Raiders girls’ basketball ready for a challenge at WLHS

By Kathryn Elliott - ReminderNews
Windsor Locks - posted Mon., Jan. 9, 2012
In her fourth season with the Raiders, girls' basketball captain Nikki LaPierre leads the team's Ubuntu battle cry. Photos by Kathryn Elliott.
In her fourth season with the Raiders, girls' basketball captain Nikki LaPierre leads the team's Ubuntu battle cry. Photos by Kathryn Elliott.

There is far more to this year’s Windsor Locks girls’ basketball team than a box score can tell. With a record of 4-3 as of press time, the team’s returning talent and fresh faces bring the necessary components for the win, but what makes this year’s squad special is the Ubuntu philosophy coach Douglas Knowe implemented the first week of practice.

Ubuntu, believed by some to be of African origin, is the belief that a person is open, affirming and available to others, and that he or she belongs in a greater whole. Adhered to by revered leaders such as Archbishop Desmund Tutu and Nelson Mandela, the Raiders put Ubuntu into practice with each new tip-off.

“The team believes in Ubuntu - I am who I am because of who we are as a group,” Knowe said. “We made it our rallying cry for the season. The girls understand that it isn’t how we start the season, it is how we finish, and because of that, we believe we will reach our long-term goal of playing our best basketball in late February, early March.”

Coming off a 15-10 2011 season with a Class S semifinal finish, the Raiders are poised for another run at the tournament. “Our plan is to get better every day as individuals and as a team and be ready for a good run in the post season this year,” the coach said.

With critical support from assistant coaches Laura Stalgaitis, Jeremy Giard and Brian Sullivan, Knowe looks to his captains to set the pace on and off the court. “My three captains - Maggie Sayers, Mariah Brown and Nikki LaPierre - are doing a nice job leading both vocally and by example.”

“The NCCC is such a tough league that on any given night, a team can upset another,” Knowe commented on the upcoming schedule. “Ellington is a great team and will give us trouble. Suffield is going to be very tough, and Granby is tremendous at playing at a high level every night.”

A full schedule can be found at www.casciac.org.


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