Alberta Basketball is excited to announce the coaching staffs for its 2019 provincial teams.
Head coaches include Eddie Richardson (U15 Boys), Robyn Fleckenstein (U15 Girls), Neil Nystrom (U16 Boys), Isabel Ormond (U16 Girls), Greg Francis (U17 Boys), and Dave Waknuk (U17 Girls). Please see below for head coach bios and assistant coaches.
'This year's provincial team coaching staffs feature a dynamic combination of outstanding returning individuals and an exciting array of new faces,” says Paul Sir, executive director of the Alberta Basketball Association. “The common thread among all of the coaches is their commitment to youth and dedication and passion to the game of basketball. ABA believes all involved will have a fantastic experience in the upcoming season.”
The U15 and U17 teams will compete at the 2019 Canada Basketball National Championships, Aug. 5-10 in Victoria, B.C. (Girls) and Fredericton, N.B. (Boys). The U16 teams will take part in the 2019 Western Canada Summer Games, Aug. 9-14, in Swift Current. Sask.
Provincial team tryouts will take place in Calgary and Edmonton on Jan. 13 (click here for registration information), followed by the assessment camp for invited athletes on Jan. 20. The final team selection for invited athletes is on April 27 and 28.
At the 2018 Canada Basketball National Championships, Alberta finished fourth in the U15 Boys, fourth in the U17 Girls, fifth in the U17 Boys and seventh in the U17 Girls (click here for complete championship results). Five Alberta athletes were named National Championship All-Stars.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank all who applied along with all who have been on our staffs before,” Sir says. “Their efforts are valued and appreciated and they have led the way in setting the table for the 2019 group.”
U15 Boys Head Coach: Eddie Richardson
Eddie is the president and co-founder of Genesis Basketball, and serves as the head coach of Alberta Basketball’s boys senior academy and TAS program in Calgary. While playing for the SAIT, Eddie won both the ACAC and CCAA Player of the Year awards. He then spent one season as assistant coach of the Trojans men’s team.
Assistant Coaches: Brandon Brock, Pat Boulin
U15 Girls Head Coach: Robyn Fleckenstein
Robyn is in her second season coaching the Augustana University women’s team in the ACAC. She served as head coach of the Alberta U16 Girls Provincial Team in 2016. From 2012 to 2016, Robyn was assistant coach of the University of Alberta women’s team, and won a Canada West bronze medal with the Pandas in 2014.
Assistant Coaches: John Dedrick, Shantelle Gieck
U16 Boys Head Coach: Neil Nystrom
Neil is in his seventh year as head coach of the men’s team at Ambrose University, where he was named the ACAC South Division Coach of the Year for the 2017-18 season. He began working with Alberta Basketball in 2018 as junior academy head coach in Calgary. Neil played in the ACAC for Rivercrest College and was a team captain.
Assistant Coach: Mathew Hale, Ken King
U16 Girls Head Coach: Isabel Ormond
Isabel is in her second season as assistant coach of the University of Alberta women’s team. She has previous experience coaching with Alberta Basketball as an assistant for the 17U Girls team. As a player at McMaster University in Hamilton, she was twice named an Academic All-Canadian, in 2014 and 2015.
Assistant Coach: Don Finlayson, Suzy Kavanagh
U17 Boys Head Coach: Greg Francis
Greg is the current head coach of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and has previously served as head coach of the men’s teams at the University of Waterloo and the University of Alberta men’s team, the latter which he led to Canada West title in 2012. He has served as Alberta Basketball’s Technical Director, and men’s high performance director for Canada Basketball, while also coaching with the national program. Greg played basketball professionally and was a member of the 2000 Canadian Olympic team.
Assistant Coach: Shayne Midford
U17 Girls Head Coach: Dave Waknuk
Dave is the interim head coach of the University of Lethbridge women’s team, after spending the prior three season as associate head coach for the Pronghorns. From 2009 to 2015, he served as head coach of the Grande Prairie college women’s team, and in 2010-11 led the Wolves to the ACAC Championship while being named the North Division Coach of the Year. Dave, who has been working with provincial teams since 2011, is going into his third consecutive year as head coach of the U17 Girls.
Assistant Coach: Mandy Botham, Lauren Green