KAHS student earns spot on provincial bball squad

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A Grade 10 student from Kate Andrews High School in Coaldale has been selected to a provincial basketball team for some of the top young talent in the sport.

Jackson Kasko is one of just two southern Albertans named to the U16 Boys Provincial Team, giving the point guard opportunity to train, practice and play with some of the best players in Canada and the United States.

Through July, Kasko expects to practice four times a week with his new team in Edmonton and participate in three tournaments in Regina, Edmonton and Chicago, home to the Bulls, his favourite NBA team.

Encouraged by his Kate Andrews coach, Greg Rollingson, to try out for the provincial squad, Kasko says he had his doubts.

“I didn’t know if I could make it,” the 15-year-old says. “When I found out I made the team, I was ecstatic. I tried not to show it too much, but I just had the biggest smile on my face.”

Rollingson says Kasko is the kind of player every coach loves to have on the team.

“For a player to be recognized for his hard work at this level is a pretty impressive feat,” Rollingson says. “It speaks to how he works. . . He has an ability to adapt in game situations. As a coach, you love having him on the floor because he’s able to make changes on the fly. He knows the game.”

The young floor general demonstrates fantastic leadership qualities and a deep understanding of how the game is played, Rollingson says.

Kasko, who is also a member of the Junior Horns team in Lethbridge, started playing competitive basketball in Grade 5 at R.I. Baker Middle School, but his love of the sport was apparent much earlier. He says his grandmother made a note in her diary when Kasko was just one or two about him playing basketball at her house.

“I’ve loved it for a really long time,” he says. “I love everything about it, offence, defence, the whole game.”

The other player from southern Alberta to make the U16 team is Scott Mazutinec of Stirling.