The Basketball BC program was created to help support and develop the game in British Columbia. In addition to building the game in the Canadian province, Basketball BC has also sent a number of players into the collegiate ranks in the United States.
“We are fortunate because our kids have options at the college level,” noted Basketball BC Technical Director Ross Tomlinson. “Just about every player in our program will have the opportunity to play college basketball in Canada, and many of them will also have opportunities in the States. Over the years, we have sent a number of players to schools like Gonzaga, Oregon State, Washington State, Boise State, San Diego and other schools.”
The Basketball BC program will journey to America this summer when they compete in the Lake Las Vegas Classic from July 10-12. The event, which will feature elite travel teams from across the country, will be played at the Westin Lake Las Vegas complex.
The top two prospects in the Basketball BC program this year are Lauren Yearwood (2015, 6-3, C) and Nicole Vander Helm (2015, 6-1, WF). Tomlinson said that their status for the Las Vegas event has not been finalized because both players are competing for a spot on a Canadian national team that will compete in the World Cadet Championships.
“We will miss them if they aren’t with us, but we’re hopeful that they will make the national team,” Tomlinson explained. “Lauren is a very skilled post player who has effective moves from the high post and the baseline. She is also a really, really good student, she works hard, and she loves the game.
“Nicole is coming back from a knee injury she suffered in our first tournament of the year in Seattle. We were afraid she had a tear, but the MRI said she was OK, and she is rehabbing the knee now. She is a very good athlete with an inside-outside game, and she does all the intrinsic things well. A lot of what Nicole can do doesn’t show up in the box score.”
Bret McCormick, the analyst for the All Star Girls Report, added his perspective on the Basketball BC standouts.
“Yearwood is a long athlete who can play with her back to the basket, or she can face up out to 15 feet,” McCormick said. “Vander Helm is a blue collar athlete with an inside-outside game. She plays hard, and she plays smart.”
Tomlinson is also expecting a major contribution from his point guard, Jessica Hanson (2015, 5-10). He also noted that if Yearwood and Vander Helm miss the event, Basketball BC will rely on Marissa Dheensaw (2015, 5-11, WF) and Jane Grisley (2015, 6-3, C).
“Jessica is another player who has had national team opportunities in the past, and I think she has a tremendous upside,” Tomlinson said. “She plays point guard for us, but she is more of a combo guard because she can score. Marissa has a sister who is playing at Washington State, and Jane is a true low post type of player.”
“Hanson is an athletic combo guard with nice skills,” added McCormick. “She can score off the bounce, and she can hit the three.”
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