Former Vernon Panthers standout guard Leon Schenker (5) has committed to the Lethbridge College Kodiaks for 2021-22. (Morning Star - file photo)

Former Vernon Panthers standout guard Leon Schenker (5) has committed to the Lethbridge College Kodiaks for 2021-22. (Morning Star - file photo)

Vernon Panthers alum commits to Lethbridge Kodiaks

Leon Schenker to play basketball in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference with Lethbridge College

For Leon Schenker, the reputation of a strong culture is what led him to Lethbridge.

The former Vernon Secondary Panthers basketball standout has committed to the Lethbridge College Kodiaks of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference for 2021-22.

Schenker graduated from VSS in 2018 and had originally signed to play for the UBC Okanagan Heat in Kelowna.

“It’s exciting to be part of a winning culture with established coaches and being in a positive environment,” says Schenker on the Kodiaks’ website. “I want to bring a competitive edge and be a player that can have an impact on the game on both sides of the ball. I’m willing to help my team any way possible to try and win games.”

While continuing to train during the pandemic wasn’t the easiest, Schenker said he took advantage of every opportunity to prepare for the upcoming season.

“Whenever you’re not able to do what you love to do for a year, it’s always going to be tough,” recalls Schenker. “I just tried to play outside as much as possible with gyms being closed most of the time and used the weight room to stay in shape.”

On the academic side, Schenker has enrolled in Lethbridge College’s Exercise Science program.

Schenker is a 6-foot-4 point guard who adds roster flexibility to his new team. Head coach Ryan Heggie says his latest recruit comes with strong basketball instincts and can be trusted at both ends of the court, which should make him a valuable contributor at multiple positions.

“We are extremely excited to have Leon in our program,” says Heggie. “When he came on a recruiting visit, I was impressed with his decision making with the ball and his on-ball defence. Offensively he can attack from the wing and had good three-ball range. With our current depth at guard, Leon will need to learn to play a big role at multiple positions including minutes at power forward.”

Schenker averaged 25 points a game for the Panthers in his Grade 12 year. He played for the UBCO Junior Heat program for four years, and a was member of Team B.C.’s U16 squad in2 016.

The Kodiaks men’s basketball team tips-off a new Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference season on Friday, Nov. 12, when it visits the rival Red Deer Polytechnic Kings. They will then open their home schedule at the Val Matteotti Gym on Sunday, Nov. 14 in a rematch against the Kings.

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