The 31st annual Vancouver Island Seniors Classic All-Star games will showcase the top talent from the Island on the court and give the graduating players one last hurrah.
The games feature the best Grade 12 students and are divided into South Island and North Island teams, using the Malahat as the dividing line.
The West Shore is sending Brennan Pletsch, from Royal Bay Secondary and Nishad Tarak and Isaac Ickovich from Belmont Secondary to compete in the boys ‘A’ division.
Julius Kennedy from Belmont was also selected for the All-Star game, but he will be attending a player ID camp, hoping to take his game to the collegiate level.
Towards the end of the season, Pletsch was thinking it might be a possibility he would be included in the All-Star game, but also thought there were other players worthy of the honour.
Pletsch helped Royal Bay to a 9-1 AAA City league record, tied for first place, and finished second in City playoffs, making it to Islands for the first time in Royal Bay’s three-year existence. He was the captain of the team and finished the season averaging 17.5 points, eight rebounds and three blocks per game.
Pletsch is excited to be able to showcase his talent with the Island’s best. “10 out of 10 [for excitement]” he said. Royal Bay head coach Dave Sundher has enjoyed coaching Pletsch who, at 6 feet 6 inches, can play inside, can dribble and play outside too. Pletsch admits he has improved dramatically since Grade 11, he has more confidence shooting the three and his post moves are stronger. Sundher said Pletsch has worked hard and thinks being included in the All-Star game is a great reward for his dedication to the craft.
Pletsch played some pickup over spring break, but he’ll be getting some shots up this week to get some of the dust off and show that he can roll with the quad-A players.
Ickovich and Tarak are both proud to represent Belmont basketball and the West Shore on the South Island team.
“It’s a big honour, I’m pretty excited,” Tarak said. “Ever since I came here in Grade 9, every year I would go watch all the older kids play in it.” Tarak is excited that younger ballers could be inspired by him and work towards an All-Star of their own at the end of their high school careers.
The Belmont Bulldogs made a run at provincials in the beginning of March, finishing in fourth place after being the No. 13 seed entering the tournament. The Bulldogs beat No. 4 and No. 5 seeds to advance to the semi finals.
Ickovich is happy to play alongside one of his teammates in the All-Star game, “we went on a run together, so it’s nice to play with a familiar face,” he said, someone who you’ve gone to battle with.
Ickovich and Tarak will be teamed up with four Oak Bay All-Stars, a team Belmont played four times this past season and each game was a hard-fought and scrappy one. Tarak said he respects the competitiveness of the Oak Bay squad and hopes they can all learn from each other at the All-Star game.
Both Ickovich and Tarak are hoping to play college ball, but haven’t made any official plans as of yet.
Pletsch hopes to attend Royal Roads Military College in the fall.
The boys ‘B’ game tips at 3 p.m., followed by the girls game at 4:45 p.m. and the boys ‘A’ game at 6:30 p.m. The boys ‘A’ team will be coached by Matt Kuzminski, head coach of Vancouver Island University.