A Regina high school basketball player is headed to Toronto to showcase her skills at the 2022 BioSteel All Canadian Basketball game.
Archbishop MC O’Neill Grade 11 student, Ajok Madol, is the lone Saskatchewan product heading to the showcase.
“It was very surprising that I got chosen, not a lot of grade elevens get chosen, it’s mostly grade twelves,” said Madol.
The games collectively feature 48 of Canada’s top high school boys and girls basketball players who are Canadian-born or enrolled in a Canadian institution.
Madol also said this was a goal of hers since she was in Grade 8 but still has mixed feelings about the game.
“I’m nervous and excited because it’s a good opportunity but I’m worried about the way I’m going to perform,” said Madol. “I think if I go in with confidence I’ll do well.”
Cory Patterson, coach of the O’Neill senior girl’s basketball team, said Madol has always had a great work ethic and this opportunity comes as no shock.
“I think all of her hard work that has come up to this point and she deserves to be there. She is self motivated, and the hardest working kid on the floor. She will not quit, she plays the entire game. And when you watch her play it’s electrifying” he said.
The BioSteel event launched in 2015 but only started including a girl’s game in 2019.
Patterson said including an event for the girls is an important part of growing the game.
“Especially for young women in this day and age. Every time that Ajok plays her confidence boosts, every team that she makes her confidence boosts,” he said.
The athletes will train and scrimmage in front of National Basketball Association (NBA) scouts and general managers.
Thirteen players who have participated in the BioSteel All Canadian games have gone on to play in the NBA. There are also 89 active NCAA Division I players.
Madol hopes to follow a similar path.
“I’m hoping to play Division I basketball, and after university potentially go to the WNBA or go overseas,” she said.
The games are an NBA sanctioned event and will be broadcast live on TSN April 3.