Wolves vet a leader on and off the floor
Now this is one board meeting Erica Rude won't shy away from.
Rude, a fifth-year college guard in her second year with the Wolves, has demonstrated throughout the season she is right at home under the basket.
Her numbers prove it. Rude sits second on the team in rebounding (4.75), third in assists (1.94) and fourth in steals (1.64). It's little wonder she has been honoured as this week's Grande Prairie Regional College's Athlete of the Week.
"She's a good defensive player," said Wolves head coach Kim Gravengard. "She hustles off the floor and is a good outside shooter.
She's the backup for our team. If someone drives in, she helps recover and is a very good communicator on the floor. That will be a tough thing to replace next year when she's gone.
"Everybody has their own leadership roles and Erica has certainly stepped up to the plate this year to be a good leader. She leads by example when she comes to practice. She puts her all out there and that's what the girls look at for leadership. She does that all time."
Looking to keep scaling the standings this weekend as they head to Edmonton to face the 14-4 MacEwan Griffins, the Wolves will once again look to the product of Beaverlodge to continue her multi-faceted play.
"It's been a good year. We had a bit of a rocky start," said Rude, whose team sits four points back of the Griffins in third place at 12-6.
After a 2-2 start to the season, the Wolves developed a penchant for weekend splits midway through the first semester, before notching a pair of weekend sweeps to wrap up the semester at 9-5.
But it was over the holiday season when the Wolves headed to Toronto to battle some of Eastern Canada's top university hoops squads that Rude felt she and her teammates truly turned a corner.
"I think that tournament brought us together and brought us to where we need to be for this semester," said Rude, who also played three seasons with Prairie Bible College in the South Division.
With playoffs looming and the Wolves eying a return trip to the final four from last year, Rude is not alone on a team chock-full of veterans.
Still, even the most experienced player can learn a thing or two.
"Sometimes I feel like I'm learning just the same as a first-year player," she said.
"There's always more to learn and take on. I've had a lot of different coaches and a lot of different teaching, so it's good to bring that to the court.