Riverside Secondary has many talented young athletes developing and excelling in their respective sports programs. The senior girls’ basketball team had an excellent season, losing only to Terry Fox in the girls 4A Provincial Basketball Championship game on March 5, 2022. One such player, who helped bring the team to that heart-breaking second place finish, is shooting guard Brooke Kendal. As she finishes on a high school career high, she is moving on to other opportunities. On March 30, she was offered a once in a lifetime chance to represent BC in the Niagara 2022 Canada Games.
Kendal has been playing basketball since age 6, for coach Paul Langford, through a program called Just a Bunch of Girls (JABOG) and has been a player for Riverside since grade 8. Through this program, Kendal was able to challenge herself by playing with older and more experienced girls. “[At JABOG] they believe in having students play by their level and they would not play by their age group,” said Michelle Kendal, mother of Brooke Kendal and teacher at Riverside Secondary. With a wide variety of age groups, such as in JABOG, Kendal was able to adapt and learn new skills quickly.
Another basketball opportunity that Kendal has been invited to is on May 5 she will be playing for the home team in the All-Star Senior Girls game in Langley for a fundraiser called Bigger than Basketball. Bigger Than Basketball is a fundraiser founded by basketball player Bradley Braich, who struggled with mental health. Braich struggled with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) throughout his basketball career and tried to take his own life because of it. He created the Bigger than Basketball fundraiser to help other basketball players who also struggle with mental health.
On June 3, Kendal will head off to Montreal to train for the Niagara 2022 Canada Games that begin on August 6, lasting 12 days. The Canada Games are a multi-sport tournament with competing provinces from all of Canada. “It’s like a mini-Olympics; it’ll be the closest she’ll get to playing at an elite level like the Olympics,” said Michelle Kendal.
Kendal will be starting post-secondary in the fall at the University of Victoria with a scholarship for basketball; however, she will be starting at the school earlier than most students would to do physical testing with the school’s coach. Kendal will be taking various history courses to put towards a Bachelor of Arts. After post-secondary Kendal plans on teaching history in high school. “When I graduate university, that’ll be the end of my basketball career…I have never not been in a competitive sport since I was six, so that will be a huge shock,” said Kendal.
Riverside is very proud to call Kendal one of their own and wishes nothing but the best in her basketball and post-secondary career.