A Saskatoon high school basketball coach is preparing for the last year of his special connection to the Bedford Road Invitational Tournament (BRIT).
Marion Graham Collegiate’s Dan Dewar has coached his nephews for four straight years in the annual gathering of high school boys’ teams from across the country.
The run started shortly after Dewar’s brother John, a legend in the Saskatoon basketball community, died from cancer.
“My brother’s with me all the time,” Dewar said. “He was the best brother anyone could ask for.”
John Dewar died Jan. 20, 2013, shortly after that year’s edition of BRIT.
Dan said he found out his brother wasn’t going to make it at the tournament social that year.
“A second cancer had emerged,” he said. “We thought he was such a healthy young man.”
Dan’s first experience with BRIT was watching his brother play for the now-defunct City Park Collegiate in the 1970s, an opportunity he missed out on as a member of the last graduating class of the school.
One or both of John’s sons has been on the team in every year Marion Graham has played at BRIT since his death, with Dan serving as coach.
“I think I needed to coach them more than they needed me to coach,” he said.
Dan’s older nephew Addison is now at the University of Saskatchewan, while Alexander is playing in his last season for the Falcons.
While Addison played in BRIT for two years under his uncle, Alexander has played every year since coming to high school.
“It’s been pretty special … almost therapeutic.” Dan said.
The 50th Annual BRIT basketball tournament starts Thursday at 2:30 p.m. Marion Graham starts their quest for the championship on Friday at 6:30 p.m.