BASKETBALL: Yoga poses for Panorama Ridge players as high school season starts

Surrey team preps for Tsumura Basketball Invitational tourney, which starts Thursday

Coach Raman Bedi of Surrey's Panorama Ridge Thunder senior boys basketball team has introduced yoga to the team.

By Howard Tsumura, PNG

SURREY — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar swore by the practice. And Phil Jackson, during his coaching days with both the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers, embraced its benefits, both from a physical and a mental standpoint.

Now, one local high school coach is making yoga a big part of his senior boys varsity basketball team’s regular training regimen.

“We did our first team yoga session in mid-November, and I saw the benefits right away” says Raman Bedi, the coach of Surrey’s Panorama Ridge Thunder. “It immediately put the emphasis on relaxing and staying present. They felt so loose and so good that they fell asleep after the session.”

The Thunder will not only be wide awake when they open play Thursday (4 p.m.) at the Langley Events Centre against the Burnaby South Rebels in an opening-round game at the Tsumura Basketball Invitational, they will have started a process that the 28-year-old Bedi hopes manifests itself throughout the course of the long campaign and has them ready to play their best basketball as March Madness approaches.

A teacher at Panorama Ridge, who is currently studying for his masters in health education and active living at Simon Fraser University, Bedi found himself getting to know professionals from all walks of the wellness community.

“I am surrounded by a lot of health practitioners and I was able to build a lot of contacts there,” the former North Delta Huskies player says of getting to know Naseem Gulamhusein, Langara College’s yoga-teacher training program coordinator.

“And I have always been about taking care of the body and having it work at optimal levels.”

Through Langara, Bedi has not only introduced the team to yoga, but has also arranged for a number of the school’s student massage therapists to work practicum hours on his players. In his mind, it’s all part of a larger component of the game that has been ignored for far too long.

“My boys know how to play the game, but if they don’t appreciate their bodies, they are not going to be able perform over the long-term,” he says. “If your body is not loose, you might still be able to do the basics, but by the end of the day you look like a pylon when you should look like you’re flying through the air. When you watch the pros, you can tell which ones do flexibility training.”

And so the Thunder roll on.

Talented seniors Harsimran Bhullar and Rajan Atker, and Grade 11s like Raphael Alcorez and Gurshael Jessel, will be the ones leading the way. And while the benefits of their specialized training may not immediately reveal themselves, Bedi remains a believer that so many facets of his team — from athleticism and endurance to unity and positivity — will wind up being enhanced.

“It’s important to teach them about well-being and the importance of flexibility, mindfulness and staying present,” he says. “The boys have implemented yoga practice into their daily lives and with it, success is coming on the court, in the classroom and in their daily lives.”

2016 Tsumura Basketball Invitational

Tournament draw, opening round (Thursday)

Top half

Quad A

2:45 p.m. — Lord Byng vs. Port Moody

4:30 p.m. — Walnut Grove vs. Sir Winston Churchill

Quad B

6:15 p.m. — Steveston-London vs. Yale

8 p.m. — Holy Cross vs. Lambrick Park

Bottom half

Quad C

5:45 p.m. — Lord Tweedsmuir vs. St. Thomas More

7:30 p.m. — Kelowna vs. McNair

Quad D

2:15 p.m. — Tamanawis vs. Byrne Creek

4 p.m. — Burnaby South vs. Panorama Ridge

 

Just Posted

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

PHOTOS: Surrey designer uses toilet paper to make a dress for annual Toronto show

‘The dress is very experimental and avante garde,’ says Guildford-based Alex S. Yu

Police issue warning after four overdoses in North Delta

Police and emergency health services use naloxone to revive four overdose victims Thursday morning

Surrey reacts to policing plan getting the green light

Former mayor, councillors and residents weigh in on the Public Safety Minister approving the transition

Trudeau vows to stand firm against ‘increasingly assertive’ China

China has accused Canada of meddling in its affairs

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town hit by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

North Van music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

B.C. man on trial for daughters’ murders says an intruder broke in

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

‘Plenty of time for a deal’: Teachers’ union expects kids back in school on Sept. 3

BCTF says class size, composition at the heart of the issue

Most Read