Quinn Keast’s ‘No Regrets’ mantra at heart of fundraiser ft. Sacre & Olynyk

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


NORTH VANCOUVER — You can’t espouse a personal mantra so simple and direct without writing from the heart, and for Quinn Keast, who knew no better way to express his thoughts and dreams, scribbling the words No Regrets at the end of each of his nightly journal entries was his way of saying thanks for the honour of another day.

Right up until his passing, over seven years ago at age 18, in a pedestrian accident on his high school grad night, his theme remained the same: Do your best and give your maximum effort so that at the end of the day you can have no regrets.

In an age where slogans and catch phrases come and go with great regularity, No Regrets has stood the test of time, especially on the North Shore where Keast attended Handsworth Secondary, and most specifically in the high school basketball community, where Keast starred for the Royals and helped lead the school to the 2006 B.C. Triple A championship.

In the years since his passing, promoting awareness and meaning behind the phrase No Regrets has become the focus of the charitable foundation that bears his name, one which has just launched its latest fund-raising initiative, aptly titled No Regrets-Los Angeles.

To raise funds for Basketball B.C., the non-profit group which oversees the development of the game at all levels in this province, the Quinn Keast Foundation is holding a raffle with a truly unique prize: A chance to fly to Los Angeles to see the Lakers host the Boston Celtics on Feb. 21 in what will be a head-to-head meeting between two made-in-B.C. NBA players, the Lakers’ Robert Sacre, and the Celtics’ Kelly Olynyk.

The foundation, which is offering as its prize two plane tickets, hotel accommodation and two game tickets, to the clash of traditional NBA powers, is hoping to raise close to $15,000 for Basketball B.C., whose provincial teams Sacre and Olynyk both competed for. Autographed jersies from each of the players is also a part of the prize.

Fittingly, the annual Telus Classic tournament, which this week ends an incredible 14-year run in which it has raised over $800,000 in scholarships for student-athletes, has stepped up to help facilitate the sale of the raffle tickets, serving as a point of sale at both its semi-finals (Friday at Vancouver’s Sir Winston Churchill Secondary) and finals (Saturday at UBC).

“We were all sitting around a table, struggling to find just the right idea,” Quinn Keast Foundation member Blair Shier remembers. “Then Leslie says ‘Celtics and Lakers’ and as soon as she said it, all the lights went on.”

Leslie is Leslie Sacre, the mother of Rob Sacre, who was a teammate of Keast’s all through high school at Handsworth. And Robert Sacre was also a teammate of South Kamloops’ grad Olynyk when the two played their college basketball at Gonzaga. Both NBA players quickly gave their approval and set the fund raiser in motion.

Finding opportunities that give youth the opportunity to better live by the No Regrets mantra has been something the Quinn Keast Foundation has always embraced, and that has included a number of annual scholarships, and the refurbishing of several outdoor playing courts in the Lower Mainland.

Quinn’s mother, Jan Keast, speaks with pride when asked what No Regrets means to her.

“Well, if you drive by (North Vancouver high school) Carson Graham, there is a basketball hoop at someone’s house and it says ‘Quinn Keast, No Regrets’,” she begins. “It’s a busy road and people drive by it every day and it makes them think what it’s all about. And I was talking to a real estate agent who had a house for sale in North Vancouver, and she told that one of the bedrooms had a huge sign in block letters that said ‘I live each day with no regrets’ and it had QK at the bottom of it.”

The foundation continues to re-order the No Regrets wrist bracelets which have remained popular over the years.
“It’s about getting the message out to youngers kids that never knew Quinn,” Jan explains. “They need to know that they can be inspired. It’s funny how many times I see people, old and young, wearing Quinn bracelets. They don’t seem to take them off. He had a wonderful way of expressing himself to people from his heart.”

This year’s graduating Class of 2014 high school seniors were just finishing their Grade 4 years when Quinn Keast passed away.

Tickets for the raffle (1,000 at $20 each) will be on sale at a number of other locations around the province, including the Basketball B.C. offices at the Langley Events Centre. Ticket purchasers, by B.C. Lottery regulations, must be 19 years or older, and residents of B.C.

For more information on No Regrets-Los Angeles, including all point-of-sale locations around the province, log on to quinnbasketball.net.