Girls’ Basketball Builds Character, Combats Tough Season


After traveling an hour to Fayetteville, the Lady Raiders stepped onto the basketball court to take on the Ramay Redwolves. They navigated through Ramay’s defense, allowing Derieona Johnson to shoot a 3 pointer. Her teammates stood up screaming as the scoreboard lit up.

Coach Curry and Assistant Coach Norwood expected the ladies to lead and represent Kimmons, make good grades and decisions, and uplift other players. To build their athletes’ characters, they taught their athletes to be respectful, courageous, competitive, and coachable.

“I pushed them out of their comfort zones and gave them pep talks to never give up,” Coach Curry said.

For Kha’Madri Goodwin, learning new plays, and building team chemistry presented the biggest challenge.

“We had to work through disagreements and take losses,” Kha’Madri said.

The intense conditioning and people not having much faith in the team was challenging for team co-captain Blaiklea Young.

“Getting along and communicating made building team chemistry difficult,” Blaiklea said.

Remembering all of the plays was the hardest part for Audrina Phoumivong.

“People getting in minor disagreements caused team chemistry to be hard,” Audrina said. “Plus, being tired made it hard to focus on new plays.”

Jameriah Releford cited Saturday practices and the running as challenging.

“The practices did make us tough,” Jameriah said.

Dealing with some people looking down on the team was hard for Kaylee Khantharinh.

“We still ended the season strong,” Kaylee said.

Aside from the challenges, the Lady Raiders found reasons to celebrate. To savor their victories, the girls played against Coach Curry and Coach Norwood, did rebound drills against each other, and sang and laughed much more on the bus ride home.

“It made us have so many amazing victories,” Blaiklea said.

The girls hyped each other up on the bus.

“It really created a bond and felt comfortable,” Kaylee said.

The girls enjoyed winning.

“Celebrating helped us because we knew we could accomplish more,” Jameriah said.

Leah Facio liked celebrating victories with little parties, congratulating each other, and cheering teammates up.

“We made sure no one had her head down,” Leah said.

The ladies had several favorite memories, including going to the weight room and squatting with teammates and coaches.

“We made Coach Curry laugh with Kha’Madri Goodwin’s song: ‘Ramsey Rams! Kimmons Raiders! Chaffin Cougars! Darby Rangers! YEAH!’” Deriona Johnson, team co-captain, said. “It made practice go by faster and easier.”

Audrina liked when everyone decorated cookies for Christmas.

“Everybody was getting along and were happy,” Audrina said.

Jameriah also enjoyed the Christmas party.

“It made our team stronger,” Jameriah said.

Eating pizza and making TikTok videos at school before a tournament is Kaylee’s favorite memory.

“We got a win after that,” Kaylee said.

Zalika Edwards delighted in playing musical chairs.

“The game incorporated basketball into it, which made it fun, but at the same time, we were practicing and putting in some work,” Zalika said.

Leah appreciated getting to make new friends.

“Plus, we got to have an amazing coach who helped us out a lot,” Leah said.

Coach Curry will never forget the excitement at Southwest after winning. She also enjoyed playing for a home crowd.

“The best thing is seeing the crowd supporting the Lady Raiders and knowing they love the girls and are there to support them,” Coach Curry said.