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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Boys’ basketball teams to participate in winter break tournament in Canada

Bryan Zhao
Junior Caleb Yu practices drills with senior Bryan Wang during an open gym session in preparation for the season.

The boys’ basketball teams will attend the Vikes Alumni Invitational tournament in Victoria, Canada, from Dec. 27-31. This visit marks the team’s second time participating in the tournament; their first attendance was back in 2014 when current head coach Mike Davey last coached the team.

Both the varsity and JV teams will participate in the tournament held at the University of Victoria, where they will play matches against Canadian high school basketball teams. They will play one game daily from Dec. 28-30. 

Davey said that the teams have a number of objectives in attending the tournament, with their primary goal being to gain international basketball experience, as Canadian teams often play with different rules and styles.

“The rules are different with 10-minute quarters, and the 3-point line is set further back,” Davey said. “Their offense is also more free flow, as they shoot more 3s and tend to get more physical than us.”

Davey also expects the experience to help strengthen team camaraderie, which he considers a key component in having a successful season. He believes that when he took teams to the tournament in past years, the experience helped boost their performance. 

“I don’t think it’s an accident that I took the [girls’ varsity] team up there in 2015, and we went on to win CCS the following year,” Davey said.

Davey noted that he typically tries to arrange this trip once every four years in order to ensure every player has the chance to participate the trip during their high school career, though no visits were done from 2016 to 2022 as tournament slots were either full or the tournament was canceled altogether due to COVID-19.

Travel expenses for the trip have been primarily covered by donations from parents of the players. Davey added that the team is considering hosting an additional fundraiser to supplement these donations.

In preparation for this international tournament, the team plans to stick to their regular pre-season training, according to senior captain Raghav Chakravarthi.

“We aren’t doing anything specific to prepare for the tournament aside from our regular pre-season training and conditioning,” Chakravarthi said. “As long as we’re healthy going in, that’s all that matters.”

During the trip, the team will also be granted time to visit renowned sites in Victoria, including Butchart Gardens and the British Columbia Parliament Building. However, as of Nov. 28, there is no confirmed itinerary for these visits.

“I’m glad to have this opportunity for my final season, and I’m sure the team is going to have a great time,” Chakravarthi said.

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