PRINCE ALBERT — Organizing a basketball tournament that draws dozens of teams from across the province isn’t easy, and both the Saskatchewan Rives and Prince Albert Catholic school divisions recognized those efforts at their Monday meetings.
The North Central District host committee was responsible for organizing the three-day event, which drew Saskatchewan’s best basketball teams to Prince Albert in the 1A to 5A categories. The teams played at Carlton Comprehensive High School, Ecole St. Mary High School and Saskatchewan Polytechnic.
“Even if they don't like basketball I think people should know it's a fantastic outpouring of volunteer support to make that event happen,” Saskatchewan Rivers director of education Robert Bratvold said.
“If anybody was around Carlton on the weekend, and anybody was at St. Mary and Sask. Polytech, it was a fantastic major event in the City.”
Down the street, at the Catholic Education Centre, the board of education also discussed the significance of hosting Hoopla. The division had 40 staff volunteers, and around another 40 student volunteers, helping out at St. Mary school during the tournament. Education director Lorel Trumier thanked those volunteers for their efforts, and the tournament organizers for pulling off such a large event.
“That the Northwest SHSAA host that come together with the SHSAA to do that was so exciting,” Trumier said. “I think they did a very classy job.”
Trumier said she was only able to attend some games at Ecole St. Mary, but she recognized the work organizers and volunteers put in across the city.
She also said it was exciting to see communities from across the province come together and celebrate basketball.
“It was electric,” she said. “The gym was electric with the excitement of some of these games. It was really exciting. We had some of our elementary students coming in to watch some of these games as well, which gives them an insight of what it will be like becoming involved at the high school.”
All four teams from Ecole St. Mary and Carlton qualified which added to that electricity.
“To have both our boys’ team and girls team qualify for provincials and coming out of COVID, it was just that much more meaningful for our students to become engaged in,” Trumier said. “It was just such an exciting week.”
The last time Prince Albert hosted Hoopla was 2018 and Trumier hopes that it will continue to be part of the rotation of communities that host provincial basketball.
“I give a lot of credit to the staff and the volunteers at all locations that hosted Hoopla,” she said. “It certainly was something that we are looking forward to doing again. We would do it all over again.”