Dynamic duo playing final games together
Basketball: Derochie, Karl friends since birth
Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 06:00 am
By Bruce Campbell
The Boys will make their final appearance for the Foothills Falcons at the biggest tournament in high school Alberta.
Falcon point guard Jamie Derochie and Hunter Karl will play their last high school games this weekend at the 4A high school senior boys basketball provincials in Lethbridge-Magrath this weekend.
The dynamic duo has played together since they were with Okotoks Minor Basketball Association as eight-year-olds.
However, their friendship goes back further.
“Our parents were friends when we were first born and we have been hanging around together ever since,” Derochie said. “I am disappointed this will be our last high school games — I have known this guy for a long time.”
It wasn’t until junior high when the pair was winning zone titles for the OJ Ocelots that the two really started to click, according to Karl.
“We kind of knew how each other played in Grade 6 in club and stuff,” Karl said. “In junior high it seemed to all come together.”
They appeared to be on Easy Street going into high school.
However, Easy Street got moved to a place east of Calgary.
The Karl family moved to Chestermere and Hunter was a rookie on the high-powered Lakers, while Derochie was a Grade 10 starting point guard for the Falcons.
“I was kind of broken because we had been talking for years about coming to the Comp to play,” Derochie said. “To get the phone call that he wasn’t coming, kind of made me super upset and not very excited for Grade 10.”
They reconnected when Karl got his driver’s licence and was able to make the trek back to his pals in Okotoks.
It was like they were never separated.
Derochie can pass a basketball through the eye of the needle, but it seems he can dish the ball to Karl with his eyes closed.
“Sometimes some of my passes are unpredictable,” Derochie said.
However, Karl has been able to predict the unpredictable.
“I know to be looking just in case,” Karl said. “He can drive to the middle, have four guys collapse on him and suddenly the ball is in my hands. It’s mostly just being ready.”
There are times, however, when both of the Falcons’ seniors want the ball.
“We are both really competitive and we both want to be ‘that guy,’” Karl said. “We both have that mentality that we want the last shot.”
Of course, there wouldn’t be a friendship without some good old-fashioned ribbing of one another.
“There will be times when one of us will shoot an air ball and you will hear it all the way back down the floor— ‘Hey nice shot buddy,’’’ Karl said with a laugh. “You get a chuckle out of it and just play through it.”
While Karl took the snaps for the provincial finalist Falcons football team, he said there is no doubt who quarterbacks the hoops team.
“Jamie gets everybody the ball and knows when to get them the ball,” Karl said. “No matter who he is playing with he can put them in the right scoring position.”
He said Derochie is also a stalwart on defence.
“There is nobody who is quick enough to get around him in one dribble,” he said.
Derochie said Karl is a smart offensive player.
“He’s strong so he can get to the hole — he can also hit the open shot. He’s explosive,” Derochie said. “Defensively, he can guard a guard or a post.”
This will be the last time the pair will play together in a school capacity.
Derochie is hoping to play at the college level in the United States. Karl is looking at his options and is likely leaning towards a Canadian university.
Though their high school careers are entering their final weekend, they aren’t thinking past provincials.
“When the moment comes we will probably talk about it,” Karl said. “We have focused on what we needed to get done, beating HTA, beating Bert Church and getting our spot in provincials and going from there.”
The Falcons advanced to the provincials by sweeping the Bert Church Chargers in their best of three-series 4A final last week.
Foothills is the 12th seed going into the tournament and will play the Bev Facey Falcons on Thursday at Magrath High School.
For more information about provincials go to www.asaa.ca