ZONE 3: Luck played no part in getting Riley Ward to the BC Summer Games

Langley baller flouts misfortune on the floor; he’d rather get by on hard work

Riley Ward doesn’t believe in luck.

In fact, he pushes the limits of bad luck.

With his school team in Langley, Ward sports the No. 13 jersey. In part as a tribute to Steve Nash, but also because the superstitious among us believe it to bring misfortune.

While Ward has to sport No. 7 with the Fraser Valley boys 5-on-5 basketball team at the Cowichan 2018 BC Summer Games, his philosophy isn’t any different.

“I don’t think luck is a thing,” he said following a crushing win by Fraser Valley over Kootenays at Duncan’s Quamichan School gym. “I don’t think anything can be a fluke. It’s all about how much you practice.”

Ward follows up on that concept by putting in hours in the gym — getting to school at 7 a.m. to practice basketball. That hard work pays off when it really counts.

“All the shots I hit in a game are shots I hit in the gym,” Ward said.

The point guard’s commitment is shared by his Fraser Valley teammates.

“Our team is really hard-working,” Ward said. “Even in the last minute, we never give up.”

About to begin Grade 9 at Brookswood Secondary, Ward has been playing basketball since Grade 3, and wants to go as far as possible.

“I don’t want to ever give up,” he said. “My goal right now is to play in the NCAA, and we’ll see from there.”

This is Ward’s second trip to the BC Games after playing 3-on-3 in Abbotsford in 2016. His team finished eighth out of 11 in that tournament, but the expectations are much higher this time.

“We’re playing 110 percent try to get gold,” he said. “We really want to bring that home.”

Regardless of the result, the BC Games experience is something Ward treasures.

“I love it,” he said. “It’s an amazing environment. It gets better and better.”


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Abbotsford’s Riley Ward gets involved in the offence during Fraser Valley’s convincing win over Kootenays at the Cowichan 2018 BC Games late on Friday afternoon. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

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