The summer has proven to be a good opportunity for Whitney Walker.
The time has given Walker, the new Jay High School Girls Basketball head coach, a chance to become acquainted with her team.
“I am very excited to have the opportunity to coach the high school girls basketball team,” said Walker.
Walker, who has previously been an assistant on the girl’s team, is also excited about the help she will receive on the bench.
“I am glad to have Warren Kirk as my assistant,” said Walker.
Walker played basketball at Jay when she was in junior high and high school, while Kirk served as a junior high boys and assistant high boys coach.
"I know what it is like to play in Bulldog Arena and to wear that uniform,” said Walker.
Walker said her team has worked hard this summer preparing for the season.
“Our girls have been attending summer pride at the field house Monday to Thursday all summer where we work them out on weights, speed and agility," Walker said. "We have also had open gym following their workout at the field house."
To build team character, Walker has taken her team to some tough places to gain experience in scrimmage and to foster team unity.
“We attended two team camps and a round robin," Walker said. "We went to Adair and Lincoln Christian team camp as well as to Owasso were they had a round robin type format."
Walker is happy with what she saw on the court this summer.
“So far the girls have impressed me with their hard work and willingness to jump right into what have asked of them to do," Walker said. "We are going to be small this year, so playing good, smart defense, being quick and creating good shots for ourselves will be key.
"I think after our time together this summer the girls know our expectations, outwork everyone at every aspect of the game."
Walker said her team improved during the summer, as they faced other teams. She believes it has set them to start the season on a good note.
“I think they gained some confidence and have had fun this summer,” said Walker.
Walker has a number of experienced players coming back that will provide leadership on the team.
“We have several returning players this year, one being senior Callie Callihan. She will definitely be a key player in our game," Walker said. "We are also excited to get senior Jade Frazier back onto the court following an injury last season.
"We have several others that will be stepping up. I am really excited for people to see how much they have grown as players since last season."
With the program now in the off-season, Walker is ready to begin practice October, to see the season play began to unfold.
“I am looking forward to a fun and successful season with this group,” said Walker.