By Greg Price
When it comes to honing your basketball skills, Aaron Edlund is hoping girls in the southern Alberta area will feel the Heat.
Since moving to the Taber area 10 years ago, former U of L Pronghorn and current Barnwell School Athletic Director, Aaron Edlund, has seen club basketball in all shapes and sizes.
“Taber Selects, Taber Owls, Taber Tropics, Taber Huskies, Jr. Rebels and the Horizon Heat. I think that’s all of them,” admits Edlund with a smile. “As a basketball enthusiast, I am thrilled that there has been so much interest in the sport in the area, but the trouble seems to be sustainability. Some years I have seen high school coaches push club basketball, but it’s understandable that burnout quickly sets in. The other driving force has been dedicated parents, but in there lies a problem too…kids grow up. There have been some great parents who have stepped up to work with kids, but their main interest is their own kids. Once their kids grow up, the teams usually dissolve.”
Edlund cited the WHAM! club volleyball system as an excellent avenue for kids who love volleyball to get extra touches, practices and tournaments. Something Edlund hopes he can mirror with the new Horizon Heat club basketball system.
“Kids and parents have grown to be able to rely on WHAM! to meet their volleyball needs. I am hoping that the Horizon Heat will be able to do the same thing for basketball,” said Edlund. “With children aged 11 down to three years old, I might fall in that ‘dedicated parent’ category too. The difference might be that by the time the three-year old is done with club basketball, that should give us a good run of 15 years.”
This year, Horizon Heat will have teams for the U13, U15 and U17 categories for girls, with hopes boys teams can be added next year in the same age categories if the interest is there.
“I want to build a strong foundation and make sure that the Horizon Heat program is sustainable and not take on more than I can chew this year,” said Edlund.
The key to a strong inaugural season for the Horizon Heat will be the foundation of coaching in which Edlund ensures there will be in Matt Anderson and Paul Bagnal coming on board to work with the girls.
“Not many clubs can boast three coaches with CIS and provincial team experience,” claimed Edlund. “Matt and Paul bring a wealth of knowledge about the game, but they also bring two personalities to the program that kids will love to play for.”
The Horizon Heat season will run for eight weeks. Tryouts are April 19 and 21, and the season will wrap up on June 10. Practices are scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday nights at Central School and W.R. Myers.
Horizon Heat club basketball is not limited to anyone attending a specific school.
“Taber and area, and I use the term area loosely” joked Edlund. “I might measure our success, not on wins and loses, but on how far people will drive their kids for some good basketball.”
If anyone has any questions or would like to find out more information about Horizon Heat club basketball, they can visit the Web site http://www.assistcoaching.ca.