Brusly High Lady Panthers head coach Shawn Bradford isn’t just building a team, he is building a program. Part of that growth included taking his team to the LSU Basketball camp this past week.
“Being able to go compete at LSU at team camp was great for the future of the Brusly girls basketball program as a whole,” Bradford said. “By going to these camps, we are able to see teams that we would not usually see.”
Bradford and his girls have been busy all summer.
“When I approached Coach Emily Naquin-Domingue and her middle school coaching staff with the vision of starting an organization to keep our teams together and allow them to be active in summer basketball, she immediately fell in love with it and from that day we have been working,” Bradford said. “We had a jambalaya sale that went very well, and we want to thank everyone that contributed. The great people of the town of Brusly, as well as family and friends, are the driving force behind it all. Without the financial support, none of this is possible.”
Bradford said the goals of the organization are many and it will take a village to bring the goals to fruition. The primary goals of the program are keeping players in Brusly, bringing in trainers to develop players’ skill sets, and improving through team camps and local games, Bradford said.
“Current college student-athletes and former Lady Panthers basketball players Dricka Pierson, Caitlyn Williams and Morgan Spriggs have been great resources for us and our skill development,” Bradford said. “It started with (the former players) just trying to get in the gym for personal workouts, and it turned into sessions where they are leading and teaching current players what they are currently learning on a collegiate level.”
Dawn Butler has spearheaded the team’s strength and conditioning, and Bradford said that she is taking the team to a new level.
“Current Boys basketball assistant coach Demario Jackson has offered his wisdom and training to our guards helping develop their skills,” Bradford said. “With all these resources, it’s a true testament of the desire of our young ladies to be great. They have been receptive and hungry to intake all the knowledge being passed down.”
“I tell our young ladies that if we have eight hours to chop down a tree, we will spend six of those hours sharpening the blade of our ax. When the season comes, and we are ready to start chopping, we want to be able to work efficiently and effectively. Eventually, we want that tree to fall in Alexandria, Louisiana on a beautiful evening in the girls basketball state tournament and return home as champions!”