A tournament hosted by Salmon Arm Seconday over the weekend brought a former Jewels basketball player back to town, this time as the coach of an opposing team.
Tekki Brown-Hryniw co-coaches the Mount Sentinel Wildcats, from South Slocan, with her husband Kris Hryniw.
Brown-Hryniw, who graduated from SAS in 1992, was a standout player at guard.
The Jewels placed third in the province both years Brown-Hryniw was on the team. Salmon Arm hosted the provincial championships in 1991.
Terry Michell, the current head coach of the Jewels, was the coach when Brown-Hryniw played.
Brown said she learned a lot about the treatment of players and how to conduct herself as a coach from Michell.
“He was always super classy and a heck of a lot of fun, and he always believed in us,” she said.
Michell first coached Brown-Hryniw when she was in Grade 5, at a summer basketball camp.
“Terry was always super generous with my teammates and I. He would drive us down to provincial team practices. He would take his own personal time all the time”
Brown-Hryniw said Michell even went as far as loaning players his car when they needed a way of getting to Vancouver for practices and tryouts.
“I think you’ve got to put a lot of yourself into anything to be successful,” Michell said.
Brown-Hryniw said the opportunities to hit the court year-round Michell created, in the form of camps and spring league were a big part of the team’s success.
“Spring league was only Saturdays so they could all play other sports,” Michell said.
Brown-Hryniw went on to play basketball for SFU and attributes her success to the coaching she received in Salmon Arm.
Brown-Hryniw says she has been coaching the group of girls currently on the Mount Sentinel team, including two of her daughters, one in Grade 10 and another in Grade 12, since they were in Grade 7. She says she will continue to coach basketball.
“I’m just happy she could come back and bring her team and her family,” Michell said.