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1st Annual Elevate All-Star Weekend- A Huge Success

The 1st annual Elevate All-Star Weekend event this past Saturday, May 11th, was huge for the basketball community in Newfoundland. The event featured 18 female and 16 male athletes from across the province, mainly from St. John’s and the surrounding area, but 2 of the male athletes came all the way from Corner Brook.

The event started with the female game which saw Team White and Team Black face off in what started out to be a blowout by Team White. Team Black fought back to make it a close game in the second half, led by the efforts of Lib Devilla, who scored 15 points while also grabbing 7 rebounds, dishing 6 assists and also getting 6 steals. Despite the comeback, the White team was able to hold on and pull through with a 73-66 win, with the help of Erin Long who was awarded MVP for the game scoring 12 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists while also picking up 3 steals and a block. Carly Stevenson took home the Girls Peer Choice Award for most votes among her peers.

Elevate CEO Austin Chambers (middle) pictured with Girls All-Star Game MVP Erin Long (left) and Girls Peer Choice Award winner Carly Stevenson (right).

Following the Girls game was the Rock Elite 3-Point Shootout which featured 3 athletes that were on the All-Star rosters (Lib Devilla, Julia Warren and Caleb D’entremont), as well as an extra competitor, Chris Edwards. The first round saw Edwards and D’entremont make it to the finals, where D’entremont got off to a slow start, missing his first three attempts, but went on to make 12 straight to finish the round hitting 12 out of his 15 shots. This would prove too much for Edwards to overcome, and D’entremont was named the winner of the 3-Point Shootout.

The final event of the evening was the Boys All-Star game which saw Team Black face off against Team White as well. This game provided a huge highlight with 10th grader Ethan Vey’s posterizer dunk. The game saw Team Black get off to a hot start in the first half, but Team White came storming back into the game, led by Matt Torravile who posted a line of 28 points, 5 rebound, 6 assists, 1 steal and 3 blocks. Team Black was able to hang on for the victory with the help of Caleb D’entremont, who scored 25 points and dished out 6 assists. D’entremont was the recipient of the Boys Peer Choice Award. Devon Tobin was named Elevate All-Star Game MVP, as he had a near triple double with 18 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists and also came up with 4 steals in the win.

Boys All-Star game MVP Devon Tobin (right) receiving his award.

Boys Peer Choice Award winner Caleb D’entremont (right) receiving his award.

After the event I was able to sit down and talk with the CEO of Elevate, Austin Chambers, about the success of the event. When asked about what inspired him to create this event, he responded saying “First and foremost I’m a basketball fan, I played at the university level for a few years, so I’ve always loved basketball. I’ve also been pretty passionate about helping players get to the next level. I do a lot of training with younger players, but a problem that a lot of them run into, even in Ontario, is exposure. A lot of good players still have a tough time getting recruited, and an event like this just kind of helps bring more attention to them.”

I asked Chambers about how important it is to showcase the talent in Newfoundland now that basketball is growing here with the Edge being in town. He responded by saying “It’s incredibly important. Especially once the Edge came here, I feel like that boosted basketball here as well, because players now get a hands on, really personal feel with a lot of professional players. All of a sudden for a lot of them they start to realize, first of all I want to do that, and the other thing is, they start to realize ‘hey, you’re just like me, you’re just really good at basketball. Why can’t I do that?’ I’m hoping that this event will be another way that players can be inspired to be their best.”

Chambers added that he contacted nearly every university coach in Canada about the event, but admits that it was not early enough in advance. In the future he is looking forward to planning these events better, by cementing the livestream, adding another videographer, as well as reaching out to coaches earlier to ensure that players get the exposure they deserve. He intends to send clips of this year’s games to many of the Canadian university coaches, but with a livestream they would be able to watch the games in real time.

He hopes that the kids that came to watch the event can create goals to one day become Elevate All-Stars. The main goal of Chambers and Elevate is to inspire people to have a positive mindset and to achieve their goals, no matter how big those goals are. By creating an event like this in Newfoundland, he is giving us something that we’ve never had the opportunity to have before in this province. With basketball becoming arguably the fastest growing sport in Newfoundland, it is safe to say that the talent here will begin to rise as well, as players from this province begin to hone their skills around these high-level professional players.

This event gives players something else to strive for, other than provincial or invitational banners, it gives them something that they can achieve by becoming the best at what they do, and it gives them a chance to get the exposure that they deserve just as much as any other place in the world. After the first Elevate All-Star Weekend, I had grade 8 and 9 players that I coach coming up to me saying “I’m going to be an Elevate All-Star when I get in high school.” This shows me that Austin Chambers and Elevate have created something special within Newfoundland’s basketball community, and I can’t wait to see what they have planned for next year’s event.

Chambers with his staff after the 1st Annual Elevate All-Star Weekend event at Holy Heart of Mary High School.