Friday, 13 March 2009

Dinos want fairy tale ending

Dinos want fairy tale ending

by Wes Gilbertson, Calgary Sun

Henry Bekkering is no theatre major, but the Calgary Dinos dunkmaster knows a thing or two about what makes a good script.

You don't need production credits on Hoosiers to realize winning a national championship is the perfect way to cap a campus hoops career.

Bekkering, 23, is three victories away from doing just that.

"I'm in the perfect position right now," Bekkering said.

"Obviously, the perfect ending would be to win a national championship."

Led by the 6-foot-6 scoring sensation, the Dinos are off to the CIS Final Eight for the first time since 2004.

Installed as the second seed, they'll tip off today against the No. 7 Concordia Stingers. The winner will advance to tomorrow's semi-final round, which will be broadcast on The Score.

No matter what the outcome, Bekkering will write the final chapter of his Dinos career this weekend on the hardcourt at Scotiabank Place, home to the NHL's Ottawa Senators.

Nicknamed the Dunkin' Dutchman, Bekkering became a fan favourite at Jack Simpson Gym almost immediately after transferring from Eastern Washington University, teaming with his 6-foot-8 brother Ross to give the Dinos a feared one-two punch in their two seasons together.

Henry is averaging a team-high 20.7 points per game in his senior campaign, while Ross is leading the Dinos with 10.3 boards per outing in his fourth season.

Ross, 21, doesn't expect his older brother to go quietly in his final weekend of post-secondary play.

"Henry really is a playoff performer. Every time I've seen him play, ever since he was in high school, he always seems to raise his game to the next level when it comes down to crunch time, and I think we can count on him to do the same this year," Ross said. "We've got a lot of other guys that can step up, so hopefully he doesn't feel obligated to do it himself. But you can expect him to be playing some great basketball at this tournament, and I can't wait to see it."

The Bekkering brothers won't be the only star attractions at the finals. Carleton's Stuart Turnbull, Concordia's Damien Buckley and Christian Upshaw of St. FX each scored player-of-the-year nominations, while a dozen other conference all-stars will hit the hardwood in Ottawa.

Henry Bekkering is the lone senior on the Dinos roster, which also features five fourth-year players.

The high-flying forward is determined to not "waste" his one and only shot at a CIS title. That's goes for Ross, too, who has watched coverage of the national tournament from his living room for the past three seasons.

"Every time we finished our season off and we realized we weren't going to the Final Eight, it's something to take into the weight room with you, it's something to take to the track with you, it's something to use as motivation to train for the next season," Ross said. "To accomplish it this year, it feels really good because it shows all that hard work paid off."

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