Games bring hoop dreams for Oak Bay athlete

Teen heads to the BC Winter Games this month in Penticton

Myles Kitson goofs around with the ball in his Oak Bay kitchen. The 18-year-old heads for Pentiction to play for the Zone 6 Special Olympics basketball team during the Penticton Winter Games Feb. 25 to 28.

Myles Kitson goofs around with the ball in his Oak Bay kitchen. The 18-year-old heads for Pentiction to play for the Zone 6 Special Olympics basketball team during the Penticton Winter Games Feb. 25 to 28.

As gloomy skies threaten rain, Myles Kitson bounds around his backyard basketball hoop. The 18-year-old makes leaps and layups and three-pointers – with the occasional nothing-but-net from behind the backboard, just for fun. Kitson’s occasional “drained it” punctuates the quiet mid-morning shootout in Oak Bay.

“He’s at Oak Bay pool every weekend playing hoops,” said mom Debbie Seto-Kitson. “He’ll spend a couple hours there just shooting.”

Those well-honed skills, reintroduced to the team aspect this fall, earned Kitson, who has Down syndrome, a spot with the Special Olympics BC Zone 6 basketball team at the BC Winter Games this month in Penticton.

“He used to play for the school teams until they got too big and too fast,” said Seto-Kitson. He played first at St. Patrick’s then at St. Andrews but in recent years stuck to the solo play at Oak Bay Rec and the backyard. In September she brought the team aspect back to the solo shootouts he’s well known for at home and at Oak Bay Rec.

“I thought to myself, he’s missing that part of the game, the running and defence,” Seto-Kitson said.

So she signed him on at the Victoria Special Olympics BC basketball program that practices at Arbutus Middle School in Saanich. About 25 athletes hit the hardwood each week, a big leap in the program from last year’s 14, under the tutelage of coach Lisa Green and her volunteer coaches, athletes from basketball programs in area high schools, UVic and Camousun.

“I’m just so incredibly amazed by the calibre of coaching,” said Seto-Kitson. “She has a small army of volunteers. There are about seven or eight assistant coaches at any given time.”

The BC Winter Games, held this year in Penticton Feb. 25 to 28, will feature Special Olympics BC basketball for the second time. The BC Games are distinct from Special Olympics BC Games, hosted by SOBC solely for SOBC athletes. SOBC athletes have been showcasing their skills in the standard BC Games for 12 years, competing in Special Olympics divisions.

Prior to 2014, SOBC athletes at BC Games competed in athletics and swimming. Their expansion into BC Winter Games continues in 2016 with the addition of figure skating.

Three members of the Victoria Special Olympics BC team were selected for the BC Winter Games team that plays in Pentiction.

“She picked Myles for his skills and sportsmanship,” Seto-Kitson said.

A huge Canucks fan, Kitson also plays ice hockey with an adaptive team. He also enjoys hard-earned-cash from his part-time work at Ottavio.

A young man of few words, “it’s fun,” he says of basketball in general and holds out high hopes for the food at the BC Winter Games.



Just Posted

Law Enforcement Torch Run in support of Special Olympics B.C. kicks off with a run at Swan Lake on June 6. The virtual fundraiser runs until June 20. (Saanich Police/Twitter)
Torch run seeks to scorch previous fundraiser, targets $75,000 for Special Olympics

Global movement shoots for 40,000 km in honour of the 40th anniversary

Victoria Truth Centre and Long-term Inmates Now in the Community (L.I.N.C.) Society are hoping to replicate in Langford the format used on Emma’s Farm in Mission, pictured here. (Patrick Penner/Black Press Media)
Victoria Truth Centre hopes to grow transformative justice in Langford

Purchase proposal would see offenders, survivors and families work on organic vegetable farm

Tyson Muzzillo, regional manager of BC Cannabis Store, welcomes shoppers to their Uptown location, opening on June 16. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Government-run cannabis store opening at Saanich’s Uptown

BC Cannabis Store the first for government in Greater Victoria, 27th in province

Mural artist Paul Archer will soon begin work on a piece on the rear of a building at 100 Burnside Road West. (Gorge Tillicum Community Association)
Back of Burnside building in Saanich to feature mural of hope and positivity

Artist Paul Archer says subject will inspire memories, depict children’s future, sunshine, flowers

The stretch of trail north of Royal Bay Secondary connecting to Painters Trail at Murray’s Pond will be closed temporarily this week for invasive species removal. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood trail behind Royal Bay Secondary temporarily closed for invasive species removal

Cloure in effect from 9 a.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Friday this week

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-week-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

Most Read