Delta women’s basketball coach remains optimistic

Women's Basketball - Jan. 17 2018

By Joseph Thornton, reporter.

With the women’s basketball team struggling in the early part of the season with a record of 3-7, head coach Shonda Long remains optimistic going forward. This is Long’s first head coaching job, but she believes these growing pains will pass.

“We went on a slump in December, didn’t win a single game. Most teams would give up on the season, but I haven’t seen that from the girls. They are trusting the process and are working hard to put us in position for improvement. They fight until the end and never put their heads down. I believe in them to learn from this month and grow from it as a team,” states Long.

Long credits most of her coaching knowledge to former women’s basketball head coach Keyshia Brown at Alma College.

“Working with Keyshia for three years helped me grow both as a woman and a coach. I learned how to react with girls and help them develop inside both the gym and the classroom. She taught me not to complain about anything and had the mentality of living every day like you can’t lose at all, and I try to instill that within our girls,” states Long.

In Long’s inaugural season as a head coach, she has been stressing the importance on the defensive side of the court and has made changes in practice to emphasize the defensive mindset.

“We want to be known as a team that will make the defensive plays in key moments. We want to be aggressive and have teams worry about playing us. I want them to know when they’re playing against the Delta women’s basketball team they’re going to have an aggressive game that is fast-paced and tires them out,” states Long.

Despite getting off to a rough start, Long refuses to dwell on the things that can’t be changed. Long and her team are looking forward to the future and trying to take control of the things in their hands.

“It all starts by getting to that .500 win ratio. All that matters right now is improving every day in practice and eliminating the mistakes. If we’re able to do that the wins will come along with it,” explains Long.

In her initial season Long has many goals on her plate, many of which remain feasible even under the current conditions.

“I just look forward to continuing my growth as a coach and a mentor. I want to help them with their issues on and off the court. If everyone on this team is able to move on and continue their educational or athletic goals, I would feel successful. I make sure my players know there is more to life than basketball and to keep in mind what’s going to come next,” says Long.

For anyone looking to witness Long and the Delta College women’s basketball team in action, their schedule is available at www.deltacollege.com/sports.

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