Skip to main content

Inaugural World’s Oldest Basketball Court Cup resounding success in St. Stephen, N.B.


It was a weekend long basketball bash in the border town.

The inaugural World’s Oldest Basketball Court Cup was held at St. Stephen High School this weekend, pitting the Maritime Women’s Basketball Association’s (MWBA) four New Brunswick based teams (Moncton Mystics, Miramichi Her-icanes, Fredericton Freeze, and Port City Fog) against one another ahead of their regular season.

“We love going to neutral site territory to showcase our product,” says MWBA founder Brad Janes, who is also the general manager of the Freeze. “It just seemed to be a natural welcome to St. Stephen, which is a hot bed of the game anyway, and then just tie everything in along with the world’s oldest basketball court and a celebration of women in sport.”

The Mystics ultimately took home the title by defeating the Freeze in the final game Sunday 75-67.

The event saw locals come out and fill the bleachers throughout the weekend, with attention around the women’s game at an all-time high.

The Moncton Mystics took home the World’s Oldest Basketball Court Cup with a 75-67 win in the World’s Oldest Basketball Court Cup finals against the Fredericton Freeze. (Courtesy: Vicki Hogarth)For the athletes, seeing the support in a small town gives them hope for the continued growth of the sport.

“Coming from (Atlantic University Sport) and seeing the support from the Reds fans there has always been great, but knowing that it follows us throughout our years to see kids and spouse come out to watch their girls play is amazing,” says Jenny Nkuah of the Fredericton Freeze. “I can’t wait to see what my daughters, their daughters will go through and see with this sport.”

“I think it’s so great for little girls, and little boys as well, but little girls to have this to look up to and hopefully it will continue for years to come,” beams Moncton Mystics guard Kelsey McLaughlin. “I have a daughter myself who is five and I am just so proud and happy for her and the opportunities she will hopefully have and for all these little girls growing up in this new era.”

Not only did the weekend provide a chance to showcase the women’s game, it also provided a boost to the local economy with teams filling restaurants and hotels for the weekend.

Other organizations also benefitting from the hoops hype. The tournament was sponsored by the local McDonald’s franchisees Ashley and Gary Wager who held a Swish and Serve Fundraiser. For every three point basket made over the weekend, the couple donated a meal towards the St. Stephen Foodbank.

“Food insecurity in Canada is something that is really large, and we wanted to make sure we were giving back there as well,” says local franchise owner Ashely Wager. “It was so great to hear this tournament was coming to St. Stephen and we jumped on board right away to support athletes in our community.”

While putting a spotlight on the women’s game was the main focus on the tournament, as the name suggest it also served as a chance to spread the word on the World’s Oldest Basketball Court, located in the border town.

The two-day World’s Oldest Basketball Court Cup tournament was held at St. Stephen High School.

Last year it was announced the court will be getting a facelift 130 years in the making with fundraising efforts well underway to transform the space into the Canadian National Basketball Experience Museum.

“We haven’t even built the building yet really and yet we have a tournament,” points out Tom Liston, who is the chair of fundraising for the court. “We want to have youth tournaments here and just support from across New Brunswick and we want all of New Brunswick to feel like this is their project.”

Teams got a chance to see the court for themselves over the weekend, which officials hope once built will change the perspective of the province.

“This is a border town and we want to bring as many Americans through,” says Liston. “There are tens of millions of people within a one day drive of St. Stephen. We want to bring all those people through so they stay a few nights in New Brunswick.”

Liston says they are well underway in raising the $18 million needed to build the centre. Until then he encourages residents to support the MWBA whose season tips off on May 4.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

Stay Connected