The Lady Aggie Basketball team had a great season capping it off with winning the Mid Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) tournament.
The aggies finished the season with a record of 14-3 and were led by seniors Deja Winters, Jayla Jones-Pack, and junior Jasmen Walton. I had the great opportunity to interview all of these athletes and get their perspective on how the season went.
Winters finished off her senior season with 14.1 points per game and a game winning three against Howard university to win the MEAC title. Winters shot 39 percent from the field and 34 percent from behind the arc.
Winters believes that last second, contested three that she took in the corner is a shot she would take any day of the week.
“I was definitely confident in taking that shot. I feel like that’s a shot I would’ve taken during any other game really and they can probably agree to that,” Winters said.
This season was no cake walk either. Not only did the competition get better, trying to stay safe and clean during a pandemic made things even harder.
Jones thinks this was one of the harder seasons she’s ever played in due to the impact of COVID-19.
“It was very different because this season we had to test during the NCAA tournament every day and during the regular season we had to test three times a week. That in itself was a lot with COVID protocols, we just had to be very careful this season. Last season we didn’t have these problems, so it was really different and difficult,” Jones said.
There was a key difference between last year’s team and the MEAC championship team, that being their mentality. Walton knew the team had a good chance at making a deep run this year because of their focusness.
“The focus because during the summer we got together a lot, we did run-ins and pick-ups. I felt like we were all in,” Walton said.
The lady aggies made it to the NCAA Tournament and was astonished to see the lack of resources they received compared to the men’s teams. The women had an inferior weight room and lower quality food to eat while in the bubble.
Jones spoke out about how the NCAA can do better on increasing women equality in the sport.
“The NCAA can help just by caring because I feel like women’s basketball is looked at as if we are not as equal as the men. I feel like that’s been a problem for years now and it starts with them. Don’t look at us as beneath men, period,” Jones said.
As soon as the NCAA got backlash for the lack of resources that the Women’s Basketball teams received, they immediately made the weight room and food better for the athletes use. Winters believed if they could change it so fast, they should’ve done that in the first place.
“They had given us a weight room right after all of that blew up on the internet, I feel like that is something that should’ve been done off top. Just as they were quick enough to change that, they should’ve done that from the beginning,” Winters said.
Both seniors Jones and Winters do not know how, but they both see basketball in their future. They believe their Aggie experience went by fast and they want their underclassmen teammates to enjoy their time while they can.
Jones has one last thing she wants to say to Aggie Nation.
“Support Women’s Basketball because we are like that. I just want us to continue to get the respect that we deserve.”