R.D Parker Collegiate’s Trojan Gym played host to one of the key players on its first- and second-ever provincial basketball championship teams Sept. 24-25.
Former Trojans star Adrianna Proulx, now starting her final year of post-secondary basketball with Brandon University, was in town with her teammates to practise, put on a clinic for younger players and then put their game faces on for an intrasquad game on the court where the Thompson player saw so many triumphs.
“A lot of memories, obviously, on this court,” said Proulx following Saturday’s game. “To have my new team with me this time instead of my old team, it’s absolutely amazing, everything I could ask for.”
Passing on what she’s learned though her years of basketball to younger players who hope to end up where she is some day was also rewarding.
“I get to mentor kids from where I grew up, my community, and it’s amazing because I know what it’s like to be one of them and to have somebody that they can look up to is even better and I’d love to be that person for basketball players coming out of the north.”
With COVID-19 having wiped out the previous basketball season, Brandon’s new women’s basketball coach James Bambury, who joined the team Aug. 1, said just being on the road was a thrill.
“I’ve never seen a team more excited for a nine-hour bus ride,” he said.
It also provides an opportunity to find out what makes one of the team’s veterans tick by seeing where she started out.
“We have a chance to get to know A.P. and her family a lot better,” he said.
Proulx will play an important role on the team this year, as one of its leaders.
“I’ve asked [the veterans] really to stretch themselves, go outside their comfort zones and I think the best thing they’ve done is lead by example,” Bambury said. “They’ve bought in 100 per cent. We’re changing the way we’re approaching the game offensively and whatever they can do, however they can help, they’re all in.”
The coach is hoping for big things from his team.
“Our goal is to make this the best year [Adrianna’s] ever had at university,” he said.
For Proulx, it’s the last stage of another chapter in her hoops journey.
“I’m sad that basketball for me in university’s ending but I’m sure there’ll be more in my future, whether it’s coaching or more playing,” she said. “I’m just incredibly happy I had this opportunity to play a university sport.”
Although Saturday’s crowd was small, limited to RDPC teachers and students, being on the court in front of spectators again was still amazing.
“Even if it isn’t a huge crowd like we’re used to, anybody watching is amazing for us,” Proulx said.