RED DEER – This month’s Alumni Spotlight focuses on Karlee Hendriks (Odland), formerly of the Medicine Hat Tigers.
Hailing from Vauxhall, AB, Karlee began playing hockey at the age of five following in the footsteps of her two older brothers who were already spending so much time at the rink. Hockey wasn’t the only sport Karlee participated in while growing up, as she also played baseball, softball, volleyball, basketball, and badminton. By playing these different sports, Karlee believes that she was able to develop skills that made her a better hockey player, such as hand eye coordination, foot speed, and cardiovascular strength.
Beginning her girl’s hockey experience at the U15 level, Karlee really began developing her overall skill set and learned the systems of the game which allowed her to become a successful player with the U18 AAA Medicine Hat Tigers. Her efforts and success garnered the attention of her dream school, Dartmouth College, where she would go on to play four seasons and lead the Big Green as captain during her senior year. Karlee credits her father and two brothers as her biggest influences during her hockey career.
“My dad was my number one fan, and he gave me everything opportunity to follow by hockey dream no matter what the time commitment or financial commitment might have been. By me attending these camps or tournaments, it allowed me to get recruited to my dream school at Dartmouth College,” said Karlee. “My brothers are 5 & 6 years older than me and made me a pretty tough kid which resulted in me being tough and feisty on the ice.”
Karlee’s favourite thing about playing hockey is spending time with her teammates in the locker room. Since her competitive hockey career ended, the thing that she misses most is being with her best friends playing the game they all love.
One of Karlee’s most fond memories of the game stem from her time spent in the Team Alberta program, where she was a part of the team that won a gold medal at the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax, NS.
Hockey has been an integral part of Karlee’s life and provided her with the opportunity to receive an Ivy League education along with many lifelong friendships that she has made along the way. Currently, she and her husband run a Financial Brokerage in Calgary and Lethbridge.