Local basketball player at nationals

Bobbi-Jo Colburn hitting the court for team B.C. at the women's U15 national championship.

Bobbi-Jo Colburn is representing B.C. at a national U15 basketball tournament in Newfoundland.

Bobbi-Jo Colburn is representing B.C. at a national U15 basketball tournament in Newfoundland.

Though Bobbi-Jo Colburn has grown up in a small town, that hasn’t stopped her from dreaming big.

The 15-year-old basketballer has hit the national stage, playing for Team B.C. at the Canadian U15 National Championship on the other side of the country this week.

Team B.C. already cruised to their first win in St. Johns, Newfoundland, on Monday, downing Manitoba 64-42, with Colburn contributing 11 points towards the win—putting her second in team scoring.

“It’s definitely tougher than playing local teams and other club teams, because they are provincial teams and some of them are unbelievably good,” she said.

Team B.C. is up against the powerhouse of Ontario on Tuesday, with playoffs kicking off on Wednesday.

“We won our first game so far and the experience is just awesome,” said Colburn, speaking from St. Johns after a tournament banquet.

“Playing for the team is just awesome because we’re representing our province and it’s cool, because I’m from such a small town and it’s uplifting that small-town people can go for their dreams.”

It’s been a long haul for Colburn, who has had to make the trek back and forth from Cranbrook to the Lower Mainland to get the opportunity to play basketball at a high level.

She started playing basketball at the provincial level when she was 12 years old at the U14 level, and now she’s in her third year up at U15.

She’s been training out of the Langley Events Centre since June, juggling school and final exams in the process, before shifting over to Riverside Secondary School in Port Coquitlam and moving in with a billet family.

She made the roster for the Team Blue provincial squad and was one of 50 invite-only players selected to the Team B.C. camp.

The whole experience has involved some sacrifice, which paid off in the end, said Colburn.

“Working to get there—you’re in the gym every morning, and then you lift weights after school and go to bed early…you almost have no time for a social life,” said Colburn.

“…It’s definitely worth it because you make so many good friends on the team and the coaching is really good, too.”