SPORTS BRIEFS: round-up of local interest stories

Basketball at LEC, TWU Spartan goes home, Burnstein to World Juniors, loss for Canada in volleyball

Basketball teams battle at LEC

More than 90 boys’ and girls’ basketball teams from across Canada are battling at the bballnationals championships at Langley Events Centre.

Competition began Monday (July 29) with the girls tournament, which runs until Thursday (Aug. 1).

Boys begin playing Friday (Aug. 2) until Monday (Aug. 5).

Now in its third year, the event provides exposure and resources for young athletes looking to further their basketball careers.

Niedermaier heads home

Former Trinity Western Spartan forward Florian Niedermaier is going home.

Niedermaier has signed to play with HC Davos of the National League, Switzerland, his hometown.

He finished his final regular season as a Spartan in March, having played 119 career games, tying him for second all-time in BCIHL history.

Team Canada takes Burnstein

For a second straight season, Vancouver Giants athletic therapist Mike Burnstein will represent Canada at the IIHF World Junior Championships. The 2019-20 tournament begins Dec. 26 in the Czech Republic.

Entering his third season with the Vancouver Giants, Burnstein has considerable international experience.

In addition to last season’s World Junior tournament in Vancouver/Victoria, he worked for Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics, four World Hockey Championships, the 2015 Spengler Cup and served as the Athletic Trainer for Team Europe in 2016 at the World Cup of Hockey. Additionally, Burnstein spent 20 seasons with the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks.

READ MORE: Giants add Burnstein

“We are very fortunate to have a professional of Mike’s caliber working with our players” said Giants General Manager Barclay Parneta. “For Hockey Canada to once again place their trust in him speaks volumes about his reputation within the game. It reflects well on our organization to have our staff chosen for such prestigious events.”

Volleyball loss for Canada

Trinity Western University players Brodie Hofer, Mathias Elser and his brother Jesse ended their tour of duty with Team Canada Saturday and a loss at the Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championships in Manama, Bahrain. Poland defeated Canada 3-2 (15-25, 25-23, 28-26, 23-25, 15-12).

Canada finished 12th overall.

Canada’s team captain Mathias Elser told www.fivb.com: “We missed an opportunity in the second set. We definitely had them down and they came back strong. We were up and then we had a little bit of an energy dip and they came back and took that set. That took us out of the groove for the rest of the game.”

“I think the tournament met my expectations. It was awesome to get a bunch of high-level volleyball matches, which we don’t get too much of back home. It was great just having an experience we can use in our careers as we move forward in this sport,” said Elser.

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