WINDSOR, N.S. - King’s-Edgehill School’s newly minted girls’ prep basketball team is already gaining some attention in their inaugural year.
The only girls’ prep basketball team east of Ontario, KES took on the formidable ACAA All Stars on Nov. 18, which was their first home game.
Marc Ffrench, head coach and director of the school’s basketball program, said despite some challenges it was an exciting game.
“We’re down a few bodies because of some injuries, including some of our highly recruited kids, which should be back in the next couple of weeks,” Ffrench said. “The game was a little bit of a struggle.”
The ACAA All Stars includes top players from across Atlantic Canada, many of whom were from the Mount Saint Vincent University Mystics.
The final score was 81-58 for the All Stars.
The prep basketball program, much like the school’s prep hockey program, is a national traveling team, competing mainly against upper-level high school or university teams.
They’ve got a lot of time on the road right up until March, with the bulk of their season still to come.
It’s a bit unusual for a prep team like this to play against university level players, but Ffrench said it’s a good thing, because it pushes them to work even harder.
“We are the only prep girls team east of Ottawa,” he said.
“For the level of competition that we’re striving to play at, we do have to go against the college and university teams in the region,” he said.
“Most of our girls are being actively recruited to play at universities once they graduate.”
Some of the athletes are being scouted by NCAA schools, which host some of the top basketball programs in the world.
“At our first game in Toronto, some of the girls received scholarship offers that night, literally minutes after the game,” he said. “Before that game, nobody knew about them, but after that, they definitely did.”
Some of athletes already making waves include Briar MacDonald, from Antigonish, Mackenzie Smith, from Shelburne, Savannah Provo, from Lake Echo, and Aaliyah Arab-Smith, from Halifax, Ffrench said.
“For our inaugural year, I’m really pleased with how things are going,” he said. “We’ve been out recruiting already for next year’s team already.”
Ffrench is a new member of the school’s coaching staff, focusing full time on the basketball program and the girl’s prep team.
Originally from Kentville, Ffrench came to KES following a successful coaching career in Ottawa. His program at AY Jackson Secondary School had a strong run, with two consecutive NCSSAA Championship games from 2015 to 2017.