The Red Deer College Queens basketball have got an early start on their recruiting for next season, and they are going to need every minute of it.
With a weekend sweep of the Briercrest Clippers, the Queens wrapped up their 2014-15 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference season 4-20, with all four of their wins coming against the winless Clippers.
Head coach Ken King was brought in to take over the team with not much time to recruit and he inherited a roster that struggled to keep pace with the competition in the ACAC South Division.
He took a big step to closing the talent gap on the weekend by getting Danish point guard Eva Bonde to commit to the Queens on Friday.
“The class will be huge and it’s exciting, it’s exciting for me to be able to recruit in Alberta and around the world and being able to bring people from all different corners to be able to play for the Queens,” said King, an Ontario native, also noting he will be leaning heavily on the girls that do return with the foundation he laid this season.
The five-foot-five Bonde should take over the starting point guard position from Morgan Dool who likely moves over to shooting guard, a more natural spot for the freshman.
“Both her attitude and the way she plays is exactly what we are looking for to fill one of the holes we have on our team right now,” said King.
“She’s very fundamentally sound, very strong and confident with the ball, very strong on the defensive side of the court as well as rebounding. She’s someone that can be a bit of a floor general, she can lead the team with the ball in her hand, she’s confident in that way. She can calm us down when we need to be calmed down and she can lift us up when we need to be lifted up.”
Bonde has spent the last two years playing at the highest club level in Denmark while also suiting up for the country’s U16 and U18 teams since 2011. This summer she has been invited to play for the U20 national team.
To advance in the sport, however, she decided she needed to come to North America, shooting for NCAA but found a home in Red Deer.
“Ken reached out to me and we spoke over the phone and I had a really good feeling about the place and him as a coach and his basketball philosophy,” said Bonde, while visiting RDC on Friday. “I feel like I have a good chance to fit in and that I could do a difference on the team.”
There are a number of holes left to fill on the Queens roster, and King says he has been hard at work trying to unearth players other coaches have not found yet.
“It’s taken a lot of work and the one thing I do really enjoy is the fact that being right between Edmonton and Calgary has allowed me access to a ton of programs all the way from the 1A level to the 4A level,” said King. “There’s a wealth of talent in Alberta, sometimes untapped talent, and it’s really nice to go into gyms and find girls that we’re really interested in that are also interested in our program right away. It’s plentiful, the basketball talent here is really deep.”