With 18 years of college basketball coaching experience, first-year head coach David Lowery looks to bolster the reputation of FSCJ's women's basketball in Jacksonville.
"We don't have the presence in the basketball community that we should. I didn't know we had a team at FSCJ before I looked into it," Lowery said. "That jumped out to me most, we have to change this." His time as associate head coach at the University of North Florida (2015-18) and assistant coach at the University of Florida, has taught coach 'D-Low' the value of team building. "Throughout my 18 years of coaching, I have learned the mentality of wanting to recruit the best and to never settle for the status quo," said Lowery.
The BlueWave's Valicia Demeritte is the only returning player from the previous season. "She's the most experienced on our team; she averaged six points and four rebounds per game," said Lowery. "She was here all summer and I was able to do one-on-one workouts with her. Valicia will be a great transition player and unique rebounder for us."
There's a new band of talent for FSCJ with six sophomores (five transfers) joining the team. According to Lowery, Indian River State College transfer Joseline Ramos leads the pack. "Joseline Ramos is the most aggressive from a scorer's perspective on our team," Lowery said. He expects Kayla Bell, Danika Hamilton, Asia Harden and Aasiya Berry to contribute to the defensive element of the team's game plan this year. "Kayla Bell pushes the tempo and is a tenacious defender," stated Lowery. "Danika Hamilton is a lockdown defender and led Daytona State College in three-point percentage last season. Asia Harden creates off-the-ball screen action and Aasiya Berry's size and strength dominates the block, while having range outside."
In addition to the five transfers, the BlueWave welcomes eight freshmen, all of whom, Lowery is excited to work with. Each of the freshmen offer unique skillsets. Overseas player from the Netherlands, Rosa Vreugd, can switch positions, and twins Rhy'Kerria and Tykedra Rolland offer the threat of scoring from the behind the arc. "Point guard Bryana Henderson has the ability to run the team with toughness and tenaciousness, and Jayde Johnson is a military kid and a southpaw who works her butt off, plays to a high level and can attack the rim," said Lowery. He is also excited for center Eleighseea Rasmussen who was coached by WNBA legend Sophia Witherspoon and Potter's House graduate, Victoria Smalls, who can shoot three-pointers as well. He also plans on Mataea Boyd providing quickness on defense.
Lowery anticipates to have mixed emotions before his first game as a head coach. "It's an opportunity that I've been wanting for 18 years and I have high expectations of myself and the team."
The BlueWave will open up their season on the road this Friday as they travel to Indian River State College in Fort Pierce. There they will compete in the Indian River Tip Off Classic where they will face the host team Indian River at 6:00 p.m. Friday before playing Palm Beach State College the following day at 2:00 p.m.
FSCJ will host Hillsborough Community College for their first home game Wednesday November 6th at 6:00 p.m.
To keep up with the BlueWave women's basketball program you can find their schedule, roster, up-to-date scores and latest articles at http://www.gobluewave.com/sports/wbkb/index . They can also be followed on twitter at @FSCJWBB