GOOD HOPE, Ala. — The Good Hope Lady Raiders put together another historic season last year, going 31-4 and making yet another trip to the Elite Eight. Sophomore Lexi Collins was a part of those back-to-back trips to the Elite Eight and feels blessed to have been part of that amazing experience over the last couple years.
“For me, the experience has been very exciting, and I have been very blessed to get to learn from some very good coaches, players, and leaders. For all of us, it has been exciting, but we expect to go further, and we are looking forward to making more progress,” she said. “Throughout my time being part of the team, I learned how to become a good teammate, especially from the bench, being encouraging, observant, and really taking the experience in. I have also learned how to overcome struggles in my game. The speed and level of the game was something I’ve been spending the past years working on.”
Lexi soaked up so much from seniors Kyndall Seal, Desire Odachowski and Renee McLeod last season. The Lady Raiders will have a lot of experience coming back this year with hopes of making yet another deep run in the postseason.
“I really enjoyed getting to play with Kyndall, Desire, and Renee. We are going to miss them a lot. Kyndall brought lock-down defense to the team. Desire was a huge outside shooter for us. Renee’s post presence came in clutch for us. I learned to value your friendships on the court because they were all close friends,” she said. “With the team being so young for so many seasons, we know what it takes to continue to make progress. Our experience has given us the opportunity to play some tough competition that makes us better.”
Lexi has learned a lot from coaches Justin Aby, Natasha Holder and Good Hope’s new addition to the coaching staff, former Lady Raiders standout Nina Moss.
“Coach Aby has been extremely encouraging to me and he always takes the extra time to look at film and break down the game for us. Coach Moss has been a great knowledgeable addition to the team. She brings lots of energy to the team and she takes the time to focus on our skills and gives us tips on how to improve our skill level. Coach Holder always makes sure that we have everything we need. I’ve learned how supportive a coach can be and how much of a difference it makes.”
Lexi has taken away so much from the upperclassmen before her and she’s been working on a lot this summer to improve her game as much as she can before the season begins.
“I have learned that it takes hard work and dedication to be the best version of yourself for the team. I have also learned that they are all just as good off the court as they are on the court. They are good in the classroom and just genuinely good people that I enjoy being around,” she said. “I have been working on my strength so that I can play stronger and faster. My goal is to be able to make a bigger impact for the team and our main team goal is to go to state.”
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