GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y. – In four years, the Foothills Lady Heat AAU basketball team has turned from a team that’s struggled to win to one playing for a possible national championship.
“We weren’t very good when we started,” Coach Mike Philo said. “First year, we played in six tournaments, and we only won give games.”
But this group of girls, who were in fourth and fifth grade at the time, kept coming back to practice even when the ball didn’t bounce their way.
“Practice makes perfect,” guard Gabby Langley said. “Practicing all the time and coach criticizing us on what we do right and wrong got us to where we are today.”
The team is now practicing for the Grade 8 AAU National Championships.
“It’s the best news ever being able to play in Florida against the best,” guard Sydney Sheldon said. “It’s just amazing.”
The Lady Heat have this opportunity because they improved every year they’ve been together, and now all their head coach asks is that they take advantage of the opportunity.
“They’ve got to respect what they’ve done,” Philo said. “They have to understand what they’ve achieved. They are going to get the opportunity to play against the best players in the country. That’s an honor. That’s a great thing. Get better from it, learn from it. Don’t be nervous about it. Go out there and see what the best players got and go after it.”
The national championships will take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando from July 7-12.