Camp honours legacy of N.S. basketball star who died in canoeing accident
DARTMOUTH, N.S. -- It's been more than a year since young basketball star Andrew Milner died in a tragic accident, but his friends continue to keep his memory alive with a youth basketball camp and a memorial scholarship.
It's hoped that campers take away much more than just basketball skills.
Andrew played with all of the participants and he was a two-time national champion with Basketball Nova Scotia.
It's a coaching staff full of AUS stars and national champions – all volunteering their time to run a youth basketball camp, in memory of a friend lost far too soon.
"I think he'd be proud to have such an impact on the next generation," said head coach Alex Petropolis. "He was someone who always gave back, we have that quote on the back of the shirt 'never forget what made you who you are.' That was something Andrew lived out, and that's the reason we're all here."
Nova Scotian basketball star Andrew Milner drowned last April after his canoe capsized during a camping trip in British Columbia. He was just 19 years old.
An Antigonish native, Milner made a winning impact everywhere he played, from Basketball Nova Scotia, to Rothesay Netherwood School, and the University of Calgary.
Andrew's friends remember him as a great leader and the ultimate team player, something they hope to pass on to the campers.
"Each day there's going to be a word of the day, and selflessness is going to be our word of the day on Day 3, that's something Andrew embodied so well, and if there's one thing I hope the athletes take away, that's what it would be," Petropolis said.
While he is gone, Milner's legacy lives on through the 4 AM basketball camp, which is all about giving back to the next generation.
"All proceeds from this camp go towards a memorial scholarship in his name, last year in our inaugural year, we raised over $4,000 for a scholarship," said camp organizer Jacob Sheffar.
Andrew's mother Ellen drove to Dartmouth from Antigonish to take in the first night of the camp.
"Last year's recipient was from Sydney, and to allow someone maybe not from the city, or someone from the city who would be less advantaged, to allow them to pay at a high level really honours Andrew's memory in a great way," she said.
She says it is emotional to see her son's friends giving back in his memory
"I see those guys out there and I think Andrew should be out there, those are his guys, and it's a testament to the love they have for him, the way they have made this grow and," Milner said. "It means the world."
Sheffar say Milner would probably want to get in some of the drills.
"I'm sure he'd be happy to see this," Sheffar said. "We love him, we miss him, we love his family and we're proud to have 4 AM on our chest for sure."
It's a touching tribute to a friend and teammate lost far too soon.