Manitoba

Basketball players from Pine Creek First Nation head to 3-on-3 tournament in Arizona

Four teenage basketball players from Pine Creek First Nation will be in Arizona this weekend to take on players from across North America in a three-on-three tournament.

Team was undefeated during qualifier this summer

The Pine Creek Warriors, a teenage basketball team from Pine Creek First Nation, are heading to Arizona to compete in a three-on-three tournament this weekend. (Angela Chartrand/Facebook)

Four teenage basketball players from Pine Creek First Nation will be in Arizona this weekend to take on players from across North America in a three-on-three tournament.

Members of the Pine Creek Warriors are heading to the 2021 Hoop It Up National Championship in Tempe, Ariz., playing in the youth to 16 division.

Hoop It Up is a three-on-three basketball tour that organizes tournaments worldwide, with professional and youth leagues. 

The Pine Creek Warriors qualified for the national championship after going undefeated in a three-on-three tournament in Winnipeg this summer.

It'll be the team's first time heading to a tournament involving teams from around the U.S. and Canada.

The team has been playing together since middle school, said Rylan Chartrand, who plays on the team with his brother, Mason, cousin Kamdyn and friend Phillip Desmarais.

"We've been playing basketball for most of our life," he said. 

Role models

Pine Creek First Nation, about 325 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, had a population of about 630 people as of 2016, according to Statistics Canada. 

Chartrand said he and his team have been practicing day and night to get ready for the tournament. He feels proud to put his community on the map. 

"It's all very exciting. There's a lot of supporters that are going to be watching this."

Chartrand hopes his team can show other kids in Pine Creek and other small communities what you can do.

"To see where we have gone, you know, we've just — we're just a small community. I hope that we could be a role model for the future kids and just show them that anything's possible."

With files from Marjorie Dowhos

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