LANGLEY — If there is way to best describe Spencer Ledoux’s game on the basketball court, it’s to call it well grounded.
“They way the game is going now, unless you’re a seven-footer, pretty much everybody has to develop a perimetre game,” begins UNBC Timberwolves head coach Todd Jordan when asked to describe the essence of the 6-foot-7 Ledoux, who after a standout senior season with Kamloops’ Westsyde Whundas in which he averaged 24 points and 12 rebounds per game, is set to join the Prince George-based U Sports program next season.
“But the core of Spencer’s game is still his touch inside and the footwork he has in the paint,” continues Jordan. “He’s got a five-year career to develop with us and he’s just starting to develop that ability to stretch more outside.”
This past season, Ledoux very quietly anchored the province’s only undefeated team heading into the provincial championships in March.
Westsyde boasted a 31-0 record as it entered the B.C. Double A championship draw at the Langley Events Centre, then won its first two games to improve to 33-0 before finally losing in the Final Four to Vancouver’s King George Dragons.
This past weekend, Ledoux returned to the Greater Vancouver area for a reunion with some of the province’s best players, scoring 12 points in helping lead the Double A team to a convincing 132-83 victory over the Single A team as part of B.C. high school basketball’s season-ending All-Star Saturday festivities. (Full box score below)
“It was super cool to be chosen, knowing all of the great players in the past that have been there,” said Ledoux. “To me it was a great honour.”
FOLLOWING IN HIS FATHER’S FOOTSTEPS
Todd Jordan has very patiently built the UNBC program the past eight seasons, shepherding it through the tough transition from the CCAA into U Sports.
This past season, the Timberwolves men’s basketball team became the school’s first in any sport to win a Canada West playoff game.
And now, the addition of Ledoux signals one of the best B.C. products the men’s basketball program has been able to sign.
“First of all, big kids are few and far between and he is one of the best bigs in the province this season at the high school level,” begins Jordan. “Like any high school kid, he has a lot of work to do, but the most important thing is that he loves the game. He’s a gym rat and he loves to get in there and work.”
Ask Ledoux about that, and he will point to a series of video tapes he watched as an early grade schooler a decade ago.
The subject of those tapes was his father, 6-foot-8 forward Brian Ledoux, a 1991 grad of Quesnel’s Correlieu Secondary who later played in Kamloops for Thompson Rivers’ predecessor, the University College of the Cariboo.
“For sure, they inspired me to play,” Ledoux, 17, laughs of the tapes. “They are the whole reason I wanted to play from the beginning and I watched them when I was like seven years old.”
Of course, some of those tapes were from the provincial championships, including some from the 1991 tournament when Brian Ledoux entered the B.C. slam dunk contest but finished second to John Dykstra, the soaring daredevil from Chilliwack Secondary who later starred at UBC.
Yet while father and son get a good chuckle out of the dunk contests, their most concentrated work came as Spencer learned his first dance steps in the paint.
“It would have all started in the paint with a simple drop step,” Ledoux says. “Eventually I learned the hook shot, and after that, it was all the up-and-unders. Now, I feel like I can go into the post very well, but if I get matched up on someone who is bigger and stronger, I can go outside and beat them that way.”
A REAL DRIVE FOR THE GAME
Jordan’s appreciation of Ledoux’s love for the game and his work ethic is not mere lip service.
For two seasons — between his Grade 9-10, and 10-11 high school campaigns — Ledoux and his mom would hit the highway in Kamloops, driving all the way down to Richmond where Spencer would then join his club teammates at Drive Basketball on the AAU club circuit throughout the U.S.
“We would go every weekend, and sometimes my mom and I would just stay in a hotel for a week to attend the practices,” says Ledoux, who this past summer continued his high-performance schedule as a member of Basketball B.C.’s Under-17 provincial team.
So what kind of player is UNBC getting in Ledoux?
“Spencer is genetically thick,” begins Ryan Porter, his head coach at Westsyde. “He does not have a skinny frame and he really has not even hit the weight room yet.
“He’s such a tough match-up for teams because he can hit the three or put it on the floor. But it’s still his bread-and-butter post moves, his footwork, his right hook, that he’s most deadly with.”
It’s all going to start in the paint as Ledoux begins his next chapter in Prince George.
In a manner of speaking, he already knows the steps because he’s always been well-grounded.
DOUBLE A 132 SINGLE A 83
Nathan Pasloske 7, Brendan Sullivan 23, Seyoung Choi 12, Bruno Chan 18, Christopher Ross 15, Mohab Mundadi 11, Spencer Ledoux 12, Boris Obradovic 12, Kobe McKnight 13, Andrew Reddy 9
Josh Allison 9, Tyler Schilling 6, Sam Pan 12, Nathan Steenholf 13, Quentin Onyemourdi 17, John Oszust 2, Saymon Loki 11, Kavneed Dhaliwal 11, Amrit Mangat 2
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