When Jessica Foley returned to the RDC Queens basketball team this season it was a last-minute decision that worked out perfectly for both parties.
Foley, who took last season off, has stepped in as a starter and gives the Queens an added presence inside.
“It was something I decided at the last minute when I came back to school for the trades and first year in welding,” explained Foley, who is in her fourth season with the Queens. “I knew a couple of the girls in Paola (Viveros) and Sarah (Williamson) and when they had the mix up with the post players (from Africa) and needed a couple of bigs I contacted Mike (head coach Woollard) and decided to give it a go.”
The six-foot-two native of Rimbey looks like she was never away. She’s averaging 10.75 points per game, which is third on the team and ninth in the Alberta Colleges Women’s Basketball League South Division, as well as 7.5 rebounds per start, which is tied for first on the team with six-foot-two Desirae Paterson and ninth in the south.
“It feels good, like I was never away,” she said. “It’s fun. I’m a little older and have been through it before. I still have the nerves before a game, but it’s more excitement than anything. The thing is I know what to expect on the court, in schooling and time management. You get into a routine.”
Woollard starts Foley and Paterson, allowing the Queens to play with most teams in the league, especially on the boards.
“We work well together, like the twin towers,” Foley said with a laugh. “But we’re definitely a bigger team this year and tougher inside. Some teams have problems defending us.”
Foley likes the attitude of the team as they looked to continue to rebuild the program.
“A great group of girls who have the same goals, are dedicated and willing to work.”
Foley is in her first year of a three-year welding course.
“I’ll take my second year in January and then see about next year. I know Mike wants me to come back, but right now we’ll see. But I do have one year of eligibility remaining.”
Foley took business the first time at RDC.
“It wasn’t right for me and I started working in the oil patch as a welder’s assistant and I enjoyed it a lot. I decided to get into it full time and with RDC close to home it was a good fit to come here. And it’s always nice to be able to play in front of friends and family.”
Foley received the Boston Pizza RDC female athlete of the week award for her play in a two-game sweep over Olds College. She scored 27 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the two games.
The Queens, 3-2, will have a big test Friday when they entertain the Lakeland Rustlers, 3-1. The Kings, who are ranked fourth in Canada, take a 5-0 record into the game against the Rustlers, 2-2.
The women tip off at 6 p.m. with the men to follow.
l The hockey Kings will look to get back on the winning track when they host Briercrest Bible College Clippers in a doubleheader at the Penhold Regional multiplex — Friday at 7:15 p.m. and Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
The Kings come in tied for second in the league with a 8-4 record while the Clippers have one overtime loss in 10 starts.
l The hockey Queens, 1-2, host the SAIT Trojans, 0-4, Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Arena with the teams meeting Saturday at SAIT.
l The volleyball teams are on the road as they visit Lethbridge Friday and Saturday.
Both RDC teams are 4-0 while the Lethbridge men sit at 3-1 and the women at 1-3.
The Kings go in as the No. 1 ranked team in the country with the Queens fifth. Grande Prairie is ranked second on the women’s side.
l The RDC cross-country team will compete at the Canadian championships, Saturday at Humber College in Etobicoke, Ont.
l Volleyball’s Tim Finnigan received the Boston Pizza male athlete of the week award after leading the Kings to a two-match sweep over Olds.
Finnigan, who played in only four of the six sets, had 12 kills, six aces and two blocks.
The basketball Queens received the Breathing Room team of the week award.