Women's basketball coach reflects on first year, looks forward to next season

03.27.2014 | By Rob Vanya

San Jacinto College’s Women’s Basketball Head Coach Brenita Williams-Jackson is proud of the way the team toughed it out despite setbacks and obstacles through the 2013-2014 season. Photo credit: Rob Vanya, San Jacinto College marketing, public relations, and government affairs department.

Howard named All-American Honorable Mention

Rob Vanya, March 27, 2014

The 2013-2014 season was disappointing for the San Jacinto College women’s basketball team. Yet, first-year Head Coach Brenita Williams-Jackson is proud of the way the team toughed it out despite setbacks and obstacles.

“Our record of 3-27 was a hard pill swallow, but given the circumstances our kids played to the best of their abilities,” she commented. “We lost key players due to season-ending injuries, and lost a few others for academic reasons. Consequently, we really had only six steady players for much of the season.”

The team’s three victories were solid wins. On Nov. 15, San Jac beat Victoria College 95-53; on Dec. 21 the team beat Texas Storm 121-85; and on Jan. 15 they beat Panola College (on the road) 96-88.

The coach saw good signs in those victories. “We talked repeatedly about not giving up and fighting through adversity,” she remarked. “The players did just that in the games we won, and in very close games against Jacksonville, Paris and Angelina. We now have standards in place and high expectations that will benefit the team in the future and hopefully will help us to win more games next season.”

A bright spot in the season was the solid overall performance of freshman guard Kendra Howard (Dallas / Cedar Hill High School), who was named to the Region XIV all-region and all-conference teams. She also earned an Honorable Mention recognition on the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-America team. Howard led the team in scoring at 18.8 points per game, a mark that ranked 16th in the country. She shot 37.1 percent from the field, and 33.1 percent from 3-point range. She was second on the team in assists per game at 4.0.

“Kendra stepped up when we needed her most and started playing beyond even her own expectations,” said Williams-Jackson. “It is nice to see Kendra recognized, because she deserves it.”

During the off-season, the team will work to improve three key areas – defense, rebounding, and ball handling. “As the players become more aware of their production, they can become more accountable,” Williams-Jackson said. “It is a gradual process, and results are not always seen right away. It takes time to build a program.”

Williams-Jackson is pleased with how players have served, and continue to serve, as positive ambassadors for the College, through such volunteer efforts as visiting patients at the Texas Children’s Hospital, and serving at the Houston Food Bank. “We’ve been working diligently to build relationships on campus and in the local community,” she commented. “Lajeah Rice (freshman guard, Converse / Judson High School) leads New Student Orientation presentations and Sarah Davis (freshman guard, Porter / Porter High School) serves as an officer for the Ladies of Integrity student mentoring program. These experiences will benefit these young ladies beyond basketball because they are learning to be leaders, to give back to the community, and to strive for excellence in all areas of life.”

For more information about the women’s basketball program, please visit www.sanjacsports.com.

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College. For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, visit www.sanjac.edu, or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SanJacintoCollege.