Tseshaht builds basketball court at the site of former residential school

By Melissa Renwick, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Port Alberni, BC-Bobby Rupert grew up with his grandparents who lived a few houses down from the Tseshaht First Nation’s Maht Mahs Gym in Port Alberni. He remembers being lured in by the sounds of basketballs hitting the ground floor as a young boy. At the time, Rupert’s grandparents couldn’t afford basketball shoes or a net for him to practice. So, he took matters into his own hands. The self-described “Mr. basketball’’ created makeshift nets by cutting holes into the bottom of buckets that he nailed to the wall. He’s been hooked ever since. After losing both of his parents to alcoholism, Rupert said basketball helped him with his own sobriety. “It’s my drug of choice,’’ he said. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, it’s…

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