There was an uproar on twitter from Club coaches across Canada yesterday when news hit, that Canada Basketball would be moving up the dates for the National Championships to coincide with the NCAA Live period. My twitter feed was filled with discouraged and disappointed Club coaches from East to West. Apparently there has been zero communication between both the Clubs and Canada basketball on trying to get the top players to play at Nationals, and by moving the dates to the coveted NCAA Live period, it is basically giving the top players a choice between playing in Vegas with their club or playing in Alberta with their Province. I guess Canada Basketball has finally drawn a line in the sand with this current decision, as Clubs will likely not want their top players to lose the oppurtunity to play in the one of the biggest tournaments of the NCAA Live period.
Personally I don't know how I feel about this. But I do believe the Nationals are becoming a watered down product that has recently put out a second tier level of competition and will stay that way as Clubs gain more and more popularity across the nation. Some common ground has to be found between Clubs and Canada Basketball which now seems farther apart than ever. The top-elite players in BC, I know for a fact would love to represent their Province and play against the best competition available to them, but if given the option between Vegas and Alberta the elite talent will always choose to play against the very best and that is in Vegas. On the opposing side I do think it gives the oppurtunity for more kids to get exposure than would before, but it is clearly drawing a line, Canada Basketball is not about having the best play the best but as has been shown by us here in BC, it is more about 'wide participation' rather than 'elite competition.'
The Official Press Release from Basketball Alberta.
Basketball Alberta to Host 2014 Canada Basketball U15 and U17 Boys and Girls National Championships!
Basketball Alberta is proud to announce that it will be hosting the national championships in Edmonton from July 24th – 31st at the Saville Community Sports Centre. This unprecedented event is the first time that all 4 will be hosted in one location.
The national championships will be sanctioned by the NCAA and will allow U.S. coaches to attend for the first time. CIS and CCAA coaches will also be invited. This provides an unprecedented opportunity for our Canadian athletes to play in front of coaches and scouts from both sides of the border.
Basketball Alberta’s Executive Director Paul Sir is looking forward to the opportunity. ‘The Saville Community Sports Centre provides a unique world class environment. BA is grateful that our Canadian provincial partners and Canada Basketball see the advantages this creates to host a truly special event. Our organizing committee, along with our partners at the City of Edmonton, look forward to putting a spectacular program together that the participants and spectators will remember for a long time!’