NEC-SFU Native Basketball festival promotes education
By Justin Wong
Simon Fraser University and the Native Education College hosted the NEC-SFU Native Basketball festival—a three-day festival of sport, culture and community—on May 20-22.
The festival used the First Nations tradition of friendly competition combined with cultural exhibitions to bring together 500-800 Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal basketball players, Elders, performers, venders, volunteers, families and friends.
The event encourages participants like Jasmine Hamilton, a senior in high school and a point guard for the Vancity Aboriginal Junior Girls team, to learn more about the post-secondary education opportunities that are open to young adults in a fun and friendly environment.
“In the near future I would like to continue my education at SFU,” says Hamilton. “I plan to enroll in the Aboriginal bridge program at the university.”
James Savino, Jasmine’s father and coach of the Vancity Aboriginal Junior Girls team, has witnessed the positive impact basketball has had on his daughter’s self-esteem.
“Jasmine puts in a lot of hard work on and off the court,” says Savino. “Over the years she has developed a sense of self discipline from basketball that has transitioned into her work in school.”
Men and women of all ages participated in the festival that was at capacity with 32 teams registered.
The event’s popularity also attracted hundreds of spectators who enjoyed Aboriginal entertainment, food, crafts vendors and dialogues with Elders as part of the festivities.
Catch all of the live-stream archived games here.
If you would like to learn more about the event please visit the links below: