BC Denver’s 2018 Elite roster has emerged as one of the top girls club teams in the state this summer.
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 in to 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 D-League because it was hard to get those guys to play together when they’re competing for million-dollar 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.”
BC Denver 2018 Elite Roster
Ashley Steffeck, Fossil Ridge, Jr., G
Denali Pinto, Fairview, Sr., G
Alyssa Jimenez, Horizon, Jr., G
Delaynie Byrne, Ralston Valley, Sr., F
Tomia Johnson, Grandview, So., PG
Sam Deem, Horizon, Jr. F
Ashley Panem, Fairview, Sr., G
Sydney Mech, Cherry Creek, Sr., F/G
Samantha Van Sickle, Ralston Valley, Sr., F/G
Arielle Wisne, Ralston Valley, Jr., C