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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Women’s basketball players talk importance of having supportive coaches

Kristy Mace
The Wichita State women’s basketball team huddles together before the start of their Wednesday night match against Missouri Southern State University on Nov. 1.

For women’s basketball players and coaches at Wichita State, their relationships transcend basketball and turn into a support system. With Wichita State women’s basketball, they make it happen through close relationships.

“My relationship with the coaches is cracking jokes,” senior Aniya Bell said. “When it is time to lock in and be serious, they make sure that I am.”

The Washington, D.C., native touched on the impact of having supportive coaches.

“I feel like they just always been there for me when I needed somebody to talk to,” Bell said. “I’m so far away from home, and they (have) been that listening ear.”

There are four coaches for Wichita State’s women’s basketball: head coach Terry Nooner, assistant coaches Nick Bradford, Antwain Scales and Brooke Costley. Costley is the only woman on the coaching staff. 

“I don’t think we have any barriers (with) only having coach Brooke on our staff,” senior DJ McCarty said. “We can go to her if we need something, like female advice, but I think we also have that with our male coaches.”

Atypical women’s basketball practice begins with stretching. They also do position work, rebounding drills and defensive drills against the men’s basketball team. The coaches mostly work on defense in practices due to the emphasis on defensive strategy this season. 

“Every coach takes the time to teach us things if we mess up,” senior Jeniah Thompson said. “They take the time to walk us through and show us how to do it better.”

Coachability is a necessary trait according to the team. Coaches don’t teach coachability — athletes learn that over time.

The team saw this play out in their first game of the 2023-2024 season against Missouri Southern State University last week. After being down in the first half, the team came back with a win, 75-65. 

Nooner said the teams’ capability to take criticism led to their success. 

“They take the time to tell us something, and we listen,” Thompson said. “It doesn’t just go in one ear and out the other; we take the time to take in what they say and apply it on the court.”

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About the Contributors
Cheyanne Tull, Reporter
Cheyanne Tull is a first year reporter, photographer and illustrator for The Sunflower. Tull is double majoring in graphic design and journalism & media production. She hopes to work for outdoor publications in the future combining creativity, nature, and rock climbing. Tull uses she/her pronouns.
Kristy Mace, Photo Editor
Kristy Mace is the photo editor for The Sunflower. She's majoring in psychology. Currently a junior, Mace hopes to go on to get her Ph.D. and become a neuropsychologist. She also plays for Wichita State's bowling team and does professional photography aside from The Sunflower.

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