Lady T-Birds will use summer to improve skills

By Milo Kabigting - Staff Reporter

The Highline Women's Basketball has spent this spring looking to improve skills and do better than last season's 11-17 record.

The team reached the Sweet 16 in the NWAC Women's Basketball Championship, but was quickly eliminated from the tournament.

"We use the spring to work on skill development.  Each player has different skills to develop: dribbling shooting, attacking the basket etc. We do some group work and some individual work.  This is a time to get them more reps on these specific skills," said assistant Coach Dani Carlman.

The Thunderbirds' off-season work is mostly in the spring time, so the team can do go back home during the summer to do at-home workouts and spend time with their families, Carlman said.

"The season is quite long running from September to March, so we like to give the girls the summer off from working out with us," said Coach Carlman. "We give them workouts they can complete but there are no real requirements of them in the summer.  We have some out-of-state kids, so this gives them the opportunity to go home and spend time with their family since they don't get much opportunity during season."

Working on fundamentals on and off the court during the spring is important for the team. 

"We will spend quite a bit of time on developing skills throughout the season.  Most skill development happens between their freshman and sophomore year, during those spring workouts I mentioned earlier," Carlman said. 

Highline's had multiple freshman on last year's roster, so the Thunderbirds look to have a few veterans on next year's team. 

"We have about five returners so far for next year so we are looking to bring in eight to 10 freshmen," Carlman said. "During season we really try and give those freshmen as much positive feedback as we can.  Confidence plays a big role in the success of a player.  Our hope is to recruit players who have a decent amount of skill already and hopefully just enhance those skills with our practice."

Only three sophomores were on last year's team and two of them have decided they were done playing basketball. The other sophomore has decided to go play volleyball at the University of Antelope Valley in California.

Highline will have returning player Sharon Ajayi, who averaged 14 points and 10.7 rebounds last season, who was also named Western Region first team and Freshmen of the Year. 

"We really enjoy watching our players develop new skills as well as building positive relationships with them. It is more than basketball; we love to be a part of such a pivotal time in a young women's life. We really enjoy watching them succeed on and off the court," Coach Carlman said. 

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