Lexi Corday looks for an open teammate during the Under-14 girls Western Canadian Championship last year. Corday, along with Sophie Brydon and Jaden Yamamoto were South Okanagan players selected by Basketball B.C. to play in the Canadian National Basketball Championship in July. -Submitted photo

Lexi Corday looks for an open teammate during the Under-14 girls Western Canadian Championship last year. Corday, along with Sophie Brydon and Jaden Yamamoto were South Okanagan players selected by Basketball B.C. to play in the Canadian National Basketball Championship in July. -Submitted photo

Basketball players net provincial selection

Penticton, Summerland players selected to Team B.C. U15 girls team

When Basketball B.C. selected its under-15 girls’ squads, it tapped the shoulders of Penticton’s Sophie Brydon, Jaden Yamamoto and Summerland’s Lexi Corday.

All three play on the Blue (Nationals) team.

“I was pretty excited,” said Yamamoto. “I think it’s really neat and it’s a great chance to develop more as a player.”

Last summer Yamamoto competed in the B.C. Summer Games representing Zone 2 with Brydon, but this is her debut on the provincial team. With six other players from the Okanagan selected, there is a familiarity, which will also be key when they hit the court as they know each other’s tendencies.

Yamamoto had a good season with the Pen High Lakers 9s. Under coach Lesley Lacroix, she improved her shooting and ball handling.

“Jaden will bring a high degree of athleticism with her ball handling skills and ability to run the floor,” said Lacroix.

Yamamoto and the U15 Girls Blue (Nationals) team has played in various AAU tournaments and will participate in the Canadian National Basketball Championship at the University of Regina July 23 to 29.

“I think it will be really exciting and very nerve-racking at the same time,” said Yamamoto of playing in the national championship. “The level of playing being really intense and develop more as a player.”

Brydon said it will be a cool experience and she has made several friends. On the court, Brydon has the ability to snag rebounds, while Lacroix said she is athletic and intelligent.

“She will be a key leader on the floor for the team,” said Lacroix. “They were incredible this season, developing their offensive perimeter game and defensive integrity so that I could trust them to make good decisions.

“This next level will challenge them as they are used to being the best on their team and now they join an elite group of basketball players from across B.C,” she continued. “It will be a fantastic opportunity for continued improvement.”

Brydon said the goal is to continue developing before trying to win a championship. She believes her experience from the Summer Games will help her.

“Just knowing what kind of competition there could be,” she said. “The best players for their province will be very hard in the nationals.”

Corday, 13, played for the Summerland Secondary Rockets grade nine team while being in Grade 8, and helped the team place sixth at the B.C. championships. Her performance earned her a provincial all-star selection. Corday’s selection to the team is as an underage.

“I’m really glad that I got this opportunity because I know that with this opportunity I can develop a lot as a player,” she said. “I have so many chances to exceed more in basketball.”

Corday brings a positive attitude to the squad as well as an aggressive approach.

“I’m always one of the first to want the ball and to go get it,” she said.

She is the first female basketball player from Summerland to ever be named to a B.C. provincial basketball team. The selection process involved over 100 girls trying out in six regions throughout B.C. from which 45 were sent to SuperCamp at Trinity Western University for 12 hours of tryouts over three days, with 12 players being selected.

-Written with files from the Summerland Review.