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Lindsay Thurber senior girls basketball honoured at Alberta Shooting Stars Showcase

Lindsay Thurber Raiders Kathy Lalor, Amelia Roberts, and McKinley Penninga were honoured at the Alberta Shooting Stars Showcase. (Submitted photo)

Three members of the Lindsay Thurber Raiders senior girl’s basketball team were recently honoured for their basketball achievements.

This past weekend at the Alberta Shooting Stars Showcase, which is an event that highlights some of the province’s best high school basketball talent, head coach Kathy Lalor and players McKinley Penninga and Amelia Roberts were acknowledged.

Lalor was inducted into the Alberta Shooting Stars Coaches Hall of Fame as one of the longest-serving coaches in Alberta.

For the past 43 years, she’s coached basketball including many years at Lindsay Thurber High School. She coached at West Part Jr. High for 12 years before moving over the Lindsay Thurber for the past 30 years.

In that time she’s won 19 Central Zone Championships and attended 4A Provincials in all of those years. She’s finished in seventh place the last three years and has won the consolation bracket twice.

On the Alberta Shooting Stars website, Red Deer Polytechnic Queens’ head coach Avery Harrison said Lalor’s teams are always so well prepared.

“Her love for the game is evident to anyone who watched them play,” he added.

“Her contributions to the basketball community in Red Deer and Central Alberta cannot be measured in more words as we continue to be blessed with her vision and leadership. Congratulations to a basketball coaching icon.”

On top of her duties as a coach, she’s also served as a central zone ranker and commissioner for 10 years.

She was on the organizing committee for four provincial championships and has run a basketball camp for Grade 1-9 students for 19 years.

Meanwhile, forward Amelia Roberts was named the 2024 Grade 11 4A Player of the Year for her season with the Raiders.

She is described as a fierce competitor who is hard-working and often excelled on the boards on the offensive and defensive ends.

Some of her other achievements include developing a perimeter game while also dominating around the rim. She also helped the Raiders win the central zone championship and a berth into the 4A provincial championships.

Also from the Raiders, McKinley Penninga was named the recipient for the 2024 Harle Heart Award which was named after Shawnee Herle, a former University of Calgary Dinos coach.

Penninga was selected after showing a lot of heart this year in overcoming adversity.

Along with excelling on the basketball court, she’s had to overcome a lot of health troubles. Over the last 10 years she’s been diagnosed with three different diseases and other disorders that make it hard to play the sport she loves.

Some of her health conditions attack her joints while another is a rare immunological disorder that causes her body to react to basically everything. She also has a neurological disorder that causes dysfunction of her automatic nervous system.

These conditions have caused her to be in and out of the hospital over the years. Those experiences have inspired her to make a positive impact including serving on the Child and Youth Advisory Council at the Alberta Children’s Hospital from 2019-2023.

Despite her struggles, she hasn’t let it hold her back from excelling in basketball and in the classroom. Next year she’ll suit up for the University of Alberta Pandas women’s basketball team.

“She has been a fantastic leader for our program,” said Raiders head coach Kathy Lalor.

“She is unbelievably supportive of her teammates. She is genuinely one of the kindest people you will ever meet. Even when her health kept her off the court, she was at every practice and game.”

Lindsay Thurber Raiders McKinley Penninga was honoured at the Alberta Shooting Stars Showcase. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

Ian Gustafson

About the Author: Ian Gustafson

Ian began his journalism career as a reporter in Prince Albert, Sask. for the last three years, and was born and raised in Saskatchewan.
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