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Bondzio using basketball to see the world

Amrei Bondzio always wanted to see the world, and playing basketball at a post-secondary institution was a perfect way to do that.

So when she was contacted my RDC Queens head coach Mike Woollard she jumped at the chance to move from Germany to Central Alberta.

“I always wanted to go to another country after graduation, go out of Germany and see a different country and have other experiences,” said the 20-year-old from Munich. “There is a woman in Germany who helps girls who want to go overseas and sends out videos and resumes to different coaches. I met Mike and he was texting me.”

Bondzio speaks excellent English, which makes the move that much easier, but there still has been some differences.

“The food is different and the winter is longer for sure,” she said with a laugh. “I’m from the southern part of Germany and we have winter for about there months. It’s longer here.”

The basketball is also a change after playing club ball the last four years.

“We don’t play in school, just clubs and I played with the senior teams the last four years in second and first divisions. I was with older ladies, not girls my age. I was one of the worst players on the Division One team and I had older, professional players telling me what to do. Now I’m in a position where I’m looked at to tell the players here what to do as we have a lot of players just out of high school.

“It’s a change but that’s good I like the school and the basketball.”

Bondzio’s experience was evident last weekend when she was asked to guard two of the premier players in the Alberta Colleges Women’s Basketball League in NAIT’s PJ Wells and Keyano’s Chawncy McClenan. All she did was limit Wells to five points and once she was put on McClenan she shut her down despite coming off a bout of the ‘flu. McClenan had 21 first half points and only six in the second half whenguarded by Bondzio and four of those came with the RDC guard on the bench.

“I’m usually better offensively, but as it turned out they gave me the job and whatever is best for the team,” she said. “If it’s my job, it’s my job.”

The Queens, who have 11 first-year players on their roster, are 0-4 to start the season, but have shown improvement each time out.

“It’s frustrating as we’re getting better each week, but we need to start getting some wins,” said the five-foot-nine Bondzio. “We’re taking steps forward, but it’s not enough yet.”

The RDC teams are on the road Saturday, visiting Grande Prairie.

The Kings go into the contest with a 4-0 record and ranked No. 3 in Canada. Briercrest Bible College is ranked ninth and Augustana 11th.

l The RDC volleyball teams are home this weekend as they host Lethbridge College Kodiaks Friday and Saturday. The women get underway Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. with the men to follow.

The men’s matchup will be interesting as the Kings (0-4) are ranked third in Canada and Lethbridge (5-1) seventh.

The Queens (2-2) are ranked 11th with Grant MacEwan ranked second and NAIT seventh.

l The RDC cross-country team is competing in the national finals, Saturday at Champlain College in St. Lambert, Que.

Devin Woodland and Kieran McDonald, who finished one-two respectively in the Alberta championships, will lead the RDC and ACAC teams and are both ACAC representatives as CCAA All-Canadians.

l Basketball’s Rob Pierce was named the Boston Pizza RDC male athlete of the week while Brooke Sutter of the volleyball Queens, took the top female award.

Pierce, who is second in ACAC South Division scoring and first in rebounds, led the Kings to a pair of weekend victories with 44 points and 23 rebounds.

Sutter was key in the Queens weekend doubleheader sweep of The Kings University College Eagles, accumulating 20 kills, 22 digs, two aces and a block.



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