It’s not an easy step to come right out of high school and directly into the Alberta Colleges Men’s Basketball League no matter where you’re from.
But for four members of the RDC Kings that step has even more of a learning curve.
Point guard Sean Giscombe, forward Terrell Campbell, guard Jason David and forward Eduardo Sanchez-Caba are not only first-year RDC students, but are from Toronto.
“It is a big change as the league is a lot tougher than I expected,” said the 18-year-old Giscombe, who acted as the group spokesman. “We didn’t have a shot clock in high school in Ontario and I relied on my talent and athleticism to get by, now I need more knowledge of the game. It’s taken me five months to learn the systems.
“It was also tough for us as we don’t have the family support, but Craig (head coach Craig Behan) made it a lot easier. He’s been like a father figure and helped us a lot. I respect Craig for that.”
Behan realizes is been a big change for the four.
“It’s a big cutlural change in terms of time management, organization, financial management and the fact that they’re living on their own. They also have to go to class and work to make sure they progress, just not show up. It’s a huge adjustment and they’ve done a good job. There’s been a few struggles along the way, but I’m proud of them of the way they’ve adjusted.”
Behan was first introduced to the quartet during an I.D. camp in Toronto in the spring.
“One of my junior coaches knew my situation and felt junior college in Ontario wasn’t the right route and education was better here,” explained Giscombe, who came from one of the premier high school basketball programs in Ontario — C.W. Jeffreys.
“My program is always in the top two or three in the province at the 4A level,” he said. “We’ve had a couple of big names go on to play Division I in the States.”
The area which Giscombe grew up is one of the toughest areas in Toronto and, although his family didn’t want to see him leave, they fully supported the move.
“In some ways it’s bad as they worry about me, but in my area there was a lot of violence and they’re happy I’m not in that any more.”
Giscombe and Campbell grew up together, playing basketball since Grade 7.
“I also knew both Jason and Eduardo as I played against them a couple times,” explained Giscombe.
‘“It made come here a lot easier because we did know each other, especially the first week when we were only together. After that Graeme (McCallum) and Chris (Porteous) did a good job of supporting us and introducing us around.”
Giscombe is in education and hopes to teach down the road while the other three are taking open studies.
“They did what they had to do to pass, but now they have to do a little more,” said Behan, who hopes to have them around for a while.
“I’m happy to have them all here and hope they stick it out,” he added. “They’re great guys, in fact this is one of my favourite group of guys I’ve had in a few years.”
Behan believes that Campbell may move on to university.
“But hopefully the other three are here for a few years,” added Behan, who along with RDC will make the four feel a bit more at home on Feb. 12-13 when their mothers will be on hand for the doubleheader weekend against Medicine Hat.
The RDC squads are heading into a big weekend with a home-and-home series against the Mount Royal Cougars — Friday in Calgary and Saturday at RDC.
The women tip off at 6 p.m. with the men to follow.
The Queens and Cougars are tied for fourth at 5-9 while on the men’s side the Cougars come in tied for first in the south with SAIT at 11-3 with the Kings third at 9-5.
l The hockey Queens had last weekend off and saw their hold on the fourth and final playoff spot slip away when Grant MacEwan upset SAIT twice to move three points ahead of the Queens.
That leaves the RDC squads with an important three-game set against first-place Mount Royal. They meet Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Arena and Friday and Saturday in Calgary. The third game is a makeup game from prior to Christmas.
l The fourth badminton tournament of the season and the ACAC singles championships go Saturday and Sunday at RDC.
l Volleyball’s Mitch Irvine and Quinn Schulzke were named the Moxie’s Classic Grill RDC athletes of the week.
Volleyball has the weekend off.