UNITED. How Brandon Bassi helped CCB LFC Utd claim the Challenge Trophy months after his tragic death.

"He was with us in Newfoundland.  We could feel him there as our 12th man."  (Luke O'Shea, Captain)

Vancouver / Surrey BC - October 18, 2019


The champagne residue in the Adult Men’s Provincial Cup hadn’t even dried by the time the horrible news filtered through the soccer community.   Not even two weeks after Surrey’s Central City Breakers LFC United had raised the Trophy with a convincing victory over Rino’s Tigers in Nanaimo, one of their key players was gone. 

The scene where 78th meets 122nd in Newton was horrific.  As the flashing blue and red lights lit up neighbouring houses in the early hours of that Saturday morning, Brandon Bassi…a 19-year-old SFU student, and accomplished youth player, was fighting for his life.  That he was even in the ill-fated black jeep that night was a coincidence; a split-second decision that became a family’s living nightmare, and a huge loss for an entire community.

Ted Hans calls himself the CCB LFC “Manager, coach helper, team mom…everything” as well as being a close friend to the Bassi family.  He was at the hospital as Brandon was on life support, promising the influential defender that his team-mates would win a national title on his behalf. 

As the Toyota National Championships began in Newfoundland, Hans could feel the galvanizing effect their “young king” was having on the group: 

“Honestly, I can’t even explain it really…the feeling when you honour someone who’s fallen, and you step on the field together…you feel as though he’s there.  When the final whistle blew in the gold medal game, it was an overwhelming sense of relief that our promise to Brandon came to reality.” 

As the referee put an end to the contest in St John's and CCB had officially defeated Ottawa St Anthony’s 2-0, Hans’s first instinct was to congratulate Brandon’s father Kulwinder, who despite an unimaginable few months, smiled broadly at the accomplishment.

Derrick Bassi, Brandon’s brother who joined the club for the Nationals journey, told team-mates it was the first time he had seen his father happy since before the accident.  

The team agreed that if they were ultimately successful in their pursuit of the Challenge Trophy, Kulwinder would get to hoist it with the Captain.  Brandon’s father wanted to experience every moment of the event in St John’s, and the team obliged, ensuring the senior Bassi would be on their flights, in their hotel, and on the drives to and from games.    

Brandon’s imprint was everywhere.  His team-mates wore commemorative armbands, and they even brought the jersey and shorts their number 5 wore during the Men’s Adult Provincial Cup Final, which would turn out to be “BB5’s” last game.  The number was already retired within the Central City Breakers Men’s Adult Program, and the kit will be signed, framed and presented to the family. 

Luke O’Shea, the goalkeeping captain of the team, had a unique bond with Brandon, as is often the case between centrebacks and ‘keepers;

“He was a rock back there.  This was a young man finally coming into his body. He was growing, developing muscle and had so much more potential both on and off the field.  Even though he was the youngest player on our team, he was one of the biggest leaders we had.”

The one thing that becomes abundantly clear when talking to people about Brandon Bassi, is that his abilities on the field were merely a bonus to the person he was off it.  Whether it’s SFU Head Coach Clint Schneider, or his assistant at the time Nick Dasovic who often worked with Bassi in his Freshman year, the same words kept coming up; humble, honest, courteous, dedicated.  O’Shea was always impressed by how completely devoted Brandon was to his family and friends. 

“He had a heart of gold, was always there for the people closest to him and everyone knew he wanted to become a teacher because he was committed to helping the young men in his community.  It’s a very rare quality to find in people these days.”

As time slowly heals the deep wounds of their loss, members of CCB LFC United will continue to honour their team-mate, knowing he will be their 12th man in perpetuity.

A daunting prospect for any side hoping to unseat the Surrey club as Provincial or National champions. 

About BC Soccer

BC Soccer is the provincial sport governing body with the mission to govern, promote and develop the game of soccer in British Columbia in a professional and progressive manner. Established in 1907, BC Soccer is the largest provincial sports organization (PSO) in BC and the third largest soccer-specific PSO in Canada with over 150,000 participants.  As a professional not-for-profit society and a member of Canada Soccer, BC Soccer is committed to providing the widest opportunities for existing and potential participants, as well as provide support in the most effective and appropriate way for current players, parents, volunteers, member clubs, leagues, and districts.

BC Soccer is comprised of more than 120,000 registered players, over 2,200 registered referees, and thousands of volunteer coaches, administrators, and soccer leaders. Working with its 40 member Youth Districts and 11 Adult Leagues as well as their affiliate member clubs, BC Soccer operates under the guiding principles of Professional Leadership, Passionate Service and Progressive Collaboration. In managing its relationships throughout the larger soccer community, BC Soccer’s vision is to ensure every British Columbian has the opportunity to be involved in soccer as part of a lifelong commitment to an active, healthy and involved lifestyle.