Four Lacombe basketballers will be headed to Airdrie at the end of the month to participate in the Alberta Summer Games.
Jonathan Ericson, Carter McLenahan, Cale Hamelin and Andrew Cunningham, all from Lacombe, have made the U14 Zone 4 Boys Basketball team.
The four players have played together on the same team for quite a long time.
They have also played against some of their teammates on the Zone 4 team.
McLenahan said that, while the four Lacombe players know each other’s play style and work well together, playing with the unfamiliar members of the team takes a little getting used to and presents a different dynamic on the team.
Luckily the team gets a lot of time to prepare for the Alberta Games. In addition to a number of practice sessions together, the team even got the chance to play together in a tournament prior to the Alberta Summer Games.
The boys said this experience is invaluable to the team.
“It’s nice because you get to kind of fi ll in that bond with the other players,” said Ericson.
McLenahan added that it helps players better learn their teammates’ play styles, especially because how players behave in practice and during a game can be quite different.
“You can see how well everyone does under pressure of a game situation,” said McLenahan.
Tryouts for any team can be quite a competitive and even intimidating process.
The boys said that they were a bit nervous at fi rst, but relaxed soon after getting to know the rest of the players.
Hamelin said he tried out because he wanted to get more experienced and improve as a basketball player.
He is looking forward to learning from this experience.
“I’m excited I get to play with a bunch of different kids and see how I can improve my game and get better at basketball,” said Hamelin.
Ericson was looking for a new challenge when he tried out for the team. After making the team, he said he looked forward to meeting that challenge.
“I was pretty excited because I had a chance to play against other kids from other zones and with some pretty skilled kids,” said Ericson.
Cunningham tried out to see what the rest of the competition in the sport was like elsewhere in Alberta.
He said he wanted to learn who the best competitors are in his one zone and others.
“I was excited to see other people on the team here, to fi gure out who else is out there in Zone 4,” said Cunningham. “And for other people in other zones, to see them play.”
McLenahan said he tried out because he thought it would be fun to play against other zones and play with a new team.
He said he was looking forward to the fun of meeting new players as well competing with them.
“I always like to make new friends, especially with the game of basketball,” said McLenahan.
“And I love competition, so it would be pretty fun to play against some really tough zones.”
Each of the players also has his own reasons for enjoying the sport of basketball as well.
Ericson likes the team aspect, McLenahan likes the tactics of the sport – setting up plays and such; Cunningham likes the adaptability of the sport and being able to change his game to meet that of opponents while Hamelin likes the pace of the sport, how it is always moving and how the players are always actively involved.
All of the players consider themselves fortunate to have the opportunity to represent Lacombe and Zone 4 at the Alberta Summer Games.
“It’s inspiring,” said Hamelin.
“It will be really fun,” added Ericson.
This year’s Alberta Summer Games will take place in Airdrie from July 23-27.