Queens Basketball 2018 - 19 season preview

Sandra Garcia-Bernal (23) will be one of the Queens' leaders this season. Photo - Tony Hansen
Sandra Garcia-Bernal (23) will be one of the Queens' leaders this season. Photo - Tony Hansen

2017 – 18 review

Regular season

The RDC Queens (12 - 9) placed fifth in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Women's Basketball South Division and narrowly missed the playoffs by two points.

 

2017 - 18 Awards

ACAC Women's Second South All-Conference team – Emily White

 

RDC Athletics Awards Night

Coach's Award – Eva Bonde

Most Improved Player – Mary Krause

Rookie of the Year – Paige Schultz

Most Valuable Player – Emily White

 

2018 – 19 preview

Head Coach Ken King will lead a young and energetic group this season.

 

Assistant Coaches

J'Anna Aitchison, Dave Kolesnik, Jessica Albrecht, Sara Sanderson

 

Returning players

Mallory Uskiw, Lauren Cardinal, Paige Schultz, Sandra Garcia-Bernal, Jessie Handley, Shae Best

"The biggest thing from the returning Queens is to show everyone the example of hard they have to push each other, and how hard they have to work in practice in order to prepare each other for competition," says King. "We really need to get some of the newer girls ready to play in this league so that starts with them being pushed to that competition level in practice."

 

New players

Katie Ballhorn, Samantha Wade, Emaly Cooke, Nomqhele Mahlangu, Amy Szymanek, Zeina El Barky, Harneet Sidhu, Hunter Atema, Ashlee Ademolu, Halley Hay, Mikayla Kuilboer

King had a clear vision of the type of student-athlete he wanted to bring to the Queens Basketball program. "All of the first-year players have been recruited with specific things in mind," says King. "It was important to add players with great attitudes, a strong work ethic and being ready to learn. From many of the first-year players, we are seeing that high level of desire and work ethic to get better."

The loss of veteran Queens, such as Emily White and Eva Bonde, opened the door for a group of aspiring young student-athletes looking to make their mark. "We are a younger team than we have been the last couple years," says King. "We are pretty high energy and have a high basketball IQ. We pick up things pretty quickly and that's been nice."

 

Not returning

Emily White, Eva Bonde, Mary Krause, Kaylee Kuba, Kayla Guillet, Lauren Bailey, Maya Parker, Julia Friesen, Madison Nimmo,

 

Sandra Garcia-Bernal (23)

Returning guard, Sandra Garcia-Bernal, has noticed several conclusive characteristics of this year's team during training and a few non-conference games. "We are young and have a lot of energy," says Garcia-Bernal, a second-year Open Studies student from Spain. "The girls are working really hard so we are probably one of the fastest teams in the league and we just need to focus on that, and use it."

King will coach to the Queens' strengths and will make a few subtle changes to capitalize on their quickness. "We are smaller than we've been in the past but we are definitely faster," he says. "That will be incorporated into our style of play moving forward. There will be some changes as to how we execute offensively in order to adapt to that."

As a returning player, Garcia-Bernal is aware that her strong work habits help set the stage for the first-year student-athletes. "When the younger players see me compete with high energy then they will have it because it is contagious," she says. "I think I'm that kind of leader - a leader by example."

The RDC Queens competed in five exhibition games recording a win, and there were several learning experiences that will help the team moving forward. "Like any preseason competition, there were some good and bad things that happened," says King. "We used some unconventional rotations in spots to see how some people played together, and we learned. We have to do certain things better and have a good laundry list of things to take care of now."

King sees the team trending up throughout the year. "Overall, in any ACAC season it is a process," he says. "We are in a position now to get better every day and to steal from the 76ers, we are trusting the process of getting better every time we are in our gym training, and that will come across in the games."

The Queens will look to begin their 2018 - 19 journey on a positive note when they compete against the Ambrose University Lions on Friday, October 12, at 6:00 p.m. on the road. In their home opening game on Friday, October 19, the RDC Queens will host the Olds College Broncos at 6:00 p.m. at the state-of-the-art Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre/Centre des Jeux du Canada Gary W. Harris.