Whether it’s scoring goals on the field, stopping pucks on the ice or making buckets on the court, Eric Tubb has always been a competitor who loves being part of a team.
The 17-year-old Rupertite has been involved in the city’s sports scene for as long as he can remember, and although he is currently recovering from a dislocated knee, he said he will never stop pushing to do the things that he loves.
“I just like to be there and contribute as much as I can to the team,” he said.
Tubb was first introduced to organized sports when he was eight years old with soccer.
“I was a very active kid when I was younger,” he said. “And I was always looking for stuff to do with my friends and my parent put me into soccer.”
Tubb started playing the position of goalkeeper, but eventually moved to the striker position. He said he admired Christiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Imbrahimovic, two athletic, popular European forwards who are known for their ability to score from anywhere on the pitch.
“They’re aggressive players, but they’re smart at the same time,” he said.
A year after starting soccer, Tubb signed up to play hockey with some friends who were joining the city’s minor league teams. Similar to his soccer experience, Tubb said he played goaltender when he first started.
“There are definitely similarities between being a goalkeeper in soccer and a goaltender in hockey, but there are differences, too” he said. “In soccer you have more ground to cover, where in hockey, there is a lot more positioning and you have to guess where the puck is going to go sometimes.”
Tubb played hockey until he was 15 and there was a three-way tie on his team for the netminder position that saw him relegated to the stands for some games. Around the same time, Mel and Ryan Bishop, the Charles Hays basketball team coaches, also started recruiting him to play basketball as he was tall and athletic. Given the opportunity to contribute regularly to the basketball team, Tubb said he gave up hockey.
“I thought I can go where I’ll get to play instead of staying and sitting on the bench,” he said.
Being brand new to a sport that some of his teammates had been playing for years, Tubb said he found basketball difficult at first, but over time was able to improve until he solidified a place for himself in the team’s rotation.
“I kinda picked up things, stuck to it and got a little bit better,” he said.
Over time, Tubb experienced success with both the school’s soccer and basketball teams, recently travelling to compete at the provincial tournament with the soccer team while playing a key role on the perennial zone champion basketball team.
However, his hopes of being on a championship contender this year hit a road block after dislocating his right knee during an intra-squad scrimmage in the basketball preseason.
The prognosis was six weeks of rest and rehab, and he would have to keep his knee immobilized as much as possible in a specially-designed brace that goes from his calf all the way to his upper thigh.
“I was pretty choked because the injury is cutting into ball season,” he said.
Tubb said he still wants to work toward making it back for provincials, and finishing what he and his teammates started when he first joined the team.
“This was the exact group of kids I played with when I first started,” he said. “Now we have the chance to do something for the school, do something for ourselves and make a name for ourselves.”
While Tubb is currently on the sidelines, he is still present with the team as they start their young season. He said the injury may have slowed him down but he won’t stop pushing until he makes it back.
“I’ve been through injuries before in the past and they haven’t slowed me down,” he said.