Joseph Napartuk, 29, of Whapmagoostui pled guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to six years in prison, starting September 9. Napartuk was involved in an alcohol-related incident in which Sydney Bullfrog was killed sometime after midnight on April 20 earlier this year

According to the police, Napartuk and Bullfrog were involved in a fistfight which ended with Napartuk kicking Bullfrog after he had fallen to the ground. Napartuk was described by the police as “a very violent person who likes to fight.” Napartuk was also said to be “lucky” to have survived an earlier incident in which he fired a weapon at a SWAT team in Whapmagoostui that had flown up from Montreal, according to police.

Crown prosecutor Marie-Chantal Brassard said the six-year sentence was a “common suggestion” by the Crown and the defense. She said the length of the sentence was decided upon by jurisprudence and northern precedence. “I don’t think it’s a lot, but that’s the North.”

Noah Coonishish, who is the Cree liaison officer to the court, thought the sentence was good since “manslaughter is going at two years on the average.”

Bassard said other mitigating factors in the case helped to decide the length. The caseinvolved alcohol, Napartuk pled guilty before any witnesses took the stand and said hewas sorry but understood it wasn’t going to change anything, she said.

The students were kept busy during the day by some of Quebec’s finest coaches from the high school through the university levels. Also working with the students was the number-one ranked college player in Canada from Dawson College, an All-American from St. Joe’s University in Maine, and a member of the Team Canada Women’s National Basketball Team.

Coach Lisen Moore from McGill University and Don Caldwell from Champlain College both commented on how attentive and eager the students were to learn. All the returning staff also noticed the improvements from last year’s returning players.

Focus was placed on improving all fundamental skills of the game and putting them into game situations. In the evening the students enjoyed horseback riding, bowling, swimming, boating and a shopping trip on the final Saturday morning.

What also made this year’s event special was the interaction of youth from James Bay, theEastern Townships, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. Although the students came from eachcommunity with different backgrounds and cultures when they arrived for camp they wereall the same: young people wanting to learn more

about the game they love and make new friends from other parts of the country. Both of which were achieved!! The students all worked and cohabited well with each other.

The success of Above the Rim Basketball could not have been achieved without the efforts of many people in the North. I would like to thank the Weistches and Blacks from Waskaganish, Dorothy Tomatuk from Eastmain, Mario Boiselle from Wemindji, Delores Wash, Liette Neacappo, Larry House and John Pash for their efforts in helping the youth to come to Above the Rim Basketball School.

It was a great summer and I look forward to seeing everybody again at the basketballinvitationals this year and hopefully again in Richmond next summer!