- School District of Beloit
BMHS Girls Basketball Team putting in the work to improve in the off-season
BELOIT—Dilonna Johnson has every intent of growing the girls varsity basketball program at Beloit Memorial High School and to do that she recognizes that first and foremost her young players need a lot more court time.
They’ll have the opportunity for a steady dose this summer.
In addition to playing in a sweat league at Harlem High School on Thursdays, volunteer instructor Andre Fair is helping out the Purple Knights by holding workouts for girls in grades 8-12 all June on Mondays and Tuesdays, from 2-4 p.m. at the Barkin Arena.
“The biggest reason we’re doing this is to give the kids as many opportunities as possible to be in the gym,” Johnson said. “We also have kids going to a Whitewater camp and we’ll have our own Beloit Basketball Academy for younger kids later in the summer. I want our girls to have as many opportunities to grow on the court as possible. The only way they’re going to get better is to have game-like experiences on the court.”
Johnson said she appreciates Fair stepping up to supervise the Monday and Tuesday workouts. They are just what the word indicates. A real workout as the hustling girls stress staying in good physical condition while trying to play basketball with the right offensive and defensive concepts Johnson stressed just a few short months ago. They’re looking to make good passes, good reads and play good defense. The basics.
“Andre is a volunteer from the community who is helping me out so I don’t have to use my allotted contact days,” Johnson said. “I guess you could call this skills and drills because they do a lot of both.
“Then the actual scrimmaging comes on Thursday.”
The Knights showed progress last season, finishing 7-15 overall and 6-11 in the Big Eight Conference. But they graduated three of that team’s mainstays: Tajah Randall, Bre’nazjah Davis and Mandi Franks.
“We lost around 30 points a game within those three,” Johnson said. “I’ve been drumming that fact to the girls. We’re going to need to make up those points as well as the defense they gave us. We have to figure out who can do that for us.”
Johnson said there’s plenty of time to improve this summer, but building a winning program takes time. Continuity in coaches helps and Johnson says she’s here for the long haul.
“I love Beloit,” she said. “I love the community, the kids and basketball. The fact I am here is a blessing. I am so honored to have the opportunity to help these kids grow. One of my biggest goals is to make it possible for some of these kids to be able to attend college for free on scholarship.”
• THE BELOIT GIRLS BASKETBALL ACADEMY will be held at Beloit Memorial Aug. 1-3. There will be two sessions. The Beginners/Intermediates (entering 3rd-6th) will be held 4:30-5:30 p.m. The Advanced group (entering 5-8th) will be held 6-8 p.m
More information is available on the Beloit Memorial Girls Basketball Facebook page or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.