After a successful inaugural season last year, the Edge School’s prep basketball team has hit the ground running for the 2019-20 campaign.
The Edge, which competes in the National Preparatory Association (NPA) – a Canada-wide league for elite private school teams – is gearing up for its second season. In preparation, the team has already played a few exhibition games against local collegiate opposition – the Olds College Broncos, the St. Mary’s Lightning and the SAIT Trojans.
“A lot of times, for us to get games, we have to go to Toronto or the United States – and in the States, they play by a slightly different set of rules,” head coach Adam Huffman said. “For us to have competition right here around Calgary, who can challenge our kids, is a good opportunity for us.”
The Mountaineers made waves in its inaugural season in the NPA last year, finishing as the top team in the Western Conference and making it all the way to the 2019 championship game. After beating the two-time-reigning NPA champion in the semi-finals, the Edge’s Cinderella run finally ended with a loss to Crestwood Preparatory College.
This year, the Edge’s NPA schedule doesn't kick off until Nov. 14 to 17, when the squad travels to Winnipeg for the league’s Central Session.
In the interim, the team travelled to Los Angeles Oct. 4 to 7 (after press time) to take part in the Southern California High School Invitational.
The Edge will also host its own invitational tournament Nov. 8 to 10, featuring some of the top high-school teams or club basketball programs from Western Canada, as well as teams from the U.S.
“It will really showcase what the top level of basketball in Western Canada looks like right now,” Huffman said.
The team’s roster will once again boast plenty of height, talent and experience. According to Huffman, this year’s line-up includes 11 seniors or post-graduates, and 10 players who are 6’5” or taller.
“We have a really good group that’s come in,” he said, adding most players have joined the team from Calgary, Lethbridge or Saskatchewan. “This is actually the most diverse group I’ve ever had.”
One of the team’s leaders on and off the court this season, according to Huffman, will be post-grad shooting guard/point guard Alan Spoonhunter. The 18-year-old, who grew up in Saskatoon, is returning to the Edge for his final year of high-school eligibility.
“As a returner, he had a lot of minutes last year,” Huffman said. “We’re really counting on him to bring up the level in practice.”
Most of the team’s graduating class from last year went on to join post-secondary basketball programs in Canada or the United States. The team’s star point-guard, Adefolarin “Fofo” Adetogun, was recruited by the University of Missouri-Kansas City in Division 1 of the NCAA, while other players joined U SPORTS teams, such as the University of Calgary, the University of Regina or the University of British Columbia Okanagan.
“The NPA has sent multiple players to the D1 level, the high U SPORTS level and the college level,” Huffman said. “It’s become a platform, in just three seasons of operation, that has instantly given kids a [stage] they’ve never had before, in Canada.
“The players are now seeing there’s a recognized path to earn high-level scholarships, and they’re seeing you have to play prep to do that. As far as for exposure, it’s been tremendous. As far as the talent level goes, it’s the best kids across the country.”
Huffman added interest from college scouts in his current squad has once again extended south of the border.
“We’ve had Bradley University, Texas A&M, Montana State [and] Mount St. Mary’s all show up on campus and offer our players scholarships,” he said. “Texas A&M’s assistant coach told me I have eight or nine D1-calibre players in our locker room. That’s impressive for any program, anywhere.”
One of the team’s most exciting prospects is 18-year-old Amir Hossein Rahimzad, a post-grad from Iran who has featured for the U19 Iranian national team. The 6’8” power forward joined the Edge from the B.C. Christian Academy, in Vancouver, for his final high-school season.
“He already has offers from every single school that has seen him,” Huffman said.
For the Edge’s NPA schedule, visit npacanada.com/edgeschool