Trinity Western Spartans hosted its first skills challenge competition on Thursday at Langley Events Centre, which saw Dan Adediran participating. (Mark Janzen/TWU Athletics)

Trinity Western Spartans hosted its first skills challenge competition on Thursday at Langley Events Centre, which saw Dan Adediran participating. (Mark Janzen/TWU Athletics)

VIDEO: TWU Spartans first-ever challenge fundraiser a slam dunk

Basketball players from around the globe took part in Shoot for the Cure in Langley Thursday night

Jayden Gill and Dan Adediran were each a double winner at the Trinity Western Spartans Shoot for the Cure Skills Challenge.

The TWU men’s and women’s basketball teams hit the court on Thursday at Langley Events Centre for a mix of individual and team skills competitions while fundraising money for the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) – and other related local and provincial charities – to help fight breast cancer.

Both Gill and Adediran were on the winning sides for a team competition as well as winning their respective individual events with Gill tops in the skills competition and Adediran closing the night by taking first place in the dunk contest.

The event was broadcast free at www.tfsetv.ca with several family members, friends and former coaches recording personalized video messages for the Spartan players.

The closed event on Feb. 4 diligently followed all the health and safety protocols sets out by British Columbia’s provincial health officer and viaSport.

Gill edged Hailey Van Roekel in the skills competition, finishing the required tasks about three seconds faster than her opponent.

Next up was the master of the mid-range with the event’s final competitor Nicole Fransson scoring a basket at the buzzer to edge Sydney Howard 14-12. Jolene Vlieg would win the 3-point competition, scoring 17 points, five more than second-place Nicola Peters.

RELATED – Battling breast cancer: TWU basketball players take part in Shoot for the Cure

The Spartans women’s players then split into four teams (first year, second year, third year and fourth/fifth year) for the final event, the Shoot for the Cure competition. And it was the sophomore squad of Gill, Van Roekel and Kailey Reimer finishing with 22 points for top spot.

On the men’s side of the event, Adam Gehrig and Jacob Fortune advanced to the finals of the skills competition, with Gehrig taking home the title.

Gehrig was involved in the next event as well, making the finals of the 3-point competition with a high-round of 24.

He was joined in the finals by Riley Braich and after Gehrig opened with a 20, Braich buried that score with a 25.

The event would conclude with the dunk contest with Dan Adediran defeating Ja’Qualyn Gilbreath with a final score of 48.

The pair advanced out of the four competitors with cumulative scores of 59 and 56, respectively.

And while they were competitors in the final of that event, Adediran and Gilbreath had teamed up earlier with Gabe Mannes to win the 2-ball contest.

Organized since 2007 in collaboration with the U Sports Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Association, the Shoot for the Cure fundraising initiative raises money for the Canadian Cancer Society’s breast cancer initiatives.

“The reality is that cancer impacts everybody. From a women’s sport perspective, breast cancer is something that we want to bring awareness to,” said Cheryl Jean-Paul, head coach of the Spartans women’s team.

“Our program has been directly touched by cancer on multiple occasions over the last few years, so we definitely want to be active participants in raising funds to conquer cancer.”

RELATED: Pandemic has forced university athletics to slow down and pay attention, says head coach of women’s basketball at Langley’s TWU

Last year saw more than $106,000 raised by the 48 U Sports women’s basketball programs across the country – with more than $1.4 million in donations since 2007.

“Each year, funds raised through Shoot for the Cure support ground-breaking breast cancer research and a national support system to help people at every stage of their cancer journey,” said Jane Parsons, executive vice-president of community giving for the Canadian Cancer Society.

“Breast cancer hasn’t stopped being a life-changing and life-threatening disease during a global health pandemic and CCS has seen increased demand for many of our support programs, including our telephone and online programs. It’s thanks to the generous contributions from Shoot for the Cure organizers donors and participants that we’re able to support Canadians affected by breast cancer, during the COVID-19 pandemic and year-round,” she said.

As of Friday, more than $2,700 had been raised with donations still being accepted.

People can still click here to donate to Shoot for the Cure through the TWU Spartans fundraising page.

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Trinity Western Spartans hosted its first skills challenge competition on Thursday at Langley Events Centre, which saw Jayden Gill participating. (Mark Janzen/TWU Athletics)

Trinity Western Spartans hosted its first skills challenge competition on Thursday at Langley Events Centre, which saw Jayden Gill participating. (Mark Janzen/TWU Athletics)

Trinity Western Spartans hosted its first skills challenge competition on Thursday at Langley Events Centre, which saw Dan Adediran participating. (Mark Janzen/TWU Athletics)

Trinity Western Spartans hosted its first skills challenge competition on Thursday at Langley Events Centre, which saw Dan Adediran participating. (Mark Janzen/TWU Athletics)

Trinity Western Spartans hosted its first skills challenge competition on Thursday at Langley Events Centre, which saw Jolene Vlieg participating. (Mark Janzen/TWU Athletics)

Trinity Western Spartans hosted its first skills challenge competition on Thursday at Langley Events Centre, which saw Jolene Vlieg participating. (Mark Janzen/TWU Athletics)

Trinity Western Spartans hosted its first skills challenge competition on Thursday at Langley Events Centre, which saw Nicole Fransson participating. (Mark Janzen/TWU Athletics)

Trinity Western Spartans hosted its first skills challenge competition on Thursday at Langley Events Centre, which saw Nicole Fransson participating. (Mark Janzen/TWU Athletics)

Trinity Western Spartans hosted its first skills challenge competition on Thursday at Langley Events Centre. The event raised more than $2,700 for the Canadian Cancer Society. (Mark Janzen/TWU Athletics)

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