BC Den­ver one of state’s top pro­grams

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Kyle New­man Kyle New­man: 303-954-1773 knew­man@den­ver­post.com or @KyleNew­manDP

Lit­tle did Ge­off Golden know that his two years as the player de­vel­op­ment coach for the Colorado 14ers, the state’s since-re­lo­cated NBA D-League fran­chise, would pre­pare him for the chal­lenges of coach­ing girls club bas­ket­ball.

Golden, who ad­mits he “never in­tended to start a girls club,” founded Bas­ket­ball Club Den­ver in 2010 af­ter orig­i­nally step­ping into a girls’ sum­mer team that was in need of coach­ing help. It was his first time coach­ing girls in a team en­vi­ron­ment, but since then, BC Den­ver — as the pro­gram has be­come known around lo­cal hard­courts — has emerged as one of the state’s premier girls club bas­ket­ball pro­grams.

“It’s a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion to the DLeague be­cause it was hard to get those guys to play to­gether when they’re com­pet­ing for mil­lion­dol­lar con­tracts,” Golden said. “With what we do, all our girls are out there to play and show­case their own abil­i­ties for a schol­ar­ship — but what we teach from Day 1 of our pro­gram is the cul­ture that this process has to be done to­gether, be­cause bas­ket­ball is a team game.”

The team-first cul­ture Golden has cul­ti­vated al­lows in­di­vid­ual suc­cess to thrive. In eight sea­sons, 47 BC Den­ver play­ers earned col­lege schol­ar­ships as the pro­gram has ex­panded from two to four teams.

The ros­ter for BC Den­ver’s top team, 2018 Elite, reads like a “who’s who” of lo­cal high school stand­outs. All 10 girls on the ros­ter — five se­niors, four ju­niors and a sopho­more — have been of­fered Divi­sion I schol­ar­ships, with Ral­ston Val­ley’s De­laynie Byrne (a Uni­ver­sity of Min­nesota pledge who’s widely con­sid­ered one of the best play­ers in the Class of 2018) be­ing the only one to com­mit so far.

Hori­zon’s Alyssa Jimenez, Cherry Creek’s Syd­ney Mech and Fairview’s Ash­ley Panem are among other stand­outs on 2018 Elite, while the pro­gram’s 2018 Se­lect team also fea­tures a Divi­sion I player in Air Force com­mit and Rocky Moun­tain se­nior Made­lyn Ben­nett.

Both 2018 Elite and 2018 Se­lect played a na­tional sched­ule this sum­mer, trav­el­ing to tour­na­ments in Texas, Chicago and Washington D.C. in July alone. Next up is the Tour­na­ment of Cham­pi­ons this week­end in Atlanta, the con­clu­sion of the sum­mer sea­son for BC Den­ver.

“Our tour­na­ments are based around the NCAA view­ing pe­riod, where, ob­vi­ously, ex­po­sure from col­leges takes place,” Golden said. “We usu­ally just play a slate of games and there’s no bracket play or any­thing, be­cause these tour­na­ments are re­ally about giv­ing these girls a chance to prove them­selves against top com­pe­ti­tion.”

Golden also em­pha­sized the rea­son BC Den­ver has earned men­tion along­side other pow­er­house girls club bas­ket­ball pro­grams such as Colorado Premier, Colorado Bas­ket­ball Club and Mile Hi Magic is be­cause of the “de­velop, em­power, com­pete” ethos his staff and play­ers em­brace.

“Our big thing this year is be­ing brave, not per­fect,” Golden said. “We feel like too many kids and too many play­ers try to be per­fect, and they need to just be more con­cerned with be­ing brave and go­ing for it and not hav­ing that fear of fail­ure. Our teams have done that all sum­mer.”

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