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The women’s basketball team is coming back to the Valley to coach a basketball spring clinic at Vanier. Open to girls in Grades 8-12, this clinic is an excellent opportunity for players to hone their abilities, learn new skills and get ready for the upcoming club and regional basketball season.
The clinic will be coached by the Vikes women’s basketball head coach Dani Sinclair, and assistant coach Leanne Evans, and some of the 2013/14 women’s Vikes team will be on hand to help out during the weekend as well.
The clinic goes Friday, May 9 from 5 to 9 p.m. in the Vanier gym and Saturday, May 10 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Vanier gym.
Cost is $75 and preregistration is required. Cheques can be made payable to “UVic Women’s Basketball.” For more information contact John Lewis at 250-337-0029, 250-218-2537 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
This will be the Vikes’ third visit to the Valley to conduct clinics, and Lewis says the plan is to have the Victoria coaches come twice a year for spring and fall sessions. The May 9-10 clinics will be followed up by a special treat for hoops fans in the fall as the Vikes will host the University of Guelph Gryphons on Friday, Oct. 3 at the Vanier gym.
“I’m really excited about that,” said Sinclair, adding she is hoping the bleachers will be packed for that game. She said the game is a good way to promote basketball on the Island.
“Women’s basketball in Mid- and North Island is really strong. There’s a lot of good stuff happening there. As someone who is trying to recruit local players and trying to build a program around Island players, it’s really neat to come up there and showcase our team.”
More details on the Island vs. Ontario exhibition will be forthcoming closer to the event. Meanwhile, the UVic coach is also hoping for a good turnout for this month’s clinics, and says players of all levels and abilities will benefit from the instruction.
“Whether it be helping their high school team or club team, or if they have aspirations of playing post-secondary, then that’s an ideal situation for us. But that doesn’t have to be the ultimate. We just want girls who want to improve their skills and game.”
Sinclair says the clinics have two purposes. “There’s an identification thing for me, definitely. But overall, the biggest thing is trying to help develop players. I find players play a lot of games but they’re not doing a lot of the skill development, so skill development is a big thing. The earlier we can get kids into basketball and have them be drawn to the sport and enjoy working on the skills and not just playing games, the better the sport is going to be.”
Sinclair was appointed head coach of the UVic Vikes women’s basketball program in April 2012. She played for the Vikes for two seasons.
In her first year, Sinclair captained the team to the 2002-03 CIS national championship final. In 2003-04, she was named a Canada West First Team All-Star as well as a First Team All-Canadian.
An NCCP level three coach, Sinclair is currently head coach of Basketball B.C.’s Vancouver Island Training Centre and also head coach of B.C.’s U-15 girls provincial team. In October of 2011, Sinclair was appointed assistant coach for Team Canada at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Assistant coach Evans joined the Vikes coaching staff in 2012, bringing a wealth of playing experience combined with coaching done throughout her playing career.
She competed for the UBC Thunderbirds from 2005-09, winning a CIS national championship in both 2006 and 2008. In 2009 she was named CIS Defensive Player of the Year and was actively involved with the Canadian women’s national team program from 2004-2011.
Evans represented Canada at the junior, young women’s and senior women’s level and played professionally overseas for the Townsville Fire in Australia and Stockholm 08 in Sweden.