Three EMCS senior basketball players invited to play an exclusive training weekend

Three players from Sooke, Jonah Phillips (left), Lucas Blatchford (airborne centre) and Scott Dickie (right) were all selected.

This was one of the best shots of the season witnessed by this photographer: Lucas Blatchford landed a shot from centre court

This year’s EMCS senior boys’ basketball team had one heck of year, a year that saw many first achievements.

Well, the good news keeps rolling in.

Three of our Grade 11 players have been invited to play at the All Island Invite Camp (AIIC), held on April 4 to 6 at St. Michael’s in Victoria.

Lucas Blatchford, Scott Dickie and Jonah Phillips have all been invited. All were thrilled.

Lucas Blatchford remarked on the effort it took to get to the All Island Invite Camp. “All my hard work is showing, and paying off.” He hopes to increase his skills, “and push myself to get better.”

“It means a lot to be a part of the camp,” said Jonah Phillips about being invited to this exclusive camp. “Following a fun year of basketball and I get to continue playing basketball for a fun weekend with and against players from around the Island. I’m pretty stoked to get that opportunity!”

“I feel quite honored to be invited to this camp,” added Scott Dickie. “It shows what hard work and dedication can do when you work really hard in season! Very excited to see if this camp will help our team next year! Go Wolverines!”

According to the letter from AIIC coordinator Greg Wallis announcing the honour, the AIIC “brings together Vancouver Island’s top prospects for three intense days of training, competition, and basketball-related education.” The weekend is by invitation only; being selected for this camp is quite an honour.

In speaking with Wallace, he indicated to the Sooke News Mirror that they had received 85 nominations from high schools throughout Vancouver Island this year. Fifty-five players’ applications were approved. All three nominations from Sooke were awarded.

Wallace gave an additional “shout out to Trevor Bligh at Edward Milne,” recognizing that his contribution as head coach helped shape the Wolverine’s tremendous success this year.

Passion Sports, which is the name of the company hosting the AIIC, is Wallace’s own company. It, along with with All Island, has been running for six years and is going strong.

This premier event focuses “on preparing interested athletes for a successful post-secondary basketball career,” explained Wallace.

And so far, so good. Last year, Sooke made the roster for the first time with this year’s Grade 12 player Quinn Yates. According to Bligh, Quinn Yates “just committed to two years with the local Camosun College basketball program. A first from EMCS!” Another first.

Greg Wallis is a 6’7 former basketball player with Simon Fraser University and is currently serving as a director at his company, Passion Sports Inc. In 2005/6, Wallis was recognized as Camonsun’s 1st Team All-Star through the BC College’s Athletic Association Provincial Awards and Achievements. Wallis was most recently an inductee to Camosun’s Charger’s Hall of Fame (September, 2013).

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