Central City Breakers’ United squad with trophy and banner after winning the the 2019 Toyota National Championship in St. Johns on Monday. (submitted photo)

Central City Breakers’ United squad with trophy and banner after winning the the 2019 Toyota National Championship in St. Johns on Monday. (submitted photo)

SOCCER

VIDEO: Surrey soccer team wins national title for teammate Bassi, killed in car crash last spring

‘It meant the world to us to win it for him,’ says team manager/coach

** This story has been updated with an additional interview

Surrey’s Central City Breakers won it for Brandon.

The soccer club’s United squad are national champions after a 2-0 win in St. John’s on Monday (Oct. 14).

The jubilant men in blue celebrated by holding up the #5 jersey of fallen teammate Brandon Bassi, who was killed in a single-vehicle crash in Newton last May.

It was the last jersey Bassi ever wore, according to team manager and coach, Ted Hans.

The players also chanted “BB5!” and “Brandon!” during a Challenge Trophy presentation following the 2019 Toyota National Championship game.

“It meant the world to us to win it for him,” Hans told the Now-Leader.

“He was such a big part of the team and left a lasting hole in our lives and on our team.

“We have dedicated everything we do as a team to him and his memory. Having his dad (Kulwinder) lift the trophy and be with us was amazing and gave the guys a lift.”

CLICK HERE to watch video of the entire game.

Bassi, 19, a Delta resident, played club soccer with CCB and was also part of Simon Fraser University’s soccer program and a Vancouver Whitecaps prospect. He died on May 18 from injuries after a black Jeep was totalled in an early-morning crash near the intersection of 78th Avenue and 122nd Street.

• RELATED STORY: ‘Outstanding’ SFU soccer star ID’d as man who died after Surrey crash.

As Team B.C., the Central City squad beat Ontario’s Ottawa St. Anthony to win the national title on Monday. After a scoreless first half, Surrey’s Caleb Clarke put B.C. ahead 20 minutes into the second half, and Milad Mehrabi got a second goal in injury time.

CCB defender Derrick Bassi, who is Brandon’s brother, was forced to cheer from the sidelines after pulling a hamstring in the team’s second game at nationals.

“With him there on the bench, and his dad on the sidelines, too, it was amazing,” head coach Diaz Kambere said. “That was a great help and pushed the players. We had such an advantage, almost like having Brandon there in spirit.

“It was so emotional,” Kambere added. “We had a terrible loss in our family. Our team name is United, but we truly are united. It was beautiful watching the guys play in honour in him. They weren’t playing just to win nationals, it was something bigger than that. For each game it was like having 12 men. I didn’t see us losing it, really.”

Bassi died just a couple weeks after the team won the provincial title last May, in Nanaimo. That win propelled CCB to this week’s tournament in St. John’s and the club’s first national men’s championship.

“It’s amazing to coach a group of men like this, with no quit,” Kambere said. “Everybody thought we were done after provincials, because of what happened, and we started the league 0-and-3 (win-loss record). But we landed in St. John’s with a chip on our shoulders and wanted to prove we’re the real deal.”

To lift the Challenge trophy, CCB won their three opening games followed by a 1-1 draw with Alberta, leading to Monday’s final. Clarke and Mehrabi each scored four goals in the tourney, with singles from Milad Rahmati and Boris Si.

Throughout, team captain Luke O’Shea was solid in net. “He was the guy with Brandon’s jersey at the end of the final game,” Kambere noted. “In the video you can see how he gets the guys going, and he’s a big-time leader.”

The team flew home late Monday, not long after the final whistle.

“We didn’t get a chance to party much, because we flew out four hours later and guys had to work and stuff today,” Kambere said Tuesday. “We’ll have a team dinner or something later this week, to celebrate. And we’ll probably take a week off and get our bodies healthy, after five games in six days, which is tough, and try to get the season rolling here.”

In other soccer nationals action, Surrey United’s U15 and 17 girls teams both won bronze medals, giving Surrey teams three medals at tournaments held in three separate cities.

• READ MORE: Bronze medals for both Surrey United girls teams at soccer nationals.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Through his lens, Doug Cook captured this picture of the Fraser River, Mount Baker, an eagle, and even the Golden Ears Bridge on a sunny fall afternoon. The photo was taken from the wooden walkway leading down to the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport float plane dock. (Contributed photo)
Friends of Semiahmoo Bay to host virtual World Wetland Day event

Webinar event to feature six speakers, to be held Feb. 2

Pindie Dhaliwal, one of the organizers for the Surrey Challo protest for Indian farmers. She says organizers were told by Surrey RCMP that the event was not allowed due to COVID-19. Organizers ended up moving the protest to Strawberry Hill at the last minute. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Indian farmers rally moves as organizers say Surrey RCMP told them they couldn’t gather

Protest originally planned in Cloverdale, moved to Strawberry Hill

One of the Choices Lottery grand prize packages includes a home located at 16730 19 Ave., Surrey. (Contributed photo)
Two South Surrey homes featured in Choices Lottery

Tickets on sale now for BC Children’s Hospital lottery

Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at a Surrey high-intensity rehabilitation unit, Laurel Place. On Dec. 22, 2020, Fraser Health said four patients and two staff members have tested positive for the virus. (Image: Google Street View)
Fraser Health says COVID-19 outbreak over at Laurel Place in Surrey

Health authority declared outbreak over Jan. 16

(Photo by Kevin Hill)
40 cases linked to Surrey Memorial Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

Fraser Health says two death are associated with the outbreak

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

sdf
Another Mission student arrested for assault, in 2nd case of in-school violence this week

RCMP notified of local Instagram page with videos (now deleted) showing student assaults, bullying

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Most Read