Queens secure top point guard

The rebuilding of the RDC Queens basketball program has taken a major step forward.

Getting Katlyn Olsen out of Raymond to commit to the RDC Queens was a major coup for head coach Dawn Smyth.

Getting Katlyn Olsen out of Raymond to commit to the RDC Queens was a major coup for head coach Dawn Smyth.

The rebuilding of the RDC Queens basketball program has taken a major step forward.

Queens head coach Dawn Smyth announced the commitment of five more recruits, including provincial 4A champion Raymond Comets point guard Katlyn Olsen.

“Katlyn has all the attributes to be a great point guard,” said Smyth. “She’s calm, sees the floor well, will push the ball and distributes the ball well. Yet she still shoots the ball when she gets the chance. She plays an exciting brand of basketball and is really good on the boards.”

But Olsen isn’t the only point guard from Raymond to be heading to RDC.

Kings head coach Craig Behan announced that Lloyd Strickland, who led the Comets to the boys’ 4A provincial championship, has committed to RDC as well.

“Lloyd is one of the best guards at the high school level and in my opinion the best point guard in the province,” said Behan. “He knows how to win. He shoots well, likes to defend and is a great passer. One of the things I like about him is he’s creative. I don’t like robots. I like guys who can make the play and he does just that. He gets the ball into areas where guys can succeed.”

The five-foot-10 Strickland, who lives in Stirling, also has a strong leadership ability.

“He’s vocal and has the personality to fit in nicely with the group of guys we’ll have next season,” added Behan, who’s excited to see both Raymond stars heading to Central Alberta.

“They’re similar type of players and are coming from a great program,” he said. “It’s exciting to see that quality of player coming to our program.”

Behan, who earlier announced the signing of forward Eric Baker of Calgary’s Centennial High School, spent last weekend in Toronto, running an ID camp.

“I was able to make contact with several guys and there’s three or four who are interested in coming here, but there’s some things that have to be worked out before we can make any kind of announcement,” he said.

Behan expects to know “in the next week or so” whether Randy Davis and Adam Shaw will return next season. He’s also working on “a couple of other players from out of province.

“Overall I like what I see . . . we’ll be OK next year.”

And the Queens will be better.

Besides Olsen six-foot-two post player Jessica Foley of Rimbey, point guard Leah Adelman and six-foot-one post Kim Njaa of Outlook, Sask., and five-foot-eight shooting guard/wing Chelsea Dyck out of Centennial in Calgary have committed.

“Jessica and Kim are both very athletic and come from good programs,” said Smyth. “Leah is a very talented, who is quick and handles the ball very well. She and Katlyn will compliment each other.

“Chelsea is a very nice addition. She’s very quick and an excellent defender.”

Earlier Lisa Ivanic of Formost and Megan Ivancic of Spruce Grove committed.

As well, five-foot-11 Paola Viveros of Notre Dame and six-foot-three post Crystal Davidson of Prince Albert have agreed to red shirt next season.

“I’m excited about the recruits and the players returning,” said Smyth. “Everything seems to be fitting together. Our goal was to add two top recruits and we’ve gone beyond that. So far we have about 11 spots filled, with possibly one still open.

“The great thing is the girls have talent, but they want to make a difference and help build the program.”

Contact Danny Rode at drode@bprda.wpengine.com