Kings coach excited about season

RDC Kings basketball head coach Clayton Pottinger couldn’t be more excited about the upcoming Alberta Colleges Men’s Basketball League season. Despite having only four returnees, as of now, Pottinger feels the Kings could be even better when it counts and that’s saying something considering they finished second at the CCAA championships last season, losing 88-86 to Langara College in the final.

RDC Kings basketball head coach Clayton Pottinger couldn’t be more excited about the upcoming Alberta Colleges Men’s Basketball League season.

Despite having only four returnees, as of now, Pottinger feels the Kings could be even better when it counts and that’s saying something considering they finished second at the CCAA championships last season, losing 88-86 to Langara College in the final.

“I’m not sure we’ll have the talent level of last year, but they’re all very coachable,” said Pottinger, who was the national coach of the year last season. “I accept we will be playing at a higher level than last year, at least when it counts. Last year we lost by two points in the nationals and our goal this year is to win the nationals so we have to be better.

“As well everyone in the league will be setting their sights on us and where we set the bar, so if we don’t improve we could be sitting at home when it comes time for the nationals.

“But I’ve never been more pumped about a season than I am now,” Pottinger continued.

“I like the changes and the unity of the guys plus the opportunity we have to develop and the challenges ahead of us. This is truly my team with only Jacob (Cusumano) here when I took over.”

Cusumano returns for his fifth season while forward Brian Prenoslo and guard Matt Johnson are third-year returnees and guard JP LeBlanc is back for his second season. There’s also a strong possibility six-foot-eight forward Dallas Hancox will be back for a second season.

“Dallas wasn’t going to return, but he’s been out at practice and it looks like he will be back,” said Pottinger.

One of the team’s biggest losses is point guard Lloyd Strickland, but with Johnson and LeBlanc returning and the addition of three former ACAC players, Pottinger likes what he sees at both point and shooting guard.

Mike Zurakowski played with Keyano College in Fort McMurray while Brayden Daniel was at St. Mary’s University in Calgary and Benny Bankazo at Medicine Hat College.

“Benny was heading to the States, but we convinced him to come back (to Alberta),” said Pottinger.

“Benny is a solid two-way player who was close to four triple doubles last season. He can score, rebound, pass the ball . . . a very unselfish player.”

Bankazo averaged 20.4 points per game, 7.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists with MHC.

Pottinger also brought in guard William Beard-Camp, who played with Medicine Hat two years ago

“William averaged close to 20 points per game, but sat out last season with an ACL injury,” explained Pottinger. “But he’s slowly regaining his form.”

Other impressive newcomers are forward Tyler Wise, who played with Grant MacEwan University, where he averaged 14.4 points and seven rebounds per game, and Matt Matear, who transferred in from Mount Royal University.

However Matear will be out until at least the second semester after breaking his arm during the Kings first practice.

“Normally it would be six to eight weeks but he had complications and just had his fourth surgery on the arm, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed he’ll be back for the second semester,” said Pottinger, who is also working on one other former CIS player.

“We can’t say anything right now but if he comes he’ll be a big addition.”

As well Pottinger added six-foot-seven forward Marcelus Clay from Oakland, Calif. Clay played last season at Ohlone Community College in California and joins Beard-Camp as an import.

Pottinger has four players just out of high school on the roster, including three from Central Alberta. Six-foot –four forward Ethan Minde and five-foot-eight guard Brandt Seibel are from Ponoka with Matt Cummings from Innisfail and Riley McCallum from Calgary.

“We like what we see from those kids and while they need to fight to get on the starting roster, they’re all talented kids, who work hard.”

The Kings first real action will be the ACAC Showcase tournament in Edmonton.

“We’ll face a few other teams in scrimmage situations, but nothing formal,” concluded Pottinger, who has Luc Stevenson, Joel Carroll and Clint Unsworth returning as assistant coaches.

Just Posted

Photos: Red Deer barn dance entertains children, adults Tuesday

Hundreds of Central Albertans started their Westerner Days celebrations early with an… Continue reading

Manslaughter charge laid against Red Deer man more than a year after homicide

A manslaughter charge has been laid against a Red Deer man, more… Continue reading

Woman facing charges after pedestrian critically injured in hit and run

A woman is in custody in connection with an alleged hit and… Continue reading

Friday hail storm came at a bad time for farmers

Amount of damage a hail storm does often depends on how far along crops are

Record 10 homers as AL wins All-Star Game 8-6 in 10 innings

American League 8 National League 6 (1o innings) WASHINGTON — A record… Continue reading

Photos: Red Deer barn dance entertains children, adults Tuesday

Hundreds of Central Albertans started their Westerner Days celebrations early with an… Continue reading

Man suffers critical injuries, Red Deer police arrest woman in pedestrian crash

A man is in hospital with critical injuries and Mounties have arrested… Continue reading

Cull hasn’t been able to solve bunny burden in Alberta mountain town of Canmore

CANMORE, Alta. — Problems persist in an Alberta mountain town overrun with… Continue reading

Canada should help Holocaust denier on trial in Germany: civil liberties group

OTTAWA — A civil liberties group is urging the Canadian government to… Continue reading

Westerner Days: Send us your photos

Your reader photo may just make the pages of the Adovcate.

Adam Henrique signs $29.1M, 5-year extension with Ducks

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Centre Adam Henrique has signed a $29.1 million, five-year… Continue reading

Fashion firms upend design routine to focus on speed, trends

NEW YORK — Prototypes? Passe. Fashion company Betabrand saw that knitwear was… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month