Kings basketball coach excited about season

To say Red Deer College Kings basketball coach Clayton Pottinger is excited about the upcoming college season would be a huge understatement.

Think of a kid the day before Christmas and you’ll get a snapshot of how eager the coach is for the opening tip.

“This next season I’m so excited to work with this group of guys,” he said. “Everybody seems to be on the same page. We’ve recruited some great players and some great guys that are fitting in with our guys already so we’re developing some chemistry.”

The Kings recently welcomed aboard three high school players Pottinger feels will work well within the system which has seen this team make it to the national championship tournament in back-to-back years.

Sylvan Lake product Dallas Hancox, an athletic, big kid who graduated from the Hunting Hills High School program; JP LeBlanc, a six-ft. guard who comes in from Sturgeon Composite High School and Jordan Britton, who stands six ft. seven inches and played his high school ball at Drumheller.

All three players excite the coach with what they will bring to the Kings’ roster this season.

Pottinger says bringing these young, talented players in is a little easier than in the past due to the Kings’ reputation as a winning franchise but he says it wasn’t a slam-dunk.

“We certainly have a lot of talk about when we’re recruiting them but still it’s a tough game,” he said. “There are a lot of schools that have a lot to offer academically and athletically so it’s always a grind.”

Pottinger says he’s had his eye on Hancox since he was in Grade 11 and likes what he sees in the young man to this point.

“A lot of other schools were looking at him as well so it was great for us that we got him,” said Pottinger.

The coach says Leblanc has exceeded all their expectations to this point as the Kings get together a couple of nights during the week for some pick up ball.

“We wanted to bring in high school guard so we could have a nucleus for the future,” he said.” Every time we see him he just keeps getting better and better. He can shoot the ball well and he can handle the ball well.”

In Britton the Kings staff see an athletic player who can play from the perimeter, something Pottinger says they will work on with him.

“He’s got a solid work ethic, he’s a great athlete and he’s going to be a real team guy.”

All three players have an honest shot at getting into the starting lineup and will be able to show the coach what they bring to the court during camp in September.

“I think this team has the potential to be, on paper, the best team we’ve had since we’ve been here but it’s a long season and a lot can happen.”

He says there is enough of the returning core of players who want to go back and try to win it this time.

“We’ll have the leadership, we’ll have the depth, we’ll have the players in every position. We just have to get out there and do it.”

But he was quick to point out while the bar has been set high by past Kings teams in the ACAC recently, other teams in the league have been hard at it recruiting in order to keep pace.

“This may be our best team but I also think this may be the most difficult year,” he said.

Just Posted

Local youth invited to check out ‘Peacebuilders’

Initiative aims to promote rights and dignity for all

Local municipalities launch 2A South Regional Transit

Communities of Innisfail, Penhold, and Springbrook now connected by transit thanks to pilot project

Getting your passport has been made easier

Government of Canada doubles number of locations where Canadians can get their passports

Police officer assaulted during traffic stop

Chasetin Morin of Red Deer faces several charges

Live nativity pageant takes place Dec. 18th to 20th

Outdoor pageant takes place in the evening at 7, 7:30 and 8 p.m. at 8 Keast Way

Story of the Year: Deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash

The Canadian Press annual survey of newsrooms across the country saw 53 out of 129 editors cast their votes for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

‘A start:’ Alberta critical of Ottawa’s $1.6B package for ailing energy sector

A further $150 million is to be used for clean growth and infrastructure projects

Two-year-old attacked by cougar near Mission, B.C.

Boy not seriously injured in incident on Monday afternoon

Trump signs order to create US Space Command

President Donald Trump signs an executive order to create a U.S. Space Command.

Groups preparing new pipeline legal challenge, argue government’s mind made up

A Vancouver-based environment charity is readying itself to go back to court if the federal government reapproves the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Notorious Toronto triple killer gets third consecutive life sentence

Dellen Millard gets third consecutive life sentence for father’s death.

‘Subdued’ housing market predicted in B.C. through 2021: report

The Central 1 Credit Union report predicts “rising but subdued sales” over the next three years, with little movement in median home prices.

A journey through 2018’s top pop culture moments

Was there any pop culture this year? Of course there was.

‘A stronger Alberta:’ Ottawa announces $1.6B for Canada’s oil and gas sector

Price of Alberta oil plummeted so low that Alberta’s Premier said Canada was practically giving it away

Most Read