Sea-Hawks basketball coaches never-ending quest for recruits
Losing home-grown players to other Canadian universities comes with the territory and Memorial University basketball coaches deal with it and move on.
© — Telegram photo
Memorial Sea-Hawks men’s basketball coach Peter Benoite.
A half dozen potential Memorial Sea-Hawk players have opted to go outside the province this fall.
Gonzaga’s Rebecca Langmead, Amy Gough of Bishops and Kiley Delong of Gonzaga are three high school graduates with varying degrees of talent who have decided to attend university on the mainland instead of going to Memorial and playing for the Sea-Hawks.
Langmead was recruited by Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, while Delong is headed to St. Francis Xavier in Antigonish, N.S., and Gough hopes to play at the University of Prince Edward Island.
“We offered both players (Delong and Gough) a chance to come in and compete for a spot on our roster,” said MUN’s women’s basketball coach Doug Partridge.
“Both thought they had more of a guaranteed spot at those schools, and I can't begrudge them that.”
Partridge doesn’t feel the three players snubbed Memorial, however.
“I don't see it as a snub as Langmead, Delong and Gough were not high on our list of potential players. We think any one of the three might have been able to make a contribution, but we could not guarantee anybody anything and as a result they are better off in their current environments.
“Unfortunately,” said Partridge, “the only thing that will reveal whether these are good decisions on our part or not is hindsight.”
Partridge is more concerned with the players who will be looking for a spot on the Lady Hawks roster this fall.
“We have added three new players including Kelia Pond from St. Kevin’s Mavericks, Amanda Martret from Bishops Barons and Rachel Jefferson from Quispamsis, N.B.
Partridge is satisfied with his additions this season.
“Pond was the best player in the province last year. She was one of the leading scorers at Canada Games last summer and we feel will have a very good career at MUN.
“Martret,” said Partridge, “has the abilities to grow into an Erin Mullaley-type player for us and Jefferson was the leading scorer on an Kennebecasis High School team which played in the New Brunswick high school championship game. She was also a member of N.B.’s Canada Games team. She is a good sized wing with a very good shooting touch.”
Meanwhile on the men’s side, the Smith brothers from Holy Heart Highlanders — Pat, Andrew and Steve — have chosen to attend Holland College in Prince Edward Island under Hurricanes coach George Morrison.
“I certainly would have liked to see them at MUN, and I’m pretty sure they would have been able to help us." Peter Benoite
“I certainly would have liked to see them at MUN, and I’m pretty sure they would have been able to help us,” said Sea-Hawks men’s hoop coach Peter Benoite.
Need to be stronger
“It would be an adjustment for them, as players in the AUS would be as strong or stronger physically,” said Benoite.
“In high school, their physical strength took them a long way as not many players could match up with them. But they are also smart players who read the floor well and I think would have fit in well to our system.
“In the end, though,” noted Benoite, “players have to make the choices that best suit them. And when they weighed all the pros and cons, Holland College is what they have chosen. They will be a great addition to the Holland College program and no doubt they’ll excel there and I wish them all the best. I hope they have successful careers there.
“But I’ve also left the door open to them if they want to return to Memorial after they are done there. We would certainly like to see them in red and white,” Benoite added.
Meanwhile, student services and athletics officer Jeff Walker said, “We’re very excited about having the three boys here at Holland College. The Atlantic Colleges Athletic Association (ACAA ) has really grown as a league and our men’s team looks very strong for next season.”
While he may not have the Smith brothers in camp, Benoite does have a boat load on new recruits this year including Will Bradbury, (Waterloo, Ont.), Justin Alliman (Brampton, Ont.), Marcus Dolliver (Nova Scotia), Tyree Halee (Nova Scotia), Ryan Wood (Gonzaga, St. John’s), Ryan Brockerville (Gonzaga, St. John’s), Ciaran Curran (Mount Pearl Senior High), Theo Stanoev Gonzaga, St. John’s) and Mike Flannery, who has played at Vanier College and is looking to transfer.
“But,” says Benoite, “you never know who exactly is going to show up.”