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Paul Kane student to shoot hoops with Rattlers

Alia Boulanger tapped for Medicine Hat team
2601 PKBballGirl 7272 km
RATTLER RECRUIT — Paul Kane senior girls basketball player Alia Boulanger, shown here, was signed to the Medicine Hat College Rattlers on Jan. 19, 2022. The Grade 12 student plans to take kinesiology at the college this fall. KEVIN MA/St. Albert Gazette

A Paul Kane basketball star will be shooting hoops with the Rattlers this fall.

The Medicine Hat College Rattlers announced Jan. 19 on Instagram they had signed St. Albert’s Alia Boulanger to join their women’s basketball team for the 2022-2023 season.

Boulanger is a Grade 12 student at Paul Kane who plays for the school’s senior girls basketball team. In an interview Jan. 24, she said she has been playing basketball since about Grade 3 and has also dabbled in soccer and volleyball.

“I’ve always been a competitive person,” she explained, adding she likes the up-close physicality that comes with basketball.

Rattlers coach Clayton Nielsen said his assistant coach noticed Boulanger play during a tournament in Medicine Hat in December. The team invited her to a tryout camp at Christmas, where she impressed them enough to get a spot on the team.

Nielsen said the team was most impressed by Boulanger’s positive attitude, strong work ethic, and willingness to learn.

“We’re going to be a really young team next year,” he said, with 10 out of 14 of their members being rookies, so any recruits will need to work hard and fast to play at the college level.

Boulanger said she has been interested in playing college sports but hadn’t picked a place to play. When the Rattlers gave her an invite, she knew it was a good opportunity to take.

For making the team, Boulanger earns the right to live on campus this fall as well as a scholarship covering her tuition.

Boulanger said she plans to take kinesiology at Medicine Hat College due to her interest in the human body. She plans to work in physiotherapy once she graduates, but isn’t sure if she will try to go pro when it comes to basketball.

Boulanger thanked her parents and coaches for their support and issued her fellow students some words of encouragement.

“Anything can happen. Just keep working hard and you can achieve the dreams you want.”

Kevin Ma

About the Author: Kevin Ma

Kevin Ma joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2006. He writes about Sturgeon County, education, the environment, agriculture, science and aboriginal affairs. He also contributes features, photographs and video.
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