Titans make history with first-ever provincial AAA boys basketball title

For the first time ever, the South Kamloops Titans boys basketball team have won the provincial AAA title this weekend.

South Kamloops boys take a provincial basketball title a week after the girls team won their championship

South Kamloops Titans celebrate winning the 2018 provincial title in Langley on the weekend. (Cassidy Jean)

The South Kamloops Titans have made history.

For the first time ever, the boys basketball team has won the provincial AAA title. They beat Burnaby's Byrne Creek Community School 74-66 in the finals at the Langley Events Centre on the weekend.

The win come just a week after the girl's basketball team won the AA provincial championship.

This is the fourth year in a row that the South Kamloops boys team has made it to provincials. In 2017, they lost in the final against Abbotsford's Rick Hansen Secondary School.

"It was a very painful feeling and something that we didn't want to feel again," said Titans head coach Tim Unaegbu.

In addition to tough competition from the other teams, the Titans had to compete in the tournament without Unaegbu on the bench. His unsportsmanlike behaviour earlier in the season earned him multiple technical-foul violations and a 10-game suspension that included the provincial tournament. 

"It almost gave them a spark without me there because they wanted to do this for [me]," he said.

Unagebu says he wasn't worried about how his team or coaching staff would perform without him courtside.

"We put things together, I had the talk...when we went to the game, it doesn't matter who's on the bench."

This year, Unaegbu told his team it was a chance to make their mark.

"I said, 'Hey, in 30 years, you can go the Kamloops museum, you'll see an old photo of yourself and say, hey, we were the first team,'' he said.

"No one can take that away."

South Kamloops player Nick Sarai heads to the basket. (Cassidy Jean)

Despite never having won a boys provincial title, South Kamloops has a strong history of basketball.

Miami Heat player Kelly Olynyk graduated from South Kamloops in 2009.

 Ken Olynyk, his dad and former South Kamloops Secondary school girls basketball coach, says this win is a big deal.

"It's quite an accomplishment for South Kamloops and a great accomplishment for the city of Kamloops."

Head coach Unaegbu agrees.

"The banner is just a bonus, but the feeling that this gives us is something  you can't change," he said.

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About the Author

Jenifer Norwell

Digital Associate Producer

Jenifer Norwell has been working with CBC since 2008. She's worked in Prince George, Vancouver, Sudbury and now makes her home in her hometown of Kamloops. She works with CBC Kamloops and with Daybreak Kamloops. jenifer.norwell@cbc.ca