The unofficial start of the high school basketball season in the Kennebecasis Valley always begins with the annual Rip Seely Memorial Game. 

Rip Seely was a legendary basketball figure, winning championships and countless individual awards as a player. Following his playing days those accomplishments were recognized with his induction into the Saint John and New Brunswick Sport Hall of Fames, and by being named New Brunswick’s Most Outstanding Basketball Player of the 20th Century. 

He has been called “Canada’s unchallenged king of the court” by the press, and “the greatest player in the country, barring none” by the opposition. 

NB Sports Hall of Fame

Since 1999 the varsity basketball teams at Kennebecasis Valley and Rothesay high schools have got together each November to honour Rip, to raise money in support of student-athletes, and to earn the bragging rights as the best team in the Valley. Twenty years later the “friendly” rivalry shows no signs of fading and has become a THE game all varsity players have circled on their calendars.

This year’s event will be hosted by KVHS on Wednesday November 14. The boy’s teams kick off the evening at 6:00 pm. followed by the girl’s at 8:00 pm. The Rothesay boys head into this year’s game as the #5 ranked team in the province, and the favourite after winning their first Rip Seely game in 2017. The Red Hawks, who have moved up to AAA for the 2018-2019 season, return a strong core group that won the AA crown last year. With a starting front line that is taller than most front-courts in the AUS, the Red Hawks will look to pound the ball inside against the unranked Crusaders.

For the night-cap, there doesn’t seem to be a clear favourite. The lady Crusaders find themselves as the fourth-ranked AAA girls team according to NB Hoops Report, while the Red Hawks come in ranked second in AA. But rankings never seem to matter when these two teams face off in the Rip Seely. The Red Hawks won the first Rip Seely Challenge. The Crusaders got payback in year number two. And the teams have been back and forth ever since. 

Rumblings that they might not even be the best team in the Kennebecasis Valley will need to rest before we can talk about [the Crusaders] as contenders to the [girl’s] AAA crown again.

NB Hoop Reports

Whether you bleed Red-and-White or are a card carry member of Crusader Country, we hope you come out to support this great event. Or perhaps channel your inner Rip Seely, grab a comfortable seat court-side, and cheer for both teams.