Another year of excitement comes from University Heights Academy girls’ basketball coach Derrick Hickman but there is also a recurring area of concern for him and the Lady Blazers.
UHA returns a majority of its production from a year ago but a lack of overall numbers could provide some issues ahead for the Lady Blazers.
Despite that, Hickman is excited and happy with what he has seen so far from his team.
“We’re limited but we’ve got some girls that are working hard,” Hickman said. “We’ve been coming in, working hard and trying to stay competitive and stay focused. The good thing about having less numbers is you have more time to work individually with them but it is a problem. At the end of the year we always make it happen. If you notice the last couple years come district time we’re ready to fight.”
The Lady Blazers have multiple seniors on the squad to bring a veteran presence to the floor but UHA will be relying on freshman Alecia Davis, who has the most minutes played on the team in the last two seasons as a middle schooler on the team.
Davis averaged 10.3 points per game last season to lead the Lady Blazers. Now officially in high school, Hichman is hoping for a lot from his talented freshman.
“She’s a basketball player,” he said. “I depend a lot on her. The last two years she played a lot of minutes and she has matured a lot. As a freshman she still isn’t as vocal as I want her to be. I want her to be a leader. She sees people not being where they need to be.
“She has worked on her game so much. She works hard and she’s going to pack us as far as we can go.”
But Hickman said he will need to find time for Davis and his other starters to get some rest throughout the game.
With numbers being low, that, as well as limiting fouls amongst his rotation players is a must.
He sadi getting his players in shape will be key in limiting fouls as well.
“We talk about it all the time,” he said. “Once they get tired they start reaching and doing what they’re not supposed to.
“We’re going to condition in our games. We’ll get in better shape down the line. If you come into practice and wear them out they’ll be tired in the games because we don’t have the numbers. Each game we’ll get into better shape.”
Hickman said he is ready to get things rolling next week and said he is hopeful a run at a n Eighth DIstrict Championship is coming.
“Don’t count us out,” he said. “They’re going to work hard and do what they’re supposed to do. They’re going to be where they’re supposed to be and do the right thing, we just need to get into shape. I think we’re going to make a run.”