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“We are a basketball family” Prince Rupert’s mother-daughter trio at ANBT

Basketball really is life for Tracy, Carly and Cary-Lynn Cochrane of the Prince Rupert Rain
From left to right: Carly, Tracy and Cary-Lynn Cochrane are playing their final All Native Basketball Tournament together for the Prince Rupert Rain women’s team. (Seth Forward/The Northern View)

Cary-Lynn Cochrane remembers when her mother and teammate, Tracy Cochrane, would breastfeed her younger sister courtside between plays at the All Native Basketball Tournament.

Now that younger sister, Carly Cochrane, makes up a mother-daughter trifecta on the Prince Rupert Rain women’s basketball team.

Carly, 23, joined the family trio nine years ago, while Cary-Lynn and Tracy have been playing on the Rain together for two decades.

With the tournament opening up a women’s masters division in 2025, this will be the elder Cochrane’s final ANBT with her daughters. As well, Tracy Cochrane will start cancer treatment later this spring, giving the Cochrane girls extra impetus to make this tournament count.

Cary-Lynn admits there are times where the three bicker on the court, but adds that it’s only because they know each other’s games so well.

“I yell at my mom a lot, because she’s so tall. And if she plays small, I get mad at her and I say, ‘play big! You’re 6 foot — you’ve got to act like it,’” Cary-Lynn said. “Basically, we’re very critical of each other, but it’s all good stuff to help each other out.”

Tracy is not on the team through sympathy or loyalty either, as each member of the Prince Rupert Rain must earn their spot through annual tryouts.

Though she has stepped back to let younger players have a chance on the team, this year there was no way she was relinquishing her position.

”I actually didn’t play a couple of years ago… if there’s somebody younger and there’s too many players, I’ll just step back,” Tracy said. “But this year I said no, because I played a lot in the league this year and … I deserve to play.”

The youngest Cochrane said she had plenty expectations thrust upon her due to her sister and mother’s prominence in the Prince Rupert women’s basketball scene.

“It was a lot of pressure growing up because my sister was MVP at 16, and my mom was this amazing player,” said Carly.

“It was a lot to live up to growing up, but I always told myself if I’m as half as good as them, then I’m happy.”

Throughout her 20 years of playing in the tournament, Cary-Lynn said she has never thought of stopping, as her deep love for the game keeps her coming back.

“I’m so busy, I have four children and work, but no matter what, I’ve always come back to play basketball,” said Cary-Lynn. “I’ve never not wanted to play. I guess around here, it’s just something that you grew up with.”

Basketball runs deep in the Cochrane family. Cary-Lynn’s children have already started playing, while Tracy’s three sons have all played in the tournament as well. John Stevens, Tracy’s husband and the girls’ father, has also coached both girls and their brothers.

As a club team rather than a village team, the Prince Rupert Rain is culturally diverse with players from a wide range of nations.

“I know club teams get a bad rep,” Cary-Lynn said. “But I wouldn’t have been able to play 20 years with my mom if we didn’t have that because there’s only one place she could play, and that’s Prince Rupert,” she said.

Tracy and Cary-Lynn have won three championships before Carly joined, while both sisters have been crowned tournament MVPs and Tracy has been named defensive player of the tournament, though they are looking to cement their legacy with a team trophy this year.

The Rain got off to a tough start with a loss to Bella Coola, but the team then crushed Lytton on day three of the ANBT, with Cary-Lynn a joint highest-scorer in the game.

They now have the chance to beat old rival Kitamaat in their third game of the tournament.

READ MORE: 2024 All Native Basketball Tournament - Day 4 Recap

About the Author: Seth Forward, Local Journalism Initiative

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