Nov. 11 marks the beginning of a new era for your Lady Sharks as LeAnn Freeland will make her head-coaching debut at NSU when the team takes on Valdosta State. After finishing with a 14-13 record last season, Freeland and the rest of the team are excited to hit the court. “Their passion for the game, I would say that stands out more than anything.” said Freeland. “They really love basketball, and it means a lot to them that they’re good, and that means they will be good.”
Jada Buckner, senior guard, has taken notice of the energy and hunger of this year’s squad.
“[The one thing that’s caught my attention is] the passion, and I notice that when we condition. When she breaks it off into two teams, nobody wants to lose. We’re diving. We’re pushing each other. We have a will to win that is above everybody else’s, second to none.”
Freeland recruited three players in the offseason: Danielle Robinson, freshman guard; Taylor Kramer, freshman guard and Meixandra Porter, junior guard. Porter, who transferred from Colorado State, said she likes the family-like atmosphere of the team.
“A few days ago I got hit on the nose and I had to go to the ER just to make sure everything was OK. My teammates were texting me, and they wanted to go with me, and that’s something I’ve never had in my basketball career. For me to have that, and it to be genuine, it just means so much to me,” said Porter.
Freeland said she is interested in seeing how the team will perform in the first game of the season. She wants the team to lead the conference in defense and rebounding. She believes the team can achieve this goal if they continue to have enthusiasm throughout the season.
“I want us to maintain the positive energy we have throughout the whole season,” she said. “I want [us] to be all-in as a unit and to continue to improve every day. If we are able to do those things, opportunities like a conference championship and an NCAA appearance will come naturally.”
The first six games of the season will be at home.