RDC Kings basketball head coach Clayton Pottinger has a couple of decisions to make before he can put together his final roster for next season.
But he took a step in that direction Thursday with the announcement of three recruits from Alberta, including six-foot-seven Hunting Hills star Dallas Hancox.
He also added six-foot guard JP Leblanc from Sturgeon and six-foot-seven forward Jordan Britton of Drumheller.
Hancox is a native of Sylvan Lake but played high school ball with the Lightning and was highly recruited.
“We’re certainly excited about getting Dallas,” said Pottinger. “He was recruited by a number of schools and has a huge upside. We also feel it was important to get the top players out of this area.
“He can play facing the basket and in the post. He can also block shots and a strong rebounder on the defensive end.”
Leblanc is considered one of the top players out of the Edmonton area this season.
“I talked with the University of Alberta coach and when I told him we got JP he said he felt he was the best high school player out of that area,” said Pottinger. “I know he’s been down to a half dozen open workouts and he will definitely challenge for a spot. He’s super athletic and flat-out good.”
Leblanc will give the defending ACAC champions another strong player at guard, joining returnees Lloyd Strickland, Matt Johnson, Jacob Cusumano and Ashaunti Hogan.
“From what I saw he fits right in with those guys.”
Leblanc was named to the 2012 provincial team, but didn’t play because of an injury.
Brian Prenoslo and outstanding forward Rob Pierce, who was the Red Deer male athlete of the year for 2012, are returning up front.
Britton grew up in Calgary, but played in Drumheller. He’s been out of school for a year, but impressed Pottinger.
“He has the ability to play right away and gives us more depth inside,” said Pottinger. “It nice to get talent out of Alberta and guys who are athletic and tall.
“All three of these guys are the future of the program.”
Pottinger still has a couple of spots open and will fill two of them with international players.
He’s talked with a six-foot-seven player from Texas, six-foot-eight players from Washington, DC and California and a six-foot-10 player from Germany.
“All four players want to come,” he said. “Now it’s up to me to make sure I do my homework and get the best guys. Not just the best players, but guys who are good citizens and fit in with the school and the team.”
“All four players have post-secondary experience and will come in and there won’t be a learning period,” said Pottinger.
One of the few negatives is forward Joel Carroll, who is expected to miss the season with an ACL injury.
“That’s tough as he’s an excellent player and a great leader,” said Pottinger. “Once we get the MRI back we’ll know more, but indications are it’s a torn ACL and will need surgery. If so, he’ll be out, but we’ll have him on the bench as a coach.”