How do you top a third-straight state championship?
Easy, members of the 2011-12 girls basketball team say: win a national title.
The this season, and they're all eying national hardware. All eight have received scholarships to play Division I basketball next season.
“I think it shows that we put in a lot of hard work and dedication and it paid off in the long-run,” senior guard/forward DaLacy Anderson said.
During head coach Anthony Smith’s 11-year tenure, this class tops his 2006-07 senior class, which had six girls receiving DI scholarships.
Keeping track of eight could-be college standouts could pose difficult for many, but Smith said his girls are coachable.
“It’s pretty easy,” Smith said. “We have a job to do. Whichever five are doing their job properly at the right time going as hard as possible, those are the ones who are going to play.”
Smith said he isn't worried about losing , who graduated last year and now plays for the University of Tennessee.
Smith said expectations are business as usual for the seniors.
“I expect them to lead by their actions,” Smith said. “I don’t need eight different people who are talking, but I need eight different people working hard. I want my seniors to lead by example, working hard, playing hard, diving for balls, taking charges. I want them leading by doing the small things.”
Anderson, who has played on the varsity squad since her freshman year wants to provide that leadership.
“Most of us have been together for two or three years because we’ve had some transfers come in,” Anderson said. “I could definitely bring some length and versatility to the team. Definitely, working together as a team and working hard and giving it my all.”
The Lady Raiders finished last season 29-2, placing second nationally and winning their . Their only losses were to nationally ranked teams and from California.
Bolingbrook has placed in the national top-five for the last four seasons and have never won a national championship.
“Right now, we want to win every game,” Williams said. “We’re working on getting our defense together, and our goal is too dominant games and put them away at the get go.”
The seniors are also setting goals for personal improvement.
“Personally, I want to finish around the hoop, catching the ball, making sure I’m rebounding strong and being the big man,” said Williams, who plays forward.
“I definitely want to step up because this is my senior year, to help contribute to the team and go out there and work hard,” Anderson said.