Twelve of the province’s top high school basketball teams will be in action this upcoming weekend at the fourth annual York City Basketball Classic, which will be held at both the YRHS and SHHS gymnasiums.
But why would two rivals who despise each other on the court, be willing to work together off of it? The answer, according to Sacred Heart Senior boys head coach Garrett Karcha, is simple. “It’s great for Yorkton basketball,” said Karcha. “The tournament promotes the sport within the city and also helps raise money for a great cause (Breast Cancer Research in Canada).”
Another reason Karcha got involved was because he saw how much work and effort Jason Payne, head coach of the YRHS Senior boys’ basketball team, put into the 12 team tournament that preceded the York City Classic. “Jason used to do this kind of tournament by himself. He’d organize and run a 12 team tournament by himself and he did that for a few years before I got to Sacred Heart,” mentioned Karcha. “Then the first year I was at Sacred Heart he did it himself and then I went to him and asked if it would help him if we co-hosted so he didn’t have to rent out the St. Michaels and M.C. Knoll gym.”
When asked about his thoughts on how the tournament has progressed over the years, Payne couldn’t help but smile when he said: “I think it’s been a really positive endeavour over the last four years.
“I think it’s been something that he and I enjoy doing together and I think that donating the proceeds to Breast Cancer Research in Canada is something that I know both of us are proud of and it’s something that we can teach our players. We can show them that we can make a difference in our community no matter how big or small just by continuing to do things that help and give back.”
One may ask themselves how, or rather, why, did Payne and Karcha decide that donating all the proceeds to help find a cure for Breast Cancer in Canada was the correct decision? “Well we started donating all the proceeds to Breast Cancer Research in Canada about three years ago when one of our players at the time had his mother pass away due to breast cancer,” said Payne, continuing, “We thought it’d be a fitting tribute to him and his family to do that. So we are continuing to do that and there will be lots of pink stuff out next week just like most sports have done in the last five to 10 years.
“This is kind of our chance to do something like that.”
The prestigious tournament, co-hosted by long-time rivals Yorkton Regional Raiders and Sacred Heart Saints, will begin with the A and C pool host Regional Raiders Senior boys basketball team taking on Moosomin at noon while Moose Jaw Vanier battle Lumsden at Sacred Heart at noon as well.
Sacred Heart’s first game will be Friday at 1:40p.m. at the Halo Dome when they take on Melfort. They will then play North Battleford at 8:10p.m.on Friday to finish off their round robin play.
The Raiders, meanwhile, will take on Prince Albert Carlton at 6:30p.m.on Friday for their final round robin game.
All proceeds from the entire tournament will go directly to helping find a cure for Breast Cancer in Canada.