When Dallas Hancox arrived at Hunting Hills High School in Grade 11 he had visions of grandeur.
“When I arrived at Hunting Hills I was hooked on Division I (in the states), but after talking with Clayton (RDC Kings head coach Pottinger) I realized this would be another start for me where I could build my skills,” explained the six-foot-eight native of Sylvan Lake, who has been getting some starting assignments with the defending Alberta Colleges Men’s Basketball League champions in the preseason.
“I’m making progress but I still have to fight for my place. Some of the most competition we have is in our own gym against each other.”
Hancox had a solid final season at Hunting Hills, but he felt it could have been better.
“I didn’t have the year I wanted, but as an athlete you always want to be at the top. I thought at the time I would receive additional scholarship offers, but honestly I’m more than satisfied being here. This is a great experience and it’s in my own back yard. I think everyone dreams of playing Division I, but it’s great to be here, close to home and I can fulfill my academic career.
“As well we have a team that has the opportunity to seize an ACAC championship. I can get the experience here and in a few years go to the CIS and start over again.”
Hancox has already learned a thing or two about playing inside at the post-secondary level.
“It was a real eye-opener against the CIS teams like the University of Alberta,” he said. “It was rough for me physically, as I couldn’t do the things I normally could do. The second experience against the UNBC (University of Northern B.C.) was similar, but the first game gave me an indication of what I had to do.”
What Hancox needs more than anything is experience playing the post.
“For sure,” he said. “At Hunting hills I didn’t get that much work done in the post, it was more shooting. But then if your can shoot the ball it makes life easier.
“But working on my post play is the No. 1 thing I have to work on and gain experience.”
He’s been working hard at improving and also listening to players such as veteran Jacob Cusumano.
“I take advantage of what the veterans know and it helps round out my game,” he said.
Hancox will gain a little more experience this weekend as the Kings host the RDC iHotel Fall Basketball Classic.
The Kings open play Thursday at 4:30 p.m. against Keyano College and meet Canadian University College (CUC) of Lacombe Friday at 4 p.m. and Lakeland College Saturday at 6 p.m.
Other games Friday has Olds College meeting Keyano at 2 p.m. and Lethbridge taking on Lakeland at 6 p.m. On Saturday, Lethbridge and Keyano clash at 3 p.m. and Olds and CUC at 8 p.m. On Sunday Lakeland and CUC tip off at 10 a.m. and Lethbridge and Olds at noon.
l The hockey Kings, 2-2, will look to get back on the winning track as they host the Grant MacEwan University Griffins, 1-1, Friday at 7:15 p.m. at the Penhold Regional Multiplex.
The teams meet Saturday in Edmonton.
l The hockey Queens host the Edge Hockey Academy of Calgary in exhibition play at 7 p.m. Thursday.
l The basketball Queens are on the road, playing a trio of games in Vancouver.
The meet Langara College Friday, Kwantian Polytechnical University Saturday and Capilano College Sunday.
l The RDC cross-country team will compete in Grand Prix No. 4 Saturday in Camrose at the University of Alberta, Augustana.
l Volleyball dominated the Boston Pizza RDC athlete of the week voting.
Right side Braden O’Toole received the top male award after turning in an outstanding performance as the Kings finished second to the University of Calgary in the Mount Royal University tournament.
In four matches, and 14 games, against university competition, O’Toole had 62 kills, eight stuff blocks, 14 digs and two aces.
Setter Bronwyn Hawkes turned in a solid performance to lead the Queens to first place in their annual Wild Rose Classic tournament. The Queens won 10 straight sets with Hawkes finishing with 102 assists and 16 digs.
The cross-country running teams received the Breathing Room team of the week award.