App State women’s basketball team beat North Texas (76-59) last night in Boone to win the WBI Championship.
Coach Angel Elderkin forced her App State women’s basketball team to watch a champion celebrate with the time-honored tradition of cutting down the nets – last year. Then, she made her players practice the action in the spring and summer.
Last season became one marred by injury. Appalachian won only eight games in 2017-18 and lost Madi Story to an ACL injury before it even started. No game was worse, according to Elderkin, than when App State played at Little Rock on Feb. 24, 2018. The Mountaineers got drubbed, 61-35.
That win gave the Trojans the regular season Sun Belt Conference title. Elderkin made her team watch the celebration as opposed to hiding in the visitors locker room. It turned out to be a grueling experience.
“They were really hurt, and they were really angry,” Elderkin said. “And I just told them, ‘That’s my vision for my program.’
“And so I didn’t do it to hurt them, I did it to let them know exactly what we wanted to do someday.”
What followed was a spring and summer of competition within the team. Breaking the players up into 3-on-3 battles, the victors cut down nylon in the Holmes Center. Elderkin made it important to win every day.
“It was like a focus thing, like a vision thing. If we can see these nets in our hands, then when we can actually do it.”
Check out how the APP State team envisioned themselves cutting down the nets as victors: nalnow.com/sports/college/asu/app-state-claims-the-wbi-tournament-champions-turning-its-net/article_594d1627-1b37-5e76-8d45-1e6cb80da012.html
NOTE: In 2016, ASU head coach Angel Elderkin was diagnosed with Stage 3 Endometrial Cancer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egnn9JWo9xk
Her diagnosis was uncommon for someone her age (39). She originally went in for surgery to remove a cyst and came out having undergone a full hysterectomy. She then underwent radiation treatments and chemotherapy at the UNC Comprehensive Cancer Center, thanks to North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell.
VERSE: “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD” Psalm 150
QUOTE: “A person who loves his job, will never work a day in his life.”
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