Sports

6'6'' St. Albert forward commits to Augustana Hoops 0

Special to the Canadian

As the academic year winds down, the University of Alberta - Augustana Campus' athletics program is already looking to next season.

The Vikings men's basketball announced Cole Aikens' commitment to the Vikings beginning in September.

Aikens is considered a hard-working and talented 6'6" forward, who has been a key member of the St. Albert Catholic High School team, where he has enjoyed his fair share of recognition.

During his time as a SACHS Skyhawk, Cole played for outstanding coaches. His first two seasons were led by Scott Dedels, a former ACAC, CIS and European league player and this season saw him under the tutelage of coaches Evan Holstein and Brett Gaudreau - both of whom have also played in the highly competitive Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference.

Aikens gratefully acknowledges their role in his development as a basketball player: he has garnered recognition at a variety of high school basketball tournaments as a tournament all-star or tournament MVP selection.

The individual recognition hasn't stopped there. Aikens was also selected as his team's MVP and selected to the Augustana All-Star game, the NAIT All-Star game and named an Edmonton Journal All-Star in 2012.

"Cole is a very hard-working player who never takes opportunities for granted," said Vikings' head coach Dave Drabiuk of the newest Viking.

"He plays with a poise and level of desire that is well-suited to the ACAC and I believe he will develop into a very dynamic player in the years to come. Cole immediately made a positive impression on coaches and players at our ID Camp this spring, both with his basketball play and who he is as a person."

Aikens' father, Randy, is a graduate of the Saskatchewan Technical Institute and his mother, Dana, a Medicine Hat College grad: Cole knew he had options when he chose Augustana. In fact, he could have joined his brother Jesse at the Edmonton Campus of the University of Alberta.

But according to Cole, "Augustana offered a great program for me, and I really like the basketball team and the coaching staff."

Aikens' studies will be directed towards a degree in Kinesiology and Sport Studies while attending the University of Alberta's Augustana Campus.

- SPECIAL TO THE CANADIAN