The RDC Kings roster received a significant boost during the weekend.
Six of head coach Craig Behan’s top recruits — three from Vancouver and three from Toronto — confirmed by e-mail that they’ll be on hand when the Kings open camp in the fall.
The six combined with point guard Lloyd Strickland from Raymond, six-foot-four forward Eric Bakker of Centennial High School in Calgary and six-foot-eight Rae Salter of Israel gives the Kings one of their best recruiting classes of all time.
“It’s the best I’ve ever had,” said Behan. “The guys coming in have talent and bring a great deal of experience. They’re already leaders.”
The trio out of Vancouver have college basketball experience.
In fact six-foot-three guard Graeme McCallum was the tournament most valuable player for national champion Douglas College of New Westminster at the Canadian college championships in 2008.
McCallum attended Terry Fox High School in Vancouver as did six-foot-seven Rob Hougaard, who has college experience with Capilano College of North Vancouver.
The third Vancouver recruit is six-foot-five Chris Portious, who also played at Capilano.
“Chris is a pure shooter and played on a provincial high school championship team and with the B.C. provincial U19 team when he was 17,” explained Behan.
“He can play a number of positions from guard to small forward.”
The trio were all recruited by Kings outstanding post player Billy McNutt, who played with McCallum at Douglas College.
“Billy had the connections and once he talked with one of them it was a chain reaction,” said Behan, who made the contact with a number of players during an I.D. camp in Toronto in early April.
The three who committed to RDC have excellent credentials.
Six-foot-one shooting guard Sean Giscombe attended Father Henry, which is one of the top three ranked high school programs in the country.
Giscombe, who wants to get into education, averaged over 17 points and eight assists last season and received a number of offers from schools in the United States.
“He was an All-Toronto City all-star as a sophomore and received a number of all-stars awards during tournament play last season,” said Behan.
“He’s very smooth, likes to score and has good knowledge of the game. He’ll be an awesome addition.”
The other two players out of Toronto are six-foot-five forward Terrell Campbell and six-foot-two guard Jason David.
Campbell was a member of a provincial all-star team that attended, and won, an international tournament in Africa last year.
“He’s a gifted player, with good size and can score. I believe he’ll be an all-star in our league,” said Behan.
David is a scorer, averaging 23.5 points per game to go with four rebounds and four assists.
“He’s a quick, athletic guard, who will fit in perfectly with the high-tempo offence we plan to run next season,” said Behan.
“And he can score. The lowest point total he had last season was 18 and the highest 30.”
All six recruits, along with Strickland, Bakker and Salter are expected to be on hand for at least two years.
“That’s good for the future, but we’re looking at next year,” stressed Behan.
“(Defending champion) Mount Royal isn’t going to lose anyone, but with this recruiting class we should be right up there as well.”
Guards Adam Shaw, Andrew Cassidy, Tommy Watson and Brett Gaudreau are expected back along with six-foot-eight Adam Weir. There’s also a chance Randy Davis may return, although he’s still looking at attending the University of Saskatchewan.
“The biggest problem may be getting enough touches for everyone, but we’ll worry about that once everyone gets here,” said Behan.
“You never know who may not make it as things do change.”