By Jasmine Franklin
A Broncs basketball player has been recruited by the University of Calgary to join their basketball team this fall on a full scholarship.
Lawrie Saunders, 17, has played for the Ponoka Composite High School Broncs basketball team for two years — but next year the pace of her game will be a little bit different as she joins the University of Calgary Dinos at the post position.
“I’m really looking forward to playing at a university level,” Saunders said. “I’m currently with them in Calgary once or twice a week.”
Saunders was scouted and asked to join the team after Dino coaches watched her during a basketball camp at the university earlier this year.
“They had one post position available and she got it,” mom Heather Saunders said. “They call her the diamond in the rough because she still has a lot of technical learning to do but they just loved her. We’re pretty excited!”
Originally from Alix, the six-foot-three player has been playing basketball since Grade 6. Saunders like to play down low in the key and close to the basket.
“Basketball is about being tough and about teamwork,” Saunders said.
In 2009, Saunders was named female athlete of the year at PCHS and was recognized as the Broncs’ most valuable player.
But basketball isn’t all this talented girl can do. A rodeo cowgirl at heart, Saunders competes in barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway roping and goat tying. She is also a national breakaway roping champion.
Dinos head coach Shawnee Harle can’t wait for Saunders to play on the team.
“Our roster will consist of 14 players and the competition to make our team is extremely fierce. The Dinos play in the toughest conference in Canada (the last 18 national champions have come from Canada West) so for Lawrie to have cracked our roster is a tremendous accomplishment,” Harle said. “She came to our Elite Camp in January and we really like what we saw. She is a very hard worker and we were pleasantly surprised with her athletic ability. Her rodeo background is a great asset and if she rebounds and defends the same way she ropes calves, she is going to be a force to be reckoned with!”
Saunders will study Kinesiology at the university.