The Red Deer College Queens basketball team will have a king running things next year in the ACAC.
Ken King to be exact.
He was named as the Queens’ new head coach earlier this month, taking over from Mike Woollard. King spent the last few years as an assistant coach with Laurentian University men’s basketball team in Sudbury.
Prior to joining the Laurentian Voyageurs, King coached both male and female players at the high school and club level in Ontario. He’s been actively involved in Ontario’s Talent Identification and Development Program for the past five years and continues to support the development of young players in the province.
The attraction to the Queens coaching job was twofold.
“It allows me to teach as well as coach and the other part is the athletic program at Red Deer College has a ton of success behind it.”
He said it wasn’t hard to notice that success garnered by RDC teams this past year and he says having that sort of atmosphere around the campus can only help motivate this team, encouraging them to get a piece of the pie.
King says he’s not taking over the former coach’s program but instead it’s him becoming a part of Red Deer College’s program.
“It’s more about the fact that they supply all the tools to make the program successful no matter who is coaching the team and now it’s my job to come in and use the tools they’re giving me.”
King says he knows the Queens have some very talented players on the current roster and is ready for the opportunity to help the Queens move forward.
“It really seemed like they were close to kind of putting it together and making the playoffs so essentially the goal is to kind of glue all those pieces together to finish it off and sneak into the playoffs in the next few years.”
King feels coming from the men’s side of the game is going to be an asset when it comes to coaching a women’s team.
He got to observe closely some very successful women’s programs in Ontario which mirrored the men’s game in many ways.
“You really see parts of the men’s game shine through in those programs,” he says. “I think a lot of it is about sort of a culture and the philosophy you come into it with. You make sure all the players coming in are willing to sacrifice their bodies and play a really fast style that brings out the best qualities of each player.”
He likes the fact he’s stepping into a league which has some very good teams and always seems to be well-represented at any national championship tournament.
“There’s a lot of quality teams, a lot of quality coaches and a lot of quality players so it’s exciting to be a part of a conference that has all that,” he says. He has a modest goal for this year’s edition of the Queens basketball team – be competitive every time they set foot on the court.
“Whether it’s a pre season game or mid season tournament or a league game or even a playoff game. The goal is just to compete in each one of those games no matter what the situation.”
King will officially arrive at the College to take things over in August but he does plan on being here in July to run an identification camp and to get a look at the Red Deer area. The first few days of the camp he will work with College level players and the remainder of the week will be dedicated to the annual RDC kids basketball camp.