HALL OF FAMERS - Former professional basketball player Leighann Doan Reimer and rodeo broadcaster Dianne Finstad were inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame on Feb. 26th in Red Deer. Todd Colin Vaughan/Red Deer Express

WATCH: Alberta Sports Hall of Fame announces 2018 inductees

Twelve athletes will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame

The 2018 Hall of Fame Inductees have been revealed.

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum (ASHFM) recently held a series of events across the province to announce their 12 2018 inductees.

In Red Deer, basketball player Leighann Doan Reimer was inducted as an athlete and Rodeo Broadcaster and reporter Dianne Finstad received the Bell Memorial Award.

Finstad —who started her career at CKRD-TV in Red Deer and has covered the Calgary Stampede, the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) and the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) — said she has been watching rodeo since she was, “Knee-high”.

“I kept track of the results even way back then and I don’t know why. A reporter in the budding I guess,” she said.

Finstad has also covered the stories of countless farm families through her award-winning TV program, “The Business of Farming”.

“The one thing that hasn’t changed is the stories and that is what I love the most. Cowboys are great story tellers,” she said.

She added, “Nowhere in my wildest dreams did I think I would be in the (Alberta) Sports Hall of Fame” and that she is looking forward to the CFR in Red Deer.

“It is really exciting and I think it will be great for the sport. We are really looking forward to showcasing Red Deer to the rodeo community,” she said.

Reimer, who played from 1997-2001 for the University of Calgary Dinos as well as professionally in France from 2001-2004, said she was surprised by the induction.

“There was talk about it last year but this caught me completely off guard,” she said. I actually missed some phone calls from here and I actually thought it had something to do with my brother (NHL forward Shane Doan). This is a wonderful surprise.”

Reimer, who previously was the CIS Player of the year in 2000 and 2001 and player for the Canada Women’s national team, now runs a summer basketball camp which has a history of 20 years.

“I am promoting basketball and trying to make them better basketball players but I also see that you need to get in and make a connection with those kids,” she said. “They need to be loved, appreciated and encouraged.

“If they turn out to be a better basketball player that is great, but it is more about connecting with them.”

She added she feels it is important that young athletes play as many sports as they can, rather than specializing.

“We need to promote athletes in general. Play a lot of different sports. It is important to have fun with it,” she said.

The other 2018 ASHFM inductees include hockey athletes/builder Doug Barkley, ringette athlete Keely Brown, hockey athlete Theoren Fleury, speedskater Cindy Klassen, basketball builder Phil Allen, hockey builder Dave King, volleyball builder Lorne Sawula, the 1989, 1990 Calgary Colts football team, Achievement Award winner for Mountaineering Stuart Erskine and Pioneer Award winner for basketball Robert Davies.

More information about the award winners can be found at ashfm.ca

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