YARMOUTH, NS – It was a golden way to end the season for Nova Scotia’s U17 provincial boys basketball team, which captured its third national title in four years recently at the Canadian championships in Kamloops, B.C., and among those glad to have been a part of this year’s squad was Yarmouth-area player Dylan Landry.
“Having a chance to be a member of the Nova Scotia provincial team is an opportunity and an experience I won’t forget,” he said. “I was fortunate to receive training from four great coaches and play with a group of talented players. I was honoured to represent my province.”
It was a fast-paced, high-intensity kind of basketball, said Landry, 17.
Of course, being a member of the provincial team meant frequent trips to Halifax for weekend practices, but Landry said it was worth it.
“It was a big commitment but one I was glad to make,” he said.
The six-foot-five-inch Landry is entering Grade 12 at Yarmouth Consolidated Memorial High School.
As a member of the Nova Scotia U17 team, he was part of a squad that competed in games and tournaments in the Maritimes and beyond, including Quebec and Springfield, Mass., along with the nationals in B.C.
For Nova Scotia’s U17 men’s basketball program, this summer’s national championship was the third Canadian title in the past four years. Nova Scotia also captured national gold in 2015 and 2016.
Ryan Dickison, operations manager with Basketball Nova Scotia, said three titles in a four-year span is a significant feat.
“It’s pretty historic,” he said, “a pretty big deal.”
Meanwhile, aside from Landry, Dickison notes that the tri-county region had other players on provincial teams this year.
MacKenzie Smith, who attends Shelburne Regional High School, was a member of the Nova Scotia U17 girls squad that placed seventh in nationals.
Jamie Fehr, who also goes to school in Shelburne, was a member of the U16 boys squad. (There were no nationals for them.)
Dickison said basketball seems to be in pretty good shape in Nova Scotia.
“The numbers are steadily increasing as far as participation goes,” he said. “Just the overall popularity of the sport at large ... The game’s in a great place and it’s only growing and getting better.”
A Yarmouth native who played for the Vikings in his high school days, Dickison offered an example of how the sport has grown over the past few years, at least in terms of events put on by Basketball Nova Scotia.
“When I first got involved,” he said, “our provincial championships – Basketball Nova Scotia provincial championships – I believe we had approximately 260 teams. This past year we had over 420, so we’ve certainly seen the numbers increase.”