The regional High School basketball tournament named after former teacher and basketball coach Michael Kirkham was held on February 15 at Ecole secondaire Sieur-de-Coulonge (ESSC).
Kirkham was an athlete that had played for the basketball and football teams at D’Arcy McGee High School in Aylmer when he was young. He later taught at ESSC as an English teacher and had a passion for basketball and coaching.
He offered his coaching services and eventually was able to motivate enough students and build a basketball program at ESSC.
Kirkham went on to create a four-tournament interscholastic style league along with three other high schools: St. Michael’s High School in Low, Woodland in Maniwaki and Dr Wilbert Keon in Chapeau.
Unfortunately, with the pandemic in 2020, all sports were cancelled for the remainder of the school year and the subsequent year. He tragically passed away on May 5, 2021.
His departure was a hard hit for everyone at ESSC but his passion for basketball stayed alive in the hearts of student-athletes.
Wayne Daly, a former coach and friend of Kirkham for the last 30 years, was present at ESSC and had the honour of presenting the new Michael Kirkham Cup.
Basketball backboards at the school were also named in honour of Kirkham. The tournament is underway and the first champions of the Michael Kirkham Cup will be announced later in March.
story and photos by Pierre Cyr
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