For some students, summertime is a time of vacation, relaxation, or summer camp with friends. For the Bainbridge High School girl’s basketball team, summer brought the opportunity of a lifetime thanks to head Coach Danny Evans and the Hold the Ropes Foundation.
Evans was able to provide his players with the opportunity to attend the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream home game, and also have a training practice with former Bainbridge High School all-state alumna Alexis Burke and some members of the Atlanta Dream.
“When they reached out to me I was blown away and immediately proposed it to principal Merritt and the girls and the girls just lit up with excitement,” said Evans. “Just going to a WNBA game is a great opportunity in itself, but being able to get out of Bainbridge and train with a professional athlete is something these girls will remember forever.”
Coach Evans especially wanted his players to have this experience so that they could be exposed to life outside of Bainbridge and help them realize that playing basketball at the next level is a real possibility they could accomplish.
“I wanted them to get exposure and experience other things,” said Evans. “I also wanted them to not only see a WNBA game but also see how these professional athletes carry themselves. How they play, train, take care of their bodies, how hard they work. I think it really opened their eyes and will help them this season because they see what it takes to be great.”
Something that really opened Evans’ eyes, along with the team, is the rigorous training program that Burke took the players through. The team trained for almost two hours and not only learned physical drills, but mental skills to help them better understand the game of basketball.
Attention to detail and positivity are two big takeaways the team had from training with Burke.
“I would say attention to detail and always staying positive and sticking to the process were the biggest things that Burke and the players tried to instill in our girls,” said Evans. “Don’t let one mistake turn into a flurry of mistakes. Teams go on runs and mentally you have to be ready for that and respond to that.”
After seeing his team go through the tough training, Evans knows that his girls can handle long practices and conditioning and knows that it will help them especially later in the season.
Evans also hopes to make experiences like this a tradition for the BHS girls basketball program and also plans on providing even more experiences like going to college games and Clinics for his players.
Practice has already begun for the Lady Cats basketball team as they prepare to open their season come November.