Updated: Jun 18
Another day..... and another day LGR was in the gym watching some girls basketball! I took the trip to Hammond, LA to watch the 2024 Lady Shockaz team as they try to get ready to travel to Texas in a little over a week! It was great to be back in the gym after this three month break and it was awesome to see girls from as far as Lake Charles traveling to practice.
Coach Colin Odinet leads the Lady Shockaz program and seeing him in action at this practice he doesn't get enough credit for the time, energy and passion he puts into his girls teams. His 2024 team will be going into high school next year and while some would say he is "tough" on those girls its exactly what they need to be ready for that next level. The combination of basketball knowledge and tough love all of his girls will be ready for high school basketball next year and I'm looking forward to seeing them all compete! We caught up with coach with a quick Q&A talking about the new look of basketball:
What are some of the challenges you have faced with Covid-19 and what does the new normal look like for summer AAU this year?
There has been many challenges this season, due to Covid-19. First, we started with many new girls in all of our age groups. We do a ton of teaching, so for most, it’s hard to adapt to a new system; verbiage, philosophy, structured offense, defense, all transition parts of the game. When our players started to understand our basics, we were shut down. We stayed in contact, done some zoom training, which was challenging. We also lost several kids due to the caution of Covid-19. Once we picked back up it was like starting over. One thing I can say about our organization is, our staff and players have always been resilient.
How hard has it been to find games/gyms to practice in and where all do you plan on playing tournaments?
Facilities were, and continue to be, an issue. We starting practicing at a private outdoor facility, but have recently been back in a gym, with restrictions. Finding games hasn’t been a big issue. We have found some out of state tournaments and we will host a couple tournaments. Coach Eric with Hornets tournaments will also host a few local tournaments we will attend.
How long has the Lady Shockaz program been around and why is this program important to you?
The Shockaz Organization has been around since 2001. Established by Chris Reed and Tina Roper for both boys and girls. Chris and I were good friends, and he allowed me to take over the girls program in 2015. This program means a lot to me, my family, and our staff. We put in a ton of effort, blood, sweat, and tears into our organization. We believe in being more than basketball, and our organization is very active in our community. We do many charity events, including Christmas and Easter. We are so gracious for our staff, players, and loyal parents.
What are things that can take OUR game, Louisiana girls basketball to another level?
One word, teach! Teach the game, structured offenses and defenses, fundamentals, and discipline. We have a ton of athletes in Louisiana that are physically gifted. Many teams are put together to “out-athlete” teams. This may work when we play locally, but when we travel to big, elite tournaments, teams are more mentally developed, more fundamental and mostly, more disciplined.
What excites you most about your team this summer?
The challenge! The challenge of, basically, a new team with a new system and watching them grow. The challenge of overcoming Covid-19, the layoff, the lack of gyms, the loss of players. It’s an exciting new and I look forward to the CHALLENGE.
I would also like to thank Kris Goff for giving his time to come to our practice and giving our players and organization an interest.
Who stood out:
(No five on five so this was tough)
Vivian Sketoe / Lake Arthur / 2024 / PG
Starting for her high school team last year and helping them to the Top 28 is no surprise Vivian's game stood out. You can't hind the experience she gained playing at that level has helped slow down the game once she gets back with girls the same age. She was constantly passing her teammates open even when it seemed they were guarded..... or not looking until the ball landed in their hands.
Indeara Hebert / LCA / 2024 / G-F
While coach was on her coaching her hard she kept coming back. She's got a natural feel for the game and she's versatile with post moves as well as a perimeter skill set. Like Vivian it'll be fun to watch how much she develops after a year of playing at the high school level.
Length & More Length
Combined these three and Indeara the Lady Shockaz could have a lot of length, size and versatility on the court at one time!
Ava Shields / Loranger / 2024 / G - Shooter
Amaya Evens / St. Amant / 2024 / F - Athletic forward
Eve Alexander / LCA / 2024 / F - Promising Big
Hannah Mouton / Acadiana / 2024 / G
Adjusting to a new team and a new system might take some time but the Lady Shockaz are going to count on Hannah to be Vivian's running mate in the back court this summer! She has the ability to break down defenders in a one on one setting and she displayed her range.