About 200 young players took to the basketball court at Walnut Grove Secondary School for the North Langley Basketball Association (NLBA) second annual Ron Renville memorial three-on-three tournament on Saturday, Feb. 26.
The event honours the memory of the well-liked coach and Aldergrove resident, who passed away in 2019, NLBA president Laura Del Rio explained.
“He was a fantastic coach,” Del Rio commented.
“The kids loved him.”
All divisions of the league, ranging from age five to 17, took part.
There were even two teams from another league that joined in.
It wasn’t about about winning or losing, Del Rio elaborated.
“The point of the tournament is the memory of Ron, and the kids having fun,” Del Rio told the Langley Advance Times.
For example, she explained games can be “super loose” about the rules when it comes to scoring opportunities, in order to allow kids, especially those new to the sport, to enjoy themselves.
It would have been the third annual tournament, but the 2020 edition of the event had to be called off because of the pandemic, Del Rio said.
Renville, a Vancouver firefighter, passed away in May of 2019, leaving behind his wife Kristin and their two children.
Kristin said Ron’s love of basketball was instilled in him from his father, who coached in Pemberton for over forty years.
“Ron’s goals coaching were that every player would improve and that every player would still love the game, and want to play the following year,” she recalled.
“Ron loved coaching and felt the lessons from his years playing team sports followed him into his career as a firefighter and life in general. He would be honoured to know the league is holding this tournament in his name. Not a day goes by where we don’t miss Ron in our home. [He was] taken way too soon with so much left to give.”
His obituary described him as the “best husband, dad, son, brother, uncle and friend that anyone could wish for,” and a person who “lived his life with kindness, respect, integrity and unconditional love.”
On the day of his service, several blocks of downtown Vancouver were closed for first responders to take part in a funeral procession.
“Ron was known for his skill as a firefighter, his positivity around the hall, and his commitment to helping other members in need,” said the Vancouver Fire Fighters’ Union Local 18.
The NLBA is an all-volunteer community sports organization that supports long term athlete development and fair play. The season runs from September to March with playoff games wrapping up before spring break.
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