The inaugural Riverboat Days Open Basketball Tournament got underway Thursday at the Terrace Sportsplex and Caledonia Secondary School.
Twelve mens’ teams and 6 womens’ teams will vie for tournament titles and cash prizes from Aug. 8 to 10.
The Terrace Basketball Association wanted to see the city join other Northwest communities when it comes to hosting major basketball tournaments, so they began planning one of their own four years ago.
Eighty-four teams from B.C. and as far away as Sask. initially expressed interest in travelling to Terrace to compete in six divisions, but the final tally is 18 teams across two divisions, mens and womens.
Organizer and association president Keith Azak says going forward he’s optimistic this tournament will rebound the city’s reputation as a host for major sporting events.
“The challenge is getting the notion out there that we can host the tournament because it’s so new,” he said earlier this year. “[People] didn’t realize Terrace was big enough,” Azak says. “Once they can get that mindset and know that this tournament exists and it will for years, it’s going to be a big one.”