Basketball player returns from Canada Summer Games
Team Alberta’s basketball team traveled to Sherbrooke, Quebec to compete in the 2013 Canada Summer Games. Representatives from across the province were named to the team, including one Airdrie student.
He was easy to spot – he stood above his teammates as the tallest player on the court.
At six-foot eight-inches, George McDougall High School student Ryan Morck is well within the NBA average height range for the power-forward position. He realized his physical ability at the age of seven.
“From an early age, I realized I was pretty good,” Morck said upon returning from the games. “It came naturally, so I thought I might roll with this. I love the game.”
Seventeen-year-old Morck is a member of the George McDougall Mustangs, and is about to enter his final year of high school. Mustangs head coach, Mike Dow said he had watched Morck improve over the years.
“He’s always worked on his game. He always wants to excel,” Dow said. “He’s a great big tall guy and wants to be an all-around player that can dribble and not just be stuck inside. He’s worked at his game to try and do that.”
Morck has also been playing with the Team Alberta team for the past three years, but this was his first trip to the Canada Summer Games.
Team Alberta faced tough competition through the games, finishing in 10th place with a 1-4 record. They dropped close matchups against Team New Brunswick 57-54 and Team Manitoba 73-66 before posting a 77-17 victory over Team Northwest Territories.
“It was fun – it was a really good experience to be in that sort of competitive environment,” Morck said. “It kind of gave you a sense of accomplishment – like I’m here for a reason.”
Morck, who plays as a forward, said recruiters chose him to compete on the team for his shooting ability. Though Morck is tall, his game doesn’t involve physically battling players of similar height.
“It’s not normal for such tall people to be such good shooters typically down low,” Morck said. “I’m tall, but not physically huge. So I had to develop the ability to score baskets. I can’t defend six-foot ten, 250-pound guys. So I had to do something.”
Morck’s playing style can be likened to Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki, who relies on his jumper and not his strong inside game or physical play. Nowitzki happens to be one of Morck’s sports idols.
“(I like) his versatility – he’s able to shoot the ball and drive to the basket,” he said. “I’m pretty versatile – I can drive to the basket, and from my length I’m fairly good at rebounding.”
Morck will return for his senior year of basketball at George McDougall, and hopes that his experience at the Summer Games will allow him to offer more guidance to his teammates. He also hopes to spend more time at the gym in order to put on mass. Dow said that he hoped Morck would continue to develop as a leader.
“(I’ve) watched him grow up. He’s improving his ball handling skills for sure,” he said. “The team game, we’d love to see that improve when he comes back with national experience. We’d love to see that aspect show up – we’ve seen that start to develop.”
Morck hopes to move on to a university squad after graduation. Morck is one of 350 athletes from across Alberta competing at the games. The province has a set goal of finishing in the top three for medals and points.
The 2013 Canada Summer Games are being held August 2 to 17 in Sherbrooke, Quebec. The multi-sport event includes a variety of competitions, including basketball, tennis and wrestling.
For more information on the 2013 Canada Summer Games or for full results, visit jeuxducanada2013.ca/en/