"A feather in our kids' hats"
Three BCHS senior boys cagers selected for all-star event
Although their season may have ended in early March, three members of the BCHS senior boys basketball team were still on the court March 31 at an all-star event in Camrose.
Sytse Akkerman (Grade 11), Thijs DeWildt (Grade 10) and Gerben Deinum (Grade 12) were all selected by Augustana College to participate in the Augustana Vikings All-Star Series 2012, said coach Dave Mueller.
“Boys from all across the province were nominated by coaches or other teams’ coaches,” he said. “Anybody who wanted to could nominate a player for an all-star appearance.”
To have one player selected, let alone three, says a great deal about the basketball program at BCHS and the players themselves, he added.
“Any time you give somebody, anybody, but especially kids, that title of an all star, that makes them feel pretty good,” Mueller said.
For Akkerman, the day had a bit of everything.
“It was fun,” he said. “It was really informative. I mean, the coaches are really in-depth and they gave us a lot of really good pointers on how we can get better for next year and even prepare for university.”
Some of the things he and the other all-stars learned included techniques to improve footwork on the court, how to improve their shooting form and other small things to gain that extra edge, he said.
The coaches also informed the players how they can get in touch with coaches at schools where they would like to play when they hit university or college, Akkerman added.
After the information session, the all-stars were divided into teams for an exhibition game, which was one of the highlights of the day for Akkerman.
“It was really cool,” he said. “There were really good players there. It’s hard to stand out anymore because everybody’s really good and really competitive.”
As for his own performance in the game, Akkerman said it wasn’t spectacular.
“I played alright,” he said. “I didn’t take many shots, and I could have been more aggressive.”
He chalked his less-than-aggressive play up to some nerves and having a large crowd on hand.
“Having college players and coaches watching you, it’s pretty nerve-wracking,” he said.
Since he’s only in Grade 11, Akkerman doesn’t need to worry too much about his post-secondary plans. However, he already has an idea what he wants to do with respect to basketball once he graduates from BCHS.
“I definitely want to play in university,” he said. “That would be awesome. But, it’s not a priority; it would just be a plus.”
When speaking of his fellow Barrhead all-stars, Akkerman had good things to say about them.
“Gerben was such a great leader all year,” he said. “He really stays composed and he doesn’t really have a temper. He’s just a really good leader.”
“Thijs, you could really see him improve throughout the year,” he said. “Being a 10th grader playing on a senior team is pretty hard, but you could see his confidence grow higher throughout the year.”
Being nominated and selected to attend the event came as a complete surprise to the boys, Mueller said.
He added that he recognizes the opportunity the selection presents to not only the BCHS players, but also the other all-stars. Playing for a university or college team can open up the players to life experiences they otherwise would not have had.
“If sports can get them there, that’s awesome,” he said.
Mueller went on to say he’s very proud of the boys, and their successes makes his coaching work even more rewarding.
“To me, coaching … is always about the kids and how it’s going to make them feel and how it’s going to make them better,” he said.
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