By Woodard, Dale on October 9, 2020.
Karter Fry has yet to play his first game for the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns men’s basketball team.
Still, his bloodlines link him firmly to the program.
Fry, Paul Asebiode and Deng Dak were unveiled as the three newest signings for the Pronghorns in an announcement Thursday afternoon at the 1st Choice Savings Centre as the Horns continue to prepare for a Canada West season that still has a question mark lingering over it with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
No matter when he eventually pulls on Pronghorns blue, Fry will do so with some family ties.
His grandfather Robin was the first head coach in Pronghorn men’s basketball team history, coaching the 1969-70 season and returned to coach the Pronghorns from 1973 to 1976.
Fry, who stands at six-foot-five, is also the cousin of recent Pronghorn graduate Katie Keith, while his aunt Dawn (Fry) Keith played three seasons for the women’s basketball team in the 1980s.
“I’m just honoured to be here and having my cousin attend this school for the past five years (as well as) my grandfather being the first head coach, it was really special and felt like it was meant to be for me to join the Pronghorns,” said Fry, who hails from Victoria.
His recently-graduated cousin has given Fry the low down on his new Canada West home.
“She said it’s a smaller university, so it’s really initimate with all your teammates,” said Fry, who as a senior at St. Michael’s University School averaged 24 points per game, 11 rebounds and six assists and was part of a Vancouver Island AAA Championship, earning the Vancouver Island MVP. “She said the coaching staff really cared about her and the programs the school had to offer were great. So far I’m feeling that’s the same way for me.”
Fry brings a bit of versatility to the Horns.
“In high school I played point guard, but I’ve also been able to play the forward position,” he said. “So I think I can bring a lot of valuable assets like rebounding, passing and shooting to the table as well as playing positions one through four.”
First-year Pronghorns coach Jermaine Small said Fry brings game smarts.
“He has to get a little more aggressive at times, but I think it will come. He’s a guy that, with his height and skill I’m very excited.”
Fry had his family lines bring him to Lethbridge, but for Asebiode it was Small who was instrumental in bringing him to southern Alberta.
“I felt like he really cared about me outside of basketball, that he cared about me academically and wanted to make sure I was focused outside of basketball and thinking about what I was going to do when I graduate,” said the guard from Calgary who played at Bishop O’Bryne High School where as a senior he averaged 17 points, six assists and five rebounds per game. “I liked that he was interested in me rather than just my skills for basketball.”
“Paul comes from a winning program in Calgary and I always say if you want to win you have to have winners on your roster,” added Small.
“With Paul, he’s a kid that wants to work hard and is always asking questions and wants to get better. I’m tremendously excited for all three and I think they’re going to be future building blocks for us.”
Hailing from Brooks, Dak comes to the Pronghorns after spending last year with the Northstar Preparatory Institute in Winnipeg. In nine games with Northstar Prep, the six-foot-four guard averaged 15.6 points and 7.4 rebounds.
Prior to heading to Winnipeg, Dak played at Brooks Composite High School and helped the Buffalos to a bronze medal at the 2018 3A provincial championships.
“Deng was very highly recruited,” said Small. “He chose us and I think it was a great decision, but it wasn’t easy recruiting him. He has pro aspirations and he said ‘You know what, coach? I think I can be a pro at Lethbridge,’ and I said ‘You’re right.’ He made me work, but I know it was worth it.”
Dak now gets ready for his first look at the Canada West, but he feels prepared.
“It’s going to be a little tougher, but since I went into Prep there was a lot of competition there, so I should be ready.”
The big question, however, is when that will be.
The Canada West was originally going to announce a decision about two-semester sports Thursday, but delayed a decision surrounding a return to conference play until Nov. 2.
“I think we’ve dealt with it pretty well,” said Dak of the uncertainty. “We’ve been working really hard in the gym. Jermaine has been pushing us every day to be our best and get better every day.”
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