Sports

Pitt Meadows’ first family of basketball

The Severinski clan (from left to right): Kurtis, Greg, Danielle, Marissa, Leroy, Trevor, Amanda, Kevin, Audra, Brandon and Ryan. - Colleen Flanagan
The Severinski clan (from left to right): Kurtis, Greg, Danielle, Marissa, Leroy, Trevor, Amanda, Kevin, Audra, Brandon and Ryan.
— image credit: Colleen Flanagan

For Pitt Meadows Secondary School’s star centre Trevor Severinski, basketball is a family affair.

The captain of the senior boys’ squad is preparing for a run at a provincial title this week, and there will be plenty of support from the Severinski clan in the stands at the Langley Events Centre.

The basketball court is familiar ground for the Severinskis. In all, nine members of Pitt Meadows’ first family off basketball have suited up for the Marauders boys’ and girls’ basketball teams in the past 30 years.

There must be something in the milk at the Severinski’s dairy farm, says longtime senior boys’ coach Rich Goulet.

“It’s pretty unique,” he says. “On and off the court, the family has done so much for this program.”

Trevor’s father, Leroy, and uncle, Kevin, both played for Goulet in the mid-1980s.

“They were known as the Severinski Crunch,” says Goulet. “If you got caught in between the two of them, you weren’t coming out.”

While the Severinski boys were the heart and soul of the Marauders on the court, their mother Louise was a staunch supporter of the team off the court, organizing fundraisers and working the concession.

In 1986, with older brother Kevin captaining the team in his senior year, the two Severinskis led the Marauders to a second place finish at the AA B.C. championships.

Leroy soon married Darlene Kinney, who’s brothers played for crosstown rivals Maple Ridge secondary’s senior boys’ basketball team, while Kevin married his high school sweetheart, Audra, who was captain of the cheerleading squad while he was captain of the basketball team.

But despite their basketball careers being over, the Severinskis were never far from the game.

Even though her children had all graduated, Louise continued to help fundraise for the basketball team, and even helped organize school dances. Kevin and Leroy both helped Goulet coach the Junior Grizzlies program, which evolved into the Steve Nash League.

“Basketball has been good to us,” says Kevin. “It’s not just the great memories, it’s the life lessons you get out of it; being held accountable for your actions, team work, learning how to manage your time.”

About 10 years ago, Goulet first began to see the second generation of Severinskis take to the hardwood.

The first was Kevin’s daughter, Amanda. But when she entered high school at Pitt Meadows eight years ago, the girls’ program had no one to run it. So Kevin and Audra McNicol took on the task of coaching and managing not only the senior girls’ team, but the Grade 8 team as well.

Amanda graduated in 2010, but the Severinskis stayed on to run the school’s girls’ program.

“I don’t know how they find the time to do it all,” says Goulet. “Kevin runs a dairy farm and Audra has four kids. But it doesn’t matter how busy their day is, they can always find time.”

Kevin’s son Brandon was next, playing for the Pitt Meadows senior boys’ team for two years, culminating in a fifth-place finish at provincials last year, along side his cousin Trevor, then in Grade 11.

Kevin’s daughters Marissa and Danielle have also played for the Marauders girls’ squads, as is Leroy’s son Kurtis, now in Grade 8, while younger brother Ryan plans to play for the school’s Grade 8 team next year.

Not surprisingly, the netting on both the basketball hoops at the Severinski’s Pitt Meadows farm have been shot to shreds.

However, there is one Severinski who stands above the others, literally and figuratively.

At six-foot-six, Trevor is the tallest of the Severinskis to play for Pitt, and the most skilled.

“His dad was the star centre in high school, and so is Trevor,” he says. “But from there they are totally different.”

To start with, Trevor is three inches taller. He’s also been the recipient of a lot more training, on and off the court.

“In Leroy’s day, we practiced and we played,” says Goulet. Not so nowadays, with players taking part in strict training regimens all year long, elite training camps, and a more structured provincial development program.

“Trevor’s one of the best shooting centres I’ve ever had,” Goulet says. “There not many big men that can shoot like him.”

As a result, Trevor is currently entertaining a number of scholarship opportunities to play for Canadian universities after he graduates this June.

“With a Severinski, you know they are going to work hard,” says Goulet. “You know they are going to solve problems, not create them. They know what commitment and excellence is all about.”

When Goulet suffered a stroke last April, the Severinskis were there for him. Kevin was the first one to the hospital, and Louise would bring him soup while he recovered at home. Leroy, meanwhile, took over coaching the team in Goulet’s absence.

“They’ve been unbelievable,” he says. “The whole family is just amazing.”

For the Severinskis, the feeling is mutual.

“He’s put so much into that program and given us all so much,” says Kevin. “I’d love for my kids to stay around here and have grandkids play for Pitt someday.”

• The Pitt Meadows Marauders Air Force senior boys’ basketball team opens the 2012 B.C. AAA Boys’ High School Basketball Championships tonight at 8:30 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre.

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