Kings Basketball 2018 - 19 season preview

Eric Bakker (15) will be one of the leaders this season. Photo - Tony Hansen
Eric Bakker (15) will be one of the leaders this season. Photo - Tony Hansen

2017 – 18 review

Regular season

The RDC Kings (14-7) placed third in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Men's Basketball South Division and earned a spot in the playoffs.

 

Playoffs

The RDC Kings dropped a 106 – 99 decision to the NAIT Ooks and were downed 89 – 80 by the Keyano College Huskies in the postseason.

 

2017 - 18 Awards

ACAC Men's First South All-Conference team – Omon Edobar and Dshawn Tyrell

ACAC Male Rookie of the Year – Omon Edobar

 

RDC Athletics Awards Night

Coach's Award – Spencer Klassen

Most Improved Player – Solon Ellis

Rookie of the Year – Omon Edobar

Most Valuable Player – Eric Bakker

 

2018 – 19 preview

As the 2018 - 19 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Men's Basketball season approaches, Kings Head Coach Clayton Pottinger is thrilled about many aspects of the upcoming year.

"I am excited because it is a new beginning," says Pottinger. "We have a bunch of new guys but we were able to retain some players and then re-add two student-athletes who have been with us before, and they get it. So it makes for a really good crew."

 

Assistant Coaches

Jonathan Goulet, Carl Light, Phillippe Mvondo, Hakim Sewaya (Video)

 

Returning players

Cody White, Kevin Szymanek, Eric Bakker, Spencer Klassen

"The returning Kings will play huge roles for us, not only setting the example as to what we expect for Kings Basketball, but also they will be relied on heavily in our rotation to make sure that we are doing things right," says Pottinger. "With the number of new guys we have, the returning players will have to do a good job grooming and helping their teammates become better, and they've really embraced that role. So it is huge."

Cody White (6)

Third-year guard, Cody White understands his role this year. "I am excited for this season. I have a lot more of a leadership role this year than I did my first two years," says White. "The younger guys will be looking at me for the Kings' way of doing things and I will be a big part of the team this year."

 

New players this season

Anthony Harper, Malik Smith, Payton Baltzer, Khurram Sultan (Previously played at RDC), Ramiro Martinez Quintanilla Jimenez (U of R), Brendan Sackey Afriyie, Andrew Cunningham, Isaac Abraham, Jacob Abraham, Henry Bankazo (Previously at RDC), MacGregor Manyluk, Rudy Suffo

Pottinger strategically brought in student-athletes who fit the Kings' culture and their style of play. "I am excited for the new recruiting tactics I took this year in bringing new guys in that ended up being fruitful," he says. "Along with vetting players which we normally do, we really looked at the style we want to play and then drilled down further the players' skill sets and looked at much more tape. We ran ID camps and looked more closely at guys in conjunction with our current players so we were sure about their fit for us."

"There's four central Alberta rookies who we are super excited about – Rudy Suffo, Andrew Cunningham, Payton Baltzer and MacGregor Manyluk," says Pottinger. "They are all players that we have been watching closely the past three years and we spent some time grooming them, and are really happy to add them to our program. We want to continue to develop and recruit in central Alberta."

One compelling transfer has the attributes that Pottinger sought. "Ramiro Martinez is a transfer from the University of Regina. We really like his versatility," says Pottinger. "He can play three positions on the floor for us. He is an excellent passer, superb shooter and a very competent rebounder. In watching his game, we thought that he would fit our style really well."

A new guard from Cerritos, California, impressed Pottinger with his athleticism beyond his basketball skills. "What wowed me about Malik Smith besides the pace that he plays, was actually his high school quarterback highlight film," says Pottinger. "He seized the field on a different level. This is a kid who passed for 2,700 yards in high school football. We felt that we needed a floor general that could do that, plus he has quickness we saw as an asset."

 

 

Not returning

Omon Edobar, Solon Ellis, Derian Valdes, Jevon Fray-Woodbine, Dshawn Tyrell, Braiden Ousey, Riley Cordwell, Satchel Benjamin, Daniel Powell

 

White's eagerness and preparation for this season began months ago. "I worked a lot on my three-point shooting this summer. I think that it is coming along really well and I feel confident with that," he says. "Also, my defence is the area that I've improved on and that is the coach's biggest thing."

"There are so many good things going on at once including the new building, that it's hard not to be  excited," says Pottinger.

The RDC Kings participated in two non-conference games so far and despite not picking up a win, the team will use the experience to help develop chemistry and work on several aspects of its game. 

The Kings will open the regular season on Friday, Oct. 12 at 8:00 p.m. in Calgary against the Ambrose University Lions. The RDC Kings will first play at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre on Friday, October 19 at 8:00 p.m. against the Olds College Broncos.