Michael Linklater plans to retire from playing basketball at the end of the Saskatchewan Rattlers season next month.

However, that doesn’t mean an end to his mentorship and coaching.

“My sons and my daughters are at an age now where they’re playing and next year I’m coaching at the North American Indigenous Games, so I’ll be helping out with team Saskatchewan U16 as I’ve done in the past four years.

“Coaching has always been a part of me, and just giving back to the game.”

This weekend’s 3x3 tournament will also be his last, and it marks the end of the three-year contract between FIBA and Tourism Saskatoon to host the world tour in Saskatoon.

The tournament has toured around the world before making its first North American stop in Saskatoon two years ago, being the first tournament to play on the street, just like how Linklater started playing years ago.

President and CEO of Tourism Saskatoon Todd Brandt acknowledged at a press conference Friday what he called the key role Team Saskatoon played in elevating the awareness and presence of 3 X 3 basketball in Canada.

“They really were fundamentally important to us securing this event for Saskatoon.”

Linklater has opened his own youth basketball camp, was appointed to the Jr NBA Canadaian Leadership Council alongside members like Pascal Siakam and Steve Nash, runs the Boys With Braids Campaign, and is a Nike Ambasador for the Rezball campagn. his playing career comes to an end, Linklater said he is taking basketball like life.

“We need to take each moment and enjoy that.”