After our loss a couple weeks ago to Laney College, I wrote a blog entry where I vented my disappointment with the girls. We were at our lowest point as a team, and it wasn’t just because of lack of “W’s,” but because we had been unable to overcome our year-long weakness; our lack of intensity and competitiveness that we’ve been struggling with since summer conditioning. We had a problem with a lack of fight, and that was hard for me to swallow.
In this specific blog entry, I made the statement that I was one of the individuals who doubt this team and their ability to turn around the season. The statement upset some of our players, and one specifically who made it clear that she was mad about it was our captain, Leilanie Lewis.
I hesitated before publishing the entry, as I knew that it may raise some eyebrows and hurt some feelings, but eventually made the decision to be honest. I did doubt them. Like I mentioned, we’d been struggling with this issue from the beginning and I didn’t see any indication that they cared enough or were tough enough to step up and do something about their situation.
I liked them as people but didn’t respect them as players.
And it wasn’t that we were losing. After we lost to Fresno, I was still excited and proud of the girls, because they came out and competed. It was because we still lacked that willingness to fight.
Leilanie took it personally, then responded by taking it upon herself to prove me and anybody else who doubted her team wrong. The following game she came out with an intensity I hadn’t seen in a long time from her. She sparked us immediately, set the tone for us on the floor, and has legitametely carried the team on her back now for four straight wins.
So while it kills me that I upset Leilanie (The first time I saw her play in high school, she was THE player I wanted on our team the most. I loved her immediately on and off the floor.), I’m glad that maybe what I said was part of her motivation to step up.
I’m proud of her and the other girls for not believing me and for in essence, telling me to kiss their butts with their efforts on the floor. Leilanie’s belief in herself and her willingness to put in work is going to lead her to success in whatever she decides to do in her life. Nobody should ever be able to tell you what you can and can’t do, and Leilanie knows that. I respect that girl so much, and I hope that she and the others continue to shove my statement down my throat.
– Coach Kim