WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW: Red Raiders learning fast
By Chris Miles
There’s a daily Basketball 101 course being taught at London High School.
With 11 of the 16 girls in the program lacking any varsity basketball experience, new Red Raiders coach Bob Williams and his coaching staff are spending a lot of time teaching the game’s fundamentals.
London graduated a number of seniors off of last year’s team, they also saw a couple players transfer out, leaving just two athletes who know what it means to play on the varsity hardwood.
“We’re extremely young,” Williams said. “We have nine freshmen and two juniors which are all first-year players. We’re spending a lot of time working on the fundamentals.”
The only players on the roster who have varsity experience are sophomore guard Katelyn Ray (5-5) and junior guard Aliyah Hiram (5-4). Ray missed a number of games a year ago because of an illness, but she and Hiram will be counted on to provide leadership on and off the court.
“Obviously we’re going to be counting on them an awful lot,” the coach said. “For everyone else it’s going to be a learn by fire situation. They’re going to be learning as they go. I’ve been coaching for a number of years and have never been in a situation like this before.”
Williams, who was the JV coach at Canal Winchester High School last year, has had other coaching stops across Central Ohio, including at Franklin Heights, Westland, Bishop Watterson, Grove City and Grove City Christian.
He said the quicker his kids get accustomed to the level of play, the better off they’re going to be. Until then it’s going to be a lot of hard work and there’s a possibility the number of losses may pile up.
“We are going to have to win by effort,” Williams said. “I love the way we’ve been practicing and we’ve got a good group of kids that are willing to learn. But we’re eventually going to have to find a go-to player and everyone will have to find a role on this team.