‘Her work ethic is unparalleled’

Langley’s Louise Forsyth off to camp with Basketball Canada, eyes chances to wear Maple Leaf for second straight summer

  • Thu Jun 2nd, 2016 4:00pm
  • Sports

Langley’s Louise Forsyth earned first team provincial all-stars after helping the Brookswood Bobcats win the gold medal back in March. The 17-year-old is off to Toronto for a tryout with Baskeball Canada as she tries to land a spot on the U17 team for the FIBA world championships.

Louise Forsyth could be forgiven if she forgets what her bed feels like.

Last weekend, the 17-year-old was in Los Angeles for a basketball tournament with her club team, BC’s Finest.

She returned to Langley, albeit for just a few days, and then was off to Nanaimo for the B.C. high school track and field championships.

Tomorrow, she is scheduled to leave for Toronto, where she will take part in a Basketball Canada tryout camp beginning next week. And if all goes well, Forsyth will remain in Toronto and train with the team until June 20, when Canada leaves for Spain, host of the FIBA U17 world basketball championships.

Should she make the team, it will be the second straight summer Forsyth will wear Canada’s colours.

Last year, she helped Canada win gold at the FIBA Americas U16 world championships in Mexico.

Forsyth was in an unfamiliar position with that squad, as she was coming off the bench and playing minor minutes.

But it was useful.

“That experience definitely helps,” Forsyth said. “Seeing what the best is out there and then spending this whole season training has been my goal.

“It was definitely tough but it inspired me to work harder and to improve, which I definitely think I have since then.”

And if for some chance Forsyth doesn’t make the final cut, it won’t be for a lack of effort.

Coach lauds effort

“I would go on limb and say she is the hardest worker I have ever coached,” said long-time Brookswood coach Neil Brown, who has more than 40 years coaching in the sport.

“She is super committed to her skill development, she is super committed to her physical development.

“There has not been someone in my 40 years who you can’t find a fault in their effort.”

“Her work ethic is unparalleled.”

Top-ranked Canadian 2017 recruit

Forsyth is a six-foot shooting guard/wing and according to the 2017 HoopGurlz recruiting rankings on ESPN, she  is the lone Canadian on the list, coming in at number 57. She is listed as a four star recruit with an overall score of 91.

She has verbally committed to Gonzaga University, a small private Roman Catholic university in Spokane, Wash.

Forsyth knew she wanted a school on the west coast and after visiting, made up her mind.

“Just going there and seeing the basketball atmosphere I would be playing in and they have a really good history with Canadian players too,” she said. “I just thought it would be the right fit for me.”

Having the decision out of the way even before she is done her Grade 11 year also frees Forsyth up.

“It feels really good. Now I can just play my summer and focus on Basketball Canada without having to call all these coaches and stuff,” she said.

Experience will help

Brown figures Forsyth will use what she learned with Basketball Canada last year to her advantage at this tryout camp.

“She is walking in (to camp) with a lot more confidence, she knows what it will take to be there.”

“Now it is a case of does her game fit into what Canada wants, will her skill set fit into their system.”

And Brown expects her to continue to get even better between now and when she leaves for university as she is still growing and adding muscle and strength to her frame.

“The kid is an athletic specimen,” he said.

“Because she works so hard .. Lou’s limits are almost the stars.”

In addition to her basketball exploits, Forsyth runs cross-country for Brookswood and also is part of the school’s track and field team.

She finished 10th in the province for cross-country and was scheduled to compete in the triple jump and 4×400 relay at track and field provincials this week. She qualified in the discus and long jump as well but is not competing as she has already missed so much school.

Forsyth eyes four-peat

But basketball remains the focus.

Forsyth enters her final year of high school with lofty goals:  mainly helping the Bobcats win a fourth consecutive B.C. provincial championship. She has played on the senior team since Grade 8.

Forsyth was a first team all-star back in March when Brookswood won the provincial title.

“That is definitely the goal but we will see how it goes,” she said.

There is also the matter of trying to become the fourth straight Brookswood player to win the Basketball BC female high school player of the year, following in the footsteps in Jessie Brown (2014), Tayla Jackson (2015) and Aislinn Konig (2016).

While some may be wary of the pressure that comes with trying to achieve that, Forsyth said she enjoys the pressure.