Grade 12 Central Alberta Christian High School Knights athlete Nathan Baong was having an all-star senior year before COVID-19 cut short his basketball season.
After playing a crucial role on the Knights volleyball team that won the 1A Gold Medal at Provincials and being named the Central Zone 1A West Basketball League MVP —Baong and Knights were poised to challenge for their second provincial title in one academic season.
The pandemic altered that narrative, but CACHS athletic director Travis Eggink said Baong led by example all year.
“His on court performance has been anything but quiet in his senior year. From dunking basketballs to t-lines in volleyball, Nathan was a force throughout the year,” Eggink said.
Baong said the personal success he experienced this year was due to the motivation from his family and friends.
“I wanted to do my best on the court and the possibility of playing college really helped me stay at my top level,” he said.
Baong said the Knights were peaking at the right time, which made the pandemic harder.
“We were high up there and had a high chance of going to provincials,” he said. “I was pretty upset when I first heard about it, but there is nothing I can really do.
“It was disappointing that I couldn’t finish my high school year the way I wanted to, missing a few sports and not going to provincials.”
Eggink added Baong had plenty left in his senior year with soccer and track and field to look forward too.
Despite the abrupt ending, Baong has had some post-secondary interest and that possibility was a big motivator for him.
“I got a scholarship from Ambrose College, but I decided to turn that one down. I heard from the SAIT coach, but haven’t heard back. Not to sure yet,” he said.
Baong said he is able to still stay in shape and sport-ready due to a CACHS course he is taking online.
“My sports performance teacher has me going for runs and doing workouts. I have a goal-setting plan and that helps me stay in shape,” he said.
Baong said his goal is to play volleyball for SAIT next season and said he was thankful for being able to play with a great group of guys his senior year.
Eggink said good things are in store for Baong athletically.
“Nathan is a great young man with a bright future in culinary arts and athletics ahead of him,” he said.