By John DeCoste
The rosters for the Nova Scotia Canada Games basketball teams have been announced, and the Valley is well-represented with three players and three coaches.
Acadia Axewomen assistant coach Nick Jordan is head coach of the Nova Scotia boys’ team, which also doubles as the 17 and under provincial team.
Jordan will be assisted by Kevin Duffie, an Acadia Axemen assistant coach, and by Matt Skinn, head coach of the Cape Breton University men’s team.
There are two Valley players on the boys’ roster of 12: point guard Brett Dickie, a Grade 11 student at Horton, and Gage Sabean, his Horton teammate, who is in Grade 9 this year.
Making the Canada Games team in Grade 9 is “quite unusual,” Jordan said.
“It speaks to Gage’s athleticism and basketball IQ. He’s a special player,” he added.
Dickie, a Wolfville resident who has previously spent two years with the New Brunswick provincial program, “has put in a tremendous amount of work over the past year to improve his game,” Jordan said, which has borne fruit.
Jordan, who had been head coach of the Canada Games team for a little over a year, admitted he was “pretty excited” at the lead-up to the games, the basketball portion of which will be held Aug. 2-9 in Sherbrooke, QC.
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The plan is for the team to train through May and June and then play at tournaments in Maine and in Saskatoon, host the Bluenose Classic in Halifax in July, then stop in New Brunswick en route to the Games.
The Valley is also represented on the Canada Games girls’ team by Lauren Jodrey of Hantsport, a Grade 11 student at Horton.
Len Harvey, a former Cape Breton assistant who recently accepted the head coaching position with the women’s team at Mount Royal University in Calgary, is head coach of the Nova Scotia women. Axewomen assistant Adam Detienne is one of Harvey’s assistant coaches.
Detienne confirmed the girls’ team would be competing this summer at tournaments in Montreal, the Bluenose Classic in Halifax and Summerfest in Saint John.
As for Jodrey, Detienne described her as “a phenomenal individual and a good all-round player” who should have an impact on Team Nova Scotia.
“The biggest thing with Lauren is her speed, quickness and agility,” he said, although she has been working hard the past year on her shooting with noticeable results.
Jodrey’s Horton teammate, Graysen Parker of New Minas, was also part of the mix for the Canada Games team. Parker would likely have made the team as well, but she has chosen to leave the program for personal reasons.