Bekkering ready for playoffs and life

By Corinna Callsen

Here’s a little quiz: Her motto could be "Let’s go to Europe and play some ball!" Any guesses? No? Well, then keep on reading…

She is the oldest offspring of an athletic family and, following in her father’s footsteps, started playing basketball in Grade 6.

She did not decide until six years later that basketball was her sport. And even then, she needed prodding by Dinos women’s basketball Coach Shawnee Harle to be fully convinced.

"I was actually going to play volleyball in the States when Shawnee came and talked to me-she changed my mind and I’m glad she did," said Dinos forward Anna Bekkering. She has never regretted her decision to stay in Calgary instead of playing volleyball at the University of Tennessee or University of Alabama, despite the scholarships both schools offered.

"It’s for sure the sport that I like the best," smiled the 21-year-old.

University life has kept her busy: her studies in Management, together with basketball and her private life-where number 35 of the Dinos men’s basketball team has the front row seat-take up all her time.

But what will life be like after university?

"I’m hoping to go play overseas in Europe after I graduate," she said. With two Dutch parents, she hopes to obtain dual citizenship, which would make it a lot easier to get on a European team. But, the options are endless for the Dinos 2001/02 leading scorer.

"I would love to play for the national team-that would be so awesome. See how my body holds up," she replied, hoping for an invite to the tryouts this year. "When it comes to injuries, I have been really fortunate. I only had minor aches and pains like a sprained ankle. I have been really lucky."

After a few years of playing professionally the Taber, Alta., native hopes to start her career in Marketing. But, she admitted the sport that has given her so much will always be a part of her life.

"I’m interested in coaching. I definitely want to coach my own kids when I get older-that would be really fun."

Turning back to the here and now, the Dinos forward revealed her impressions of the present women’s basketball team after the departure of all-time leading scorer Leighann Doan.

"I think we’re doing pretty well, because we don’t have that one superstar to focus around," she said, pointing out the team’s more balanced game. "Next year we’ll lose Jen Goldade and Natalie Hudec, but we have some good recruits lined up for next year, so I think we’ll be fine."

As for the near future, the playoffs are around the corner and the women’s basketball squad finished the regular season in eighth place. The Dinos will play the University of Alberta Pandas in Edmonton in a first round match up and they are confident.

"Once you get past the quarter finals, you have a good chance of going to the nationals and I think we definitely have a chance," said the basket chaser.

So go, watch the playoffs, cheer for the Dinos and watch out for Anna Bekkering, ’cause she’s gonna sink some buckets!