© Herald Photo by Dave Leaderhouse
Meath Park's Alexi Rowden is quickly establishing herself as one of the premiere female basketball players in the province. Rowden was just recently named to a provincial basketball squad for a third straight year and as a result will represent Saskatchewan at the Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Que., in early August.
She might just be one of the best kept secrets in the local sporting scene, which is odd considering she towers above most others.
Alexi Rowden is a 16-year-old basketball phenom from Meath Park and the 6-foot perimeter player just recently made her third straight provincial team this time representing Saskatchewan at the Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Que., in early August.
Her past experience on under-15 squads will definitely help her on this team, but she says there is always a pretty clear message of what is expected.
‚ÄúThe message is always clear you want to be better than the previous teams,‚ÄĚ says Rowden. ‚ÄúThe best result at the Canada Games is a silver medal so our goal this year is (to get the) gold.‚ÄĚ
Rowden began playing basketball in Grade 4 because ‚Äúshe always loved shooting the ball when she was a little kid.‚ÄĚ That love for shooting developed as she grew and became more dominant on the court and Basketball Saskatchewan quickly took notice.
When she made her first provincial team two years ago, Rowden travelled to Seattle, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Minneapolis for tournament action while last year, when she served as a co-captain on the team, they went to New Brunswick for nationals and attended tournaments in Edmonton and Minneapolis.
Rowden will once again head to Minneapolis in July to get in some game action before she leaves for Quebec for what is the biggest stage of her career so far.
‚ÄúI love the competition and how everyone works together to win,‚ÄĚ says Rowden.
Although she was a strong candidate for this year‚Äôs team after having been in the program on two previous occasions, she still had to go through the try-out process. When the first camp was held in early April there were 70 hopefuls trying out for the team, but that was trimmed down to 30 for the second session and then finally, Rowden learned she would be part of the final 12-player roster.
Just finishing her Grade 10 year at school, Rowden already knows she wants to go the college route when her high school days are behind her. She says she has no preference on whether it is in Canada or in the United States, but she suspects she will likely go to a CIS school.
With schools ineligible to talk to her until she is in Grade 12, they will undoubtedly continue to keep tabs on her as her resume continues to grow. In addition to the provincial teams Rowden has also helped Meath Park High School to consecutive silver medals in the Saskatchewan High School Athletic Association provincial 2A playoffs.
There is a lot to be shooting for in the future and if Rowden has anything to say about it, it could have a golden sheen both at the Canada Summer Games and in future high school provincials.