Former Mariners off to World Senior Games

July 28th, 2013

After the Nanaimo District Secondary School's Islanders boys basketballers won a B.C. championship in 1978, some of the guys have kept the magic alive.

A Nanaimo men's basketball team will compete in the World Masters Games in Torino, Italy, Aug. 2-11.

The team is composed of several athletes from the NDSS dynasty of the 1970s, including some who won the provincial championship in 1978.

Members of that storied roster went on to play with Malaspina College, a team that claimed another provincial champion for Nanaimo, in 1982, before a loss in the final the following season.

"We all played at NDSS at one point in our careers," said Dave Brown, who will join local athletes like Brian Lennox, Mike Murphy and Mike Davidson in Italy starting next week.

The WMGs take place every four years, an event that draws athletes from around the globe. The games were hosted by Edmonton in 2005. That year, Brown, Lennox and Davidson joined other Nanaimo talents to take down the gold.

A similar team, minus a handful of the usual talents, came fourth in Sydney, Australia in 2009.

This year, the Nanaimo crew hopes to take down another championship on the world stage.

"I think a grand total of five of us played at NDSS, four of us played at Malaspina back in the 80s," said Lennox.

Through the 1970s, the Islanders were a regular threat to win the B.C. title.

In 1978 the team defeated Oak Bay 71-62 to win the final. The group struggled through the 1979 season but staged another push to the finals in 1980, when they fell 57-40 to Prince George "I like to refer to these guys as fine bottles of wine," said Davidson, whose sons Ryan and Trevor were part of the 2013 national championship-winning VIU Mariners hoop stars.

Other locals on the squad include Lorne Bury, Wayne Clouthier, Drew Cooper and Dan Dougan.

Two of Lennox's teammates from his years with Dalhousie University in Halifax will also join the Nanaimo team.