Coach Brown to Receive Tom Tagami Award for Coaching Excellence at the Telus Basketball Classic

Winston Brown and Rick Lopez (Tigers Blog)Old friends, now coaches, meet again as award winners at Telus Basketball Classic

Former football teammates are being honoured for their work as high school basketball coaches

By Yvonne Zacharias, Vancouver Sun

VANCOUVER — Sometimes, the magic young men discover playing on a football field never dies.

It fades for a while, vanishes under the detritus of daily life, but then it resurfaces unbidden, when you least expect it, to shine brightly like a star out of nowhere in a new place, a new time.

Rick Lopez and Winston Brown can tell you that however fanciful this notion might sound, it is true.

These aren’t particularly fanciful men. They are two basketball coaches who formed a bond so long ago, a bond that lingers in the sweaty, pounding, heart-swelling, sometimes ear-spitting pantheon of high school sport, a place of hope and promise.

They once played on a legendary community football team called the West Side Warriors. Each still carries around a photo of the team, a memento of a time when the world was a wide open vista, a place of endless dreams.

One teaches girls at an independent school; the other boys at a public school. Yet “our coaching arcs have been almost mirror images of each other,” said Brown.

Now after so many years, they have once again crossed paths out of the blue at the Telus Basketball Classic high school tournament where both will receive the Tom Tagami award for coaching excellence.

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