Samantha Simons has made the U16 Team B.C., basketball team. She follows in the footsteps of Rachel Halipchuck and Julia Reichert who have also been on Team B.C. Tryouts for the team were April 12-14, with a Supercamp held at TWU, (Trinity Western University) where 40 girls gathered in the hope of being selected to return the following weekend.
Samantha was one of the 24 selected to return, in fact seven players from the Okanagan made the first selection. The next tryouts were held at Langley Events Center where 24 would become 18.
The following two days were filled with nerves and excitement. By the end of the second day the coaches all took groups of six or so girls to let them know if they made the team or not.
After Sam left her meeting, it was easy to see that she had made it even though she was trying not to give it away. (Four players from the Okanagan were successful.)
Sam’s road to making this team has had its ups and downs. Sam made it to the final selection a couple years ago and didn’t go any further. These down times have fueled her desire to put the time in to be successful. Of course there are many people and programs to thank, it does take a village to raise a child and Princeton has played a very positive role in helping Sam achieve her basketball goals.
Sam’s first time touching a basketball was grade 7 at Vermillion Forks Elementary. She also has had the advantage of being one of the first groups to come through the Princeton Basketball Associations Spring League program. Samantha has also been able to take part in the Badlands basketball camp that is held every year in July in Princeton. The coaching at PSS has been great, Sam has had the privilege of playing for Larry Mackenzie since her grade 8 year. Larry has made himself available not only to Samantha but other players as well—from 7 a.m., practices to after school practices. Sam also got the chance to go to Provincials with the senior team this past season and had a great experience. Sam has been part of the South Okanagan Zone Team the past two years, she has also been on the Junior Heat Team—both teams based out of Kelowna. Princeton’s basketball programs along with Sam’s hard work and dedication have made this possible to happen. Being chosen to play on Team BC is the highest honor.