— While the Weatherford College Lady Coyote basketball team might not have won the ultimate prize last season, they were among the top teams in the nation, winning yet another North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference (NTJCAC) title and advancing to the NJCAA National Tournament in Salina, Kansas.
Hopes are already high for even more success in the 2013-14 season, bolstered by a pair of returning All-Americans in guard Bre Brooks and forward/post Itiana Taylor.
The pairs’ honors marked the first time in WC history two players on the same team received All-American accolades.
And WC has added a third All-American to the roster.
Among Coach Bob McKinley’s summer recruits is 5-foot-4-inch guard Jacqueline Chandler, who hails from Cleburne. The shooting guard sat out last season, but earned All-American honors the year before at Hill College.
“She is going to be a great addition,” said McKinley of Chandler. “She’s going to fit in just fine.”
McKinley has been working hard to place strong talent around the three All-Americans for the coming season.
Among that new talent is 6-foot-3-inch forward/post Ruth Adwar from Kenya. Six-foot guard/forward Ciara Johnson, who played alongside Brooks at Tyler Lee, will be reunited with her point guard in Weatherford. Other additions to the WC squad include 5-foot-8-inch guard Tracie McCoy, from Fort Worth Dunbar, and a local product, 5-foot-9-inch Weatherford High hard-working guard Lou Hawkins.
“It’s a good group, but we’re still not through,” said McKinley. “There are still a lot of D-I caliber players out there.”
McKinley said that while many players have already committed to four-year schools, they may not be quite ready for that level. In that case, head coaches will often send them to a two-year college program to get more experience.
“If you have a good relationship with that coach, it can sure be beneficial,” he said.
With the 2013-14 season right around the corner, McKinley is still looking to fill out his roster. But he likes what he has so far.
“This is a good group. We found some really nice players who are going to help our program a lot,” he said. “That, along with what we have coming back, I believe we’re going to be real good again.”