Thousands of people from across the Northwest will be making their way to Prince Rupert beginning this weekend as the 55th Annual All Native Basketball Tournament tips off on Feb. 9.
This year’s tournament, which will wrap-up with the finals on Feb. 15, will see a total of 50 teams competing for the championship in four divisions. While the Skidegate Saints, Haida Watchmen and Nanaimo Spirit will all be looking to defend their title, there is certain to be a new champion in the Intermediate division as the Haisla Braves of Kitamaat will not be in the tournament.
The honour of performing at Sunday’s opening ceremonies this year goes to the Haida Nation, with between 150 and 200 Haida dancers and drummers expected to participate. The group is made up of Haida from Haida Gwaii, Vancouver and Prince Rupert.
Hall of Fame inductees in 2014 include the Bolton brother of Hartley Bay — Chris Bolton, Orlando “Bossy” Bolton, Ted Bolton and Maurice Bolton — as well as referee Mike Lee of Victoria and tournament builders Eva and Joe Spencer of Kitkatla.
Look for updates throughout the tournament at thenorthernview.com.