The women’s basketball team started their season off strongly with players looking forward to March Madness and head coach Ben Conrad focused on the process to achieve the goal of playing in March.
Coach Conrad stressed the importance of setting goals that the team can control and often tells his players to value “process over product.”
“Our goals are about what we can control. How we prepare, how we practice, how we approach the weight room, how we approach every single day and how we approach every single possession,” Conrad said. “Those are things we control so our goals are more process oriented than product oriented; the idea is that you have to embrace the process, the grind and the daily work.”
After notably finishing last season 31-1, Conrad praised his team’s hard work and dedication over the past few months.
“As far as work ethic, my biggest message to our players is that I’m not interested in players that pick and choose what they’re good at,” Conrad said.“I think winners want to be good at everything; they want to be good in the classroom, at their jobs and want to be good on their basketball team. I think it all bleeds together and that’s what we have and want are people that excel in everything they do.”
The summer practices contributed to the team’s success this season. Conrad said his players have improved their skills because of those practices.
“The work we put in over the summer is critical for the success we’ve had here over the years,” Conrad said. “We’ve always got great sophomores that understand what we’re doing and they’re a lot better players because they work their tails off all summer.”
With five returning sophomores and two transfers, the team is full of experience and leadership.
Standout player Austin Richardson has her sights set on playing Division I basketball after her final campaign this season at the college with the intent of a national championship.
“My goal for this team is to go and win a national championship because last year was an upset so I want revenge,” Richardson said. “We need to keep an edge, keep working hard in the gym and keep a positive mind set.”
Student Tantashea Giger transferred to the college because of Coach Conrad’s winning record of 238-33 (.881) with hopes of a championship win this season.
“I chose to transfer to the college because Coach Conrad is a great coach and the record shows that after winning a championship two years ago,” Giger said. “As a team, my goal is to win a championship. People have said that we aren’t as good of a team as there have been in the past years so I want to prove people wrong and show everyone that we are a lot better than they think we are.”
Along with trusting the process and hard work in the off-season, Conrad believes consistency is a key component in continuing this team’s success.
“We’re searching for consistency and we’re starting to get it. Consistency is that ability to put 40 minutes together and that’s a challenge, every team in the country is looking for that at every level,” Conrad said.
Student Kylee Williams prides herself with consistent shooting and a strong knowledge of basketball.
“I’m a good shooter and I have a high basketball IQ so I feel like I contribute to the team a lot in that way,” Williams said. “I chose the college because it gives me the best opportunity to go to the next level. After coming out of high school I was overlooked and Coach Conrad gave me an opportunity. I knew they had a good program and I loved it once I came here.”
Check out the team’s schedule, standings and news at http://www.jccc.edu/cavs/womens-sports/basketball/index.html