It took more than two years, but a piece of North Delta Secondary history is now hanging on its walls.
On Feb. 16, maintenance staff installed the centre court section of the old NDSS gym floor above the door to the current home of the Huskies. For basketball coach Jesse Hundal, it was a chance to commemorate the school’s basketball legacy.
“You know how families have heirlooms that are passed down, like necklaces, artifacts, books?” he said. “This is a North Delta basketball heirloom. You’ve got to honour your traditions.”
Back in 2002, NDSS upgraded its gym floor. The planks of wood were stowed somewhere in the high school, each piece numbered, waiting to be reclaimed.
It was only in 2016 that coaches Hundal and Gary Sandhu first learned about the hidden planks, from former vice-principal James Johnston (now principal at Surrey’s Semiahmoo Secondary).
“We had tried looking for it for about four or five months, and I couldn’t find it,” Sandhu said. “But there’s been so many staff that have come through since 2002 that we were like, ‘Ah, they probably threw it away.’”
Then, the pair turned to the janitor, Emmett Tohill.
With Tohill’s help, they were able to find the missing planks inside a small attic in the school’s auto shop in May. Between May and June of 2016, they gathered the forces of a few Grade 12 students and pieced together the centre court logo.
“We found the treasure, just like you find the treasure in a pirate ship,” Hundal said.
“The awesome thing was, we were pretty sure we were going to be missing a few pieces of the old logo,” Sandhu added. “And when we were able to put it together … there was only one piece, and it was the dead centre of the eye.
“The only part that isn’t 100 per cent original is about a five inch piece, dead centre. The rest of it is all original.”
But finding the wood was only the first part of the challenge. The next challenge was getting it on the wall.
The pair asked Johnston for funding, and received $2,500 to restore and display the centre court. They put in a work order to the school district maintenance staff, asking for their help to mount it and put it on the wall — but because of seismic upgrades and other duties at other schools, it didn’t get done until February 2018.
It took 2 years and a ton of planning but the 1957-2002 North Delta Center Court is up where it belongs! Big thank you to @jcjohnston1 and Delta Maintenance, Mr Hundal & Mr. Sandhu had a little part in it as well 🤪 @deltasd37 @htsumura @bcboysbball @BCHoopScoop @NorDelReporter pic.twitter.com/2poXAtjudW
— HuskyAthleticCouncil (@HuskyAthleticCo) February 16, 2018
But it’s all been worth it for the coaches.
“We wanted this to be a source of pride for all Huskies,” Hundal said.
“For Huskies from the past and that haven’t even come in yet,” Sandhu added.
“It’s a good piece,” Hundal continued. “When people come into the gym, they say ‘You know what, this is what North Delta is about.’”
The installation isn’t over quite yet. A plaque is currently being commissioned and will be hung beneath the old centre court. On it, the words: “NDSS gym floor, 1957-2002. Champions play here.”
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