Legacy Christian Academy racking up points on basketball court
Legacy Christian Academy (L.C.A.) in Saskatoon has been making the right shots on the court since 1994.
The senior boy’s basketball team has won 13 Provincial Championships at the 2A and 3A level, but they aren’t playing in these divisions based on their student population.
Head coach David Reynolds said they’re currently 9-0 in the 3A division and size isn’t everything when it comes to basketball.
“I think we had 16 boys from Grades 9 to 12 at the moment,” he said.
“There are nine of them that wanted to play this year, so all nine of them are suited up and ready to play.”
L.C.A. could be playing in the 1A division since they have fewer than 30 male students; instead, the team decided to challenge themselves again this season to compete against schools with up to 150 male students.
Grade 12 shooting guard Elias Allcock explained in a small school like L.C.A. everyone gets the opportunity to be a part of the team if they want.
“We don’t even have tryouts,” he said.
“Basically because the school is so small if you want to play you can.”
Principal Lou Brunelle is very proud of the Eagles accomplishments over the years. He said they focus on having players learn a particular role regardless of athletic ability.
“With any group demographic you’ll have athletes, your average player and those who aren’t really athletic,” he said.
”The idea is to work hard, work as a team, listen to the coach, get the chemistry going and you can do a lot of great things when you have all those things going for you.”
Reynolds said students start learning basketball in Grade 1 through the gym curriculum. The school also has a community basketball league where young players are able to start developing their game.
“I think there is a certain weight playing for this school,” he said. “[Players] know how many banners that have come from before and they feel a desire to achieve just as much as the year before them.”
With only having nine players on the bench, Reynolds said he works with a few strategies to optimize points on the board.
“They may not shoot the best, they might not be able to stay in front of the most offensive player on the team” he said.
“But they can still do a role of rebounding or just being in the right spot and setting a good screen on offence. There is something that everybody can do on the team and these guys know that and they know their role.”
Grade 11 forward Jackson Hough said they’ve been putting in extra time in the gym to compete against schools with larger benches.
“Conditioning,” he said. “We’ve been running a lot, running stairs, running lines; our goal is to outrun the other team.”
Jacky Shi said having the right mindset makes a big difference in their game.
“I believe in my team,” said the Grade 10 forward. “I believe in my captains and I am not afraid of them [other teams]. If they are tough, I just try my best, get all the rebounds and make my shot.”
The Eagles also make a point of making sure the game is still fun. Allcock said they do their fair share of goofing around off the court together.
“We like to joke around when it’s time,” he said.
“When it’s time to be serious, we are serious and try to take care of business as much as we can.”
Although the success L.C.A finds on the court is important to the boys, it’s what they take away from a being challenged by the game that will help them throughout the rest of their lives, said Allcock.
“In basketball sometimes you might make a mistake,” he explained. “You turn the ball over, if you hustle back on defence you can get back in front and you can make the stop again.
“The same thing happens in life if you make a mistake and work hard, you can fix a lot of those mistakes.”
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