

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

Just Posted

A photo illustration shows a fountain planned for Mill Lake. (City of Abbotsford photo)
UPDATED: City approves $200K fountain for Mill Lake using donated funds

Project will improve lake quality and ecosystem, say Abbotsford city staff

Linnea Labbee outside the Chilliwack Law Courts on April 1, 2021 on day 16 of her trial in BC Supreme Court where she is charged in connection with the fatal hit-and-run of a 78-year-old woman on Mary Street on Dec. 1, 2016. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crown seeking jail time for 72-year-old Chilliwack woman found guilty in fatal hit-and-run

Trial of Linnea Labbee who struck and killed 78-year-old woman in 2016 ended Monday

The Abbotsford IHOP, shown here on April 5, is now completely removed. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
Abbotsford IHOP building taken down

Iconic restaurant had been on South Fraser Way for nearly 33 years

Abbotsford's Rick Hansen Secondary School is celebrating Vaisakhi virtually for 2021. (Submitted)
VIDEO: Abbotsford’s Rick Hansen Secondary School celebrates ‘Virtual Vaisakhi’

Production highlights local youth talent in anticipation of the start of annual festival on April 13

The Abbotsford Gogos are inviting local residents to watch a virtual concert in support of African grandmothers. The concert first airs on April 15. (Photo: Abbotsford Gogos Facebook page)
Abbotsford Gogos invite guests to virtual concert to support African grandmothers

Event first airs on April 15, featuring music, dance and storytelling

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

Surrey RCMP are seeking the public's help to locate three puppies stolen from a South Surrey home on April 10. (Surrey RCMP photos)
Puppies stolen during weekend break-and-enter in South Surrey

Surrey RCMP seeking public’s assistance in locating three American Bulldog puppies

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

Mounties say they “corralled” four Ford Mustangs April 4 after an officer saw the muscle cars racing down 184 Street near 53 Avenue at about 10 p.m. (File Photo)
Mounties impound four Mustangs

Surrey RCMP say they seized four cars for street racing

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

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

Most Read