The first year of the Queens Central Alberta Basketball Club went over better than organizer and RDC head coach Ken King had hoped.
In fact it was so well received Kings believes they will expand this year.
“We went into last year hoping to maybe have a team and it ended up with three teams (U18, U17 and U16),” he said. “This year we will expand to a younger group, either a U15 or U14 and possibly both.
“We have the format in place, which allows us to expand if we have the athletes and the active parents. We have the coaches ready to go and we work with them to make sure they run proper practices and proper games, not at a high level but an elite level.”
King’s goal is to develop younger players to be able to step into the RDC program.
“We would like to get to a point, like a number of our other teams (at RDC), where we win with a strong base of local players.”
The Queens have four players on their roster this season who came directly out of the club program.
Kristen Loney of Hunting Hills made the starting roster this season with Madi Nimmo of Hunting Hills, Jennifer Huseby of Eckville and Riley Bacquie of Didsbury and the Olds Christian School all red shirting. However, Nimmo, a five-foot-nine guard, is expected to see some playing time this season.
“After high school last year we didn’t know we had anyone coming in but by the end of the club season we knew we wanted these four to be part of our program,” said King.
This year’s training camp will open April 9 with the times and locations to be announced on the team website (cabcqueens.ca) or by social media.
“We have someone updating our website and with social media so that will be available once it’s all confirmed,” added King, who will coach the U18 team this year.
Queens veteran forward Emily White and former King Dallas Hancox will once again coach the U17 program and Queens fifth-year guard Dedra Janvier will return to coach the U16 team.
“We have some of our other girls available to coach the younger teams,” added King, who likes the fact his players are coaching.
“You learn so much as a coach that helps on the court,” he said. I know if I was still capable of playing I’d be that much better. The goal is for the girls to learn as much coaching as they pass on to the girls in the community.”
The club teams will compete in tournaments in Edmonton, Calgary and Lethbridge and they hope to run their own tournament July 6-8 to finish their season.
Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter who can be reached at email@example.com. His work can also be seen at Danny’s blog at rdcathletics.ca.