Scott Reeves enjoyed a lot of success when he was coach of the Brookswood Secondary School Bobcats senior girls basketball team.
So, when the now Thompson Rivers University WolfPack head coach was looking for a top recruit for his squad, one of the first places he went was his old stomping grounds.
Just prior to Christmas, Reeves and the WolfPack signed their third recruit for the 2013/14 CIS women's basketball season.
A 5'8" shooting guard, Sydney Williams of Langley joins Ryan Kennedy of Okotoks, Alta. and Shenise Sigsworth of Kamloops as recent WolfPack signees.
"I loved the campus - the size is perfect," says Williams, who will take general studies initially at Thompson Rivers before hoping to get into the pre-physical education program. "Kamloops is beautiful. I love the Tournament Capital Centre, it is a great facility."
Reeves described Williams as a "very good athlete."
"She can really defend the ball hard," Reeves said. "She shoots the three and can attack."
Williams is a three-time member of the Team BC program (2009-12) and has been on Reeves' radar for five years.
She was first brought to Reeves' attention by his former high school co-coach Chris Veale.
"She started raw five years ago and is like no player I have ever coached before," he said. "She had limited skills but was a super athlete in Grade 8. She was not able to shoot the ball at all but after many, many hours spent in the gym, she has developed a great ability to shoot from the outside and also a great pull up jumper off the dribble. Syd is a very driven athlete with great offensive skill who can play defence. She learned the defensive part of the game first and prides herself on that but now she can score, as well."
Veale said Williams is a gifted athlete who has the endurance to go full out for an extended period of time.
"We use her as an example to our younger players," Veale said. "If they can play just a little like Syd, they will be effective."
He added that even though Williams was looking at the University of the Fraser Valley, TRU is a better fit.
"We play the same systems as Scott does with TRU," he said. "It will be easier for Syd to adjust to life in the CIS."
Veale said it won't surprise him if Williams becomes a solid player once she gets to university.
"She is a classic late bloomer. When she first started in the sport, she just wanted to play. Then when she made the provincial team, playing college basketball became more of a reality," Veale said. "She loves the game and enjoys it. This year, she made a commitment to trying to get noticed by a CIS team."
Williams is one of the top scorers on a Brookswood squad currently ranked fourth in the province among Triple A teams.
"I've always had an interest in TRU and Scott [Reeves] as a coach," Williams said. "I hope to bring speed and hard active defence. I hope to be a strong contributing guard over time for the team."
That is something Veale says Williams can deliver.
"I coached Jen Ju [The WolfPack's fifth year guard from Vancouver] at the RTC when she was in Grade 9," he says. "She is a similar player to Jen with likely more offensive skill than Jen had at this age."
FOUL SHOTS: Williams' junior team at Brookswood won the B.C. title.
Her team this year knocked off defending B.C. Triple A champion South Kamloops Titans in tournament play earlier this season.
Her Team BC U17 squad placed third at the 2012 nationals.
She is the second Brookswood athlete to commit to TRU for 2013/14.