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'It was surreal': Coaches still blown away by Elmwood's boys basketball provincial championship win

The Elmwood Giants AAA boys basketball team were the 2023-24 provincial champions. March 16, 2024. (Winnipeg School Division/Facebook) The Elmwood Giants AAA boys basketball team were the 2023-24 provincial champions. March 16, 2024. (Winnipeg School Division/Facebook)
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A Winnipeg high school basketball team was able to cap their season as the best team in the province last week.

The AAA boys basketball team from Elmwood High School was crowned the provincial champions after a 94-88 win over Garden Valley Collegiate. It was their first provincial championship in the history of the program.

Patrick Gadsby and Jesse Cousins – two of the coaches for the team – said they were shocked once the buzzer went, and they realized they won.

"It's still one of those things that we're still processing," said Gadsby. "It was surreal."

Cousins said the team has had to deal with a couple of disappointing losses over the last couple of years, including an overtime loss in the city championship this season. So to be able to win it all at provincials, he said the kids were elated.

“You can tell it was three years of hard work paying off with this historical win,” said Cousins.

What made this win even more special, according to Gadsby and Cousins, was the fact a number of players on the team were fasting for Ramadan, so during the games, they weren’t even drinking water.

“So we’ve got guys at halftime kind of sprinkling their face trying to cool down and rehydrate that way,” said Gadsby.

Both said they are super proud of the guys on the team and the adversity they have had to face. Cousins also thanked the Elmwood community for being so supportive and helping wherever it was needed.

“Just seeing the level of support that a small school like Elmwood is able to bring, basically everywhere we go. I just want to express some generosity for that because it’s been insane to see,” said Cousins.

Gadsby said there were former players, and parents of former players, who would attend games and even help provide rides for players if it was needed.

Moving forward, the coaches hope this win will open up opportunities for the athletes to play on club teams over the summer, and give them more reps playing basketball, getting them even more prepared for next season.

“So trying to get them momentum and get them into a solid basketball program that can kind of help maintain what we’ve got going on in our committee here at Elmwood,” said Gadsby.

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