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Former Richmond Colts athlete inducted into Basketball B.C.’s hall of fame

“I just thank the guys before me because they’re the ones that built the foundation for when I joined the sport," said Alan Tait.
Alan Tait (left) and coach Bill Disbrow at the Basketball B.C.'s hall of fame induction ceremony.

One of Richmond’s most prominent basketball players has been inducted into Basketball B.C.’s Hall of Fame.

Alan Tait, a former Richmond High School athlete, was known as one of the most prolific scorers in B.C. high school boys’ basketball history.

Aside from receiving the award at the induction ceremony, Tait said he enjoyed talking to people he hasn’t seen in two to three decades.

“It was a little emotional,” he said.

“I just thank the guys before me because they’re the ones that built the foundation for when I joined the sport. They’re the ones that built the community and it was cool to be part of the basketball team.”

Tait set the AAA Boys High School Provincials scoring record during his time at Richmond High and was named one of the top 25 greatest high school basketball players of all time in 2020 by the BC High School Boys Basketball Association, according to Basketball B.C.

After graduating, he went on to play in Division One basketball on a scholarship at Oregon State University.

Tait told the Richmond News his basketball career was highly influenced by three prominent figures.

Bob Gardner, former principal at James Thompson elementary, Bill Disbrow, former basketball coach at Richmond High, and Ralph Miller, coach at Oregon State, all played a part in Tait’s life in the basketball scene.

From bringing down a 10-foot hoop to eight for a young elementary athlete to providing the necessary resources and opportunities to play on the court, these three men “enabled (him) to embrace basketball and live a great life,” according to Tait.

Tait started the sport when he joined his friend in fourth grade while attending James Thompson in what they used to call mini basketball.

“It came fairly natural to me…and I just loved it.”

Hall of fame coach Bill Disbrow described Tait as an incredible athlete who is “highly competitive” and was proud to see him get inducted into the hall of fame.

Disbrow coached Tait in Grades 11 and 12, and during those two short years, Tait was considered one of the “most popular high school athletes ever in British Columbia.”

Every game, Richmond High would see “every seat filled” whether it be home or away games, according to Disbrow.

“Alan wasn’t the only reason, but he was certainly the main reason,” said Disbrow, adding that they would always take “eight busloads to away games.”

“Richmond High basketball was probably the best in the country for a long period back then. It was on an amazing level.”