Wichita MAYB boys basketball team wins national tournament led by two female coaches
WICHITA, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - As the MAYB nationals returned back to Wichita this past week, teams from across the country came to compete, including a few from right here in Wichita. As the 11th/12th grade division team TKO came together from their respective high schools to be teammates for the summer, they found success at the right time.
The team of area players finished 8-0 in Division II of the tournament, coming away with the championship trophy like so many teams have before them.
The difference between this year’s winner and past winners: The gender of the coaches on the sidelines.
“We’re not no rudy poots,” said TKO coach Lavonda McCabe. “Just because we’re female doesn’t mean we don’t know the game.”
Coaches Naria Hall and Lavonda McCabe, or Coach LA, lead the full female coaching staff of team TKO, something that has been the case for years throughout the team’s upbringing.
“For them to respect us and value us and our say so is just very special for us,” Hall said.
“They don’t get the male who has an ego saying ‘You’re going to do it this way and that’s the way it is,” said TKO’s basketball mentor Dane McDonald. “She has conversations with these guys.”
Don’t get it wrong McCabe and Hall aren’t on the sidelines just for show. Their team of Wichita High School stars not only respect the women leading the charge, but are wise to listen to them as well.
“We get a lot of questions like, ‘Do they respect you? Do they listen to you? How do you guys deal with attitudes? How assertive are you?’” Hall said. “You know, our answer is pretty much always the same: We just love and care for them equally. . . You kind of just have to deal with them in a way that they can respond to and they usually respond really well to us.”
“I don’t really look at it any different,” said North High School and TKO guard Jacob Wassall. “It’s just another coach. You’ve just got to see it the same way. They get on you just the same way, so nothing’s different really.”
Now the relationships the women have built with their players over the years is now turning into success.
“The other coaches will get mad that they’re getting beat by a girl coach,” East High School and TKO guard Marcus White said. “They’re probably jealous and everything, but you know, they come out here and put the work in with us like we put the work in with them.”
“The game doesn’t change,” McCabe said. “The rules don’t change. If you listen to what we tell you to do and play hard, you can be successful.”
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