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JV Lady Tigers nab camp championship
Dana King - photo by Courier file photo
Bradwell Institute Lady Tigers junior varsity basketball coach Dana King knows about having a winning team. His junior varsity squad went 17-0 last season. And for the second year in a row, the younger Tiger squad won the championship game at the 2008 AASU Lady Pirates Team Basketball Camp.
Going undefeated and defending a championship is not an easy task for a coach who only has his players for a year or two.
“My goal is to get them ready for varsity,” he said. “Our goal at Bradwell is to win a state title and it starts while the players are still young.”
King said his players came ready for the challenge at this year's AASU camp, losing one game on day-one by only one point and winning eleven straight games on day-two.
"We had a couple girls that were from Snelson Golden Middle School and the rest were our incoming JV squad comprised of ninth and tenth graders," he said. “We defended our championship. And the good thing was we only had one starter from our JV squad play at the camp, Suede Jones. Everyone else was still engaged in summer softball or track. It's good to know we were able have these kids come in and grasp what we were trying to accomplish and they were able to run with it and get wins.”
King is retired from the military and said he carries the discipline he learned in the military over to his coaching skills in order to develop his younger squad.
"My drive is for them to try and see that a high school game is at a different level and speed," he said. "It's totally different. If I can get them to see that then they will understand what we are trying to accomplish. The discipline and skills King taught his players on last year's junior varsity squad put them in a position where they could practice with coach Baker's varsity squad.
"For them to be at the skill level and ability to practice with the varsity squad was a great achievement," King said. That is the biggest thing for me, getting them ready for the faster pace and level of skills that high school ball requires."
King credit the work being done at the Middle School is developing the talent he sees coming through his doors.
"We go around to some of the middle school games to watch the girls' play and the middle school coaches are doing a great job of preparing them for Bradwell or Liberty," he said. "The kids that we are getting now are tremendous. With just a little tweaking here and there, they are ready to go."
After his undefeated JV season, King said he is ready for a repeat performance.
"I'm looking forward to going undefeated this season as well," he said. "A good portion of the players are coming back and another good portion will help coach Baker as they move to varsity."
The Lady Tigers will start official practice in October.
AASU Lady Pirate Camp Team roster
Suede Jones
Marie Sanders
Quianaka Hatchell
Shanice Walters
Tierra Howard
Lauren Butler
Tisha Frasier
Brittney Gomillion
Henri Brewton
Kami Smalls
Tiffany Johnson
Akeyla Richardson
Shaquoia Crockett
Symone May


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