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Rockridge film class tells tale of Upson

This is a story about a story about a story.

This is a story about how a group of 20 film students from Rockridge Secondary, led by Grade 12 director Tavish Kelpin and Grade 11 producer Meryl Stevens, are in the midst of putting the final touches on a documentary on the West Vancouver Highlanders' run to the 1982 Triple A boys provincial basketball title.

Longtime Highlanders coach Brian Upson had been battling cancer for two years. When those provincials arrived 35 years ago, he was having trouble merely walking. banner with a 49 48 win over the Argyle Pipers, their Howe Sound league rivals, before 5,000 fans at the Agrodome. He was 51.

Longshot: The Brian Upson Story premieres Feb. 24 at the Kay Meek Centre in West Van. show is already sold out. edition still has tickets available.

This particular story on these particular pages is one about connections and community.

Matt Upson, one of Brian's six grandchildren, is a guard on Rockridge's senior team this season.

David Shannon, the teacher overseeing the project at Rockridge, played for the Highlanders under coach Tom Rippon, who had worked alongside Upson with that 1982 squad. Shannon was voted the team's most valuable player in his senior season in 1995 96. For that, he earned the Brian Upson Memorial Trophy. Taylor grew up on the North Shore with Upson three sons, and his own sons, Mac and Charlie, attend Rockridge.

"Brian would think this was terrific," said Paula, Upson's widow. "He would think this was terrific because young people are putting it together. He was a basketball coach, but he was also a teacher for more than 20 years at West Van. son, Greg, added: excited about the film being made. Over the years my mom had been contacted a couple of times by people wanting to make a movie about the story, but that didn happen. Stevens and the rest of the Rockridge film team have tracked down players from that West Vanc hoops squad. Many of them aren't residing locally, so the Rockridge group then tracked down people to do interviews on camera with the Highlanders alums.

They fundraised to help pay for that and other expenses, including putting together an Indiegogo van cleef alhambra diamond necklace imitation crowdfunding video.

They interviewed the family and others who live in the area. They tracked down photos and video and newspaper clippings. They got their hands on game footage, digitized it and put it up on YouTube.

TSN 1040 Barry Macdonald, when he was with CBC TV, did a story on the 1995 Highlander team, in regards to the connections with Upson. The final edits on Longshot aren't yet complete, but a portion of that Macdonald piece could wind up as B roll, including shots of Shannon in his playing days.

It been an endeavour. When Paula was told that some of the Rockridge students were putting in 16 hour days on the project, she brought over a batch of cookies, explaining simply, the least I can do. family has been more than fantastic with us," Stevens said.

Kelpin added: "What's been the best of the process? It's hard to assign just one."

The timeline has been tricky. Shannon was pondering ideas over the summer for his class to tackle. Rockridge vice principal John Crowley, who also grew up on the North Shore, brought up that no one had covered the Upson story.

The students started on it in earnest when they came back in September. They did their on camera interview with Paul Kitchener, the Highlander star from that team who was voted tournament MVP, only in the past few weeks.

"The kids hadn't heard the story at first," Shannon admitted of his class, "but you only imitation Van Cleef & Arpels Clover necklace price have to say a couple of sentences about it and it's like, 'OK fake Van Cleef & Arpels butterfly necklace diamonds that makes sense,' for why we're going to do it."

The Highlanders had lost to the Pipers in the Howe Sound final and needed to win a backdoor game just to qualify for the provincials. hoops history.

Upson looks frail in the pictures from that tournament. He looks like he was wearing a jacket two sizes too big. He couldn't even make it up the stairs to the team's dressing room underneath the stands at the Agrodome.

"That tournament was the thing that pushed him to get that far. The doctors had thought that he wasn't going to make it past Christmas," remembers Paula.

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