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Fort Simpson gets basketball import
Coral Harbour teenager trains in Fort Simpson

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services
Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Few teenagers would view having sore legs as a good thing, but Tyson Netser is different.

NNSL photo/graphic

Tyson Netser of Coral Harbour spent the last month and a half training with the Wolfpack basketball team in Fort Simpson. - Roxanna Thompson/NNSL photo

Sore legs are one of the things that Netser, 14, likes about playing basketball.

"It shows what you've done and how much you've been working," he said.

Netser has worked hard on the basketball court and in the gym over the past two months. Between Jan. 20 and Feb. 26 the teenager attended Thomas Simpson School in Fort Simpson and played with the Wolfpack junior basketball team.

The opportunity to play basketball is something Netser has relished.

"It's been great," he said.

Netser is from Coral Harbour, an isolated community of approximately 830 people in Nunavut. Neil Barry, a teacher at Thomas Simpson School and one of the Wolfpack's coaches, was visiting Coral Harbour last summer where he saw Netser playing basketball.

"I noticed he had potential as a basketball player," Barry said.

Knowing that there isn't a lot of competitive basketball in Coral Harbour or the surrounding region, Barry invited Netser to come to Fort Simpson for the basketball season and live with his family. Barry said he thought it would be interesting to see what Netser could do if he had more training and the chance to compete. Both Barry and co-coach Kristen Morrison, have been impressed with the results.

"It's unbelievable how much he has improved," Barry said.

When he arrived Netser had lots of raw potential, but his basketball fundamentals needed work, Barry said. He is now one of the strongest junior players on the team.

The improvements haven't been by chance. Netser spent most of his free time in the gym practising.

"I got way better," he said.

Netser said he's improved his scoring as well as ballhandling skills and his ability to make plays. Netser competed in his first basketball tournament, the Wolfpack Invitational at the beginning of February.

"I was pretty nervous and it was fun," he said.

The junior Wolfpack team finished in second place in their division and Netser received the most sportsmanlike award. Before returning to his home community. Netser also competed in the Senior Cager in Yellowknife from Feb. 22 to 24.

The teenager said he is eager to share his improved skills with other basketball players in Coral Harbour.

Netser is the kind of player you want to coach, said Morrison.

"Every day he wants to learn more," she said.

Morrison said Netser took suggestions from all of the coaches and senior players and tried them out. He just focuses on getting better, she said.

Netser has the right attitude and determination so that no matter where he is, he will be a good basketball player, Morrison said.

"He's definitely going to be missed by everybody," she said.

Netser, however, will be back. He made the team that will be competing at the Native American Basketball Invitational in Phoenix, Arizona. He will be returning to train in Fort Simpson in June.

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