-As witnessed by, Mjlover23.
Many events have been held in Vancouver BC, rarely do events take place at Kits Beach! I struggle to understand why this location hadn’t been a haven for the majority of the lower mainland. After talking with a number regular visitors and a few of the local residence throughout the years of living in BC, I finally understood why. I didn’t get a universal answer on the reasoning behind the lack of events sanctioned for location. What I people kept coming back to was the culture surrounding that location. From the long stretch of beach coastline, the view of West Vancouver, the small business that lightly litter the area, the many different sports and playgrounds that are easily accessible, to the two basketball courts a few hundred feet from where the residential section begins. It is somewhat of a village where many different walks of life come to: meet, share ideas, view the sites, and ….Compete!
Curiosity filled the air as the Nike “Summer is Serious” Open Run setup team hit the court. Braving great weather dawning Black Nike event shirts, the band of volunteers hit the court with a smile. One by one the task were completed, and the more the court was setup the more anticipation filled the area for the start of one of the most unique events to hit Kits Beach!
The incoming players brought more and more fans as the event drew closer to its beginning. Rollerbladers, beach volleyball players, fitness enthusiasts, joggers, woman, and children all crowded the courts to see what was going on. Special thanks to the Hall of Famer Howard Kelsey, who came out to make sure Team Nike received all the help we needed to get this event running, and to keep it running smoothly. As the event began, I realized this was going to be bigger than I had anticipated! On short notice, this Nike Open Run brought out the area’s finest ballers! The 5 player team spots stacked up like traffic on 4th st! In a matter of minutes there were 6 full teams waiting to hit the hard court, not to mention the featured teams of the day.
Vancouver Metro League Hoopers Robbie Phillips, Chad Warren, Malcolm, Naseem, Demetri Harris, and Roger Sheung made cameo appearances early in the run. Euro Pro and UBC Alum Matt Rachar snuck in and won the unofficial “Playoff Beard Award”! The run was fast and furious, then things got serious. BC Sports Hall of Famer Howard Kelsey laced up his sneakers! He was joined by Randy “All I Do Is Win” Nohr, Igor Dutina, and JY. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better it did! The equivalent of “The Super Team” hit the court! Chomping at the bit for 6 games, the juggernauts were hungry to get it on! It was a who’s who of basketball talent, and looked to turn the intensity level on “Overdrive”. Current Canadian National Team member and Euro Pro Levon Kendall, UBC Alum and current Euro Pro Doug Plumb, Former BCCAA National Champ and Douglas College Alum Tyler Lutton, German Pro leaguer Scott Morrison, Greece Pro Leaguer Diego “Let It Fly” Kapelan, and rounding out as a sub current CIS transfer Joel Friesen. This band of basketball junkies battled all competitors. The show stopper came on a long outlet to an open Joel Friesen. With one dribble from the top of the key he took one dribble and rose for a dunk. We all thought it was going to be a regular dunk because he had limited runway left for anything special. Boy were we wrong! Joel took the ball through his legs, and dunked it with his right hand! This would be a good dunk, but this one was great because he is a left handed player!
A prime testament to the basketball culture is a little known baller named John Pfaff. To make a long story short, John came straight to the court right from work. So excited to sign up and get on the court, he left his shoes in the car his brother was driving and had no hoop shoes. This would stop most players, but not John Pfaff. Not only did he signup and play, he played in Crocs!!! As people began to notice and start making comments, he shut them all up real quick. With an undersized team, John hit 5 of his team’s 7 points in their loss. Including a 24 foot three pointer that hit nothing but net!
Special shout out to Andrew “Soda” Wadden for coming out and giving us the on court street ball play by play. Also unexpected but thanks to Hooper and all-around athlete Ben Simmons for court side commentary. The event was praised by many people as a big success, and wanted to know when the next events would be. Big shout out to all the volunteers who helped make it all possible. Good luck to the hopeful draftees in the Nike “Summer is Serious” promotional tour. Stay tuned for more events in the future.
Check out the video highlights below
Photography by: Eric Inasi
SOURCE: MJLOVER23 FROM VANCOUVER BASKETBALL