The Franklin Basketball Club (FBC Defenders) would like to thank all who participated and supported our “Defenders @Liberty Game” event! The day was filled with tons of fun filled activities as players and parents were treated to a highly competitive inter program scrimmage game on the garden floor! With Coaches Stone and Donza as the officials for the day, (yeah and they also served as #benchcoach, #towelboy, #waterboy, and concession stand vendor…smile), players were able to go onto the MSG NY Liberty court and play a game! As you can see from the smiles on their faces the players were treated to an experience that will last a lifetime. After the inter-program scrimmage, the players and their families ventured out into Manhattan for a few hours to see the sights and grab a delicious NYC style meal. Once the meal was done everyone met back at MSG in order to get the VIP access to the pre-game shoot-a-round. There they were able to sit court side and see the NY Liberty and LA Sparks players go through their pregame drills and warm-ups. They learned that many of the drills that the pro players were doing were the same as the ones they themselves are currently doing. Of course the coaching staff was quick to point out that the pro players have been doing these things since they was young girls. Message, you must commit yourself to the work if you want to be a great player someday. Finally, after the pre-game shoot-a-round the players and parents got to see a very exciting game that ended in an overtime victory for the LA Sparks and former NY Liberty/Rutgers University standout Essence Carson. Thanks again to everyone who helped to make this day possible for the program and its players.
FUN DAY WITH THE FBC DEFENDERS & NY LIBERTY!
FBC Defenders Alum Jackie Rodriguez and current William Patterson University Guard was named to the All-NJAC Honorable Mention. Jackie played her high school ball at Sayreville War Memorial High School where she scored well over 1,000 points in her career! The sharp shooting guard enjoyed a fantastic 2016 season and has already begun working on getting better for next season. Congratulations Jackie! We are ALL so very proud of you!
As I reflect on your journey, it has been a pleasure, to have had the opportunity, to watch you grow as person, and player. From the time you were in fifth grade, and wanted to start playing, the game, of basketball. From that shy kid, you were back then, to the laid back, reserved kid, you are now. I remember the day you turned to me, and said,” Daddy, why do people have to come, and watch us play.” I remember you, outside in the driveway, shooting baskets, for hours, until the sun went down. Me yelling out the window, for you to come inside, you can’t make baskets in the dark. Or you going out to the street, to practice your half court shots and I would yell “Girl get out of them streets!!” You’ve always been so passionate, about getting better, and being the best you could be.
When I use to take you to the park, to work out with your older sister, and other older kids, I remember you crying, because you couldn’t make a left hand lay-up. I would say to myself, this is going to be long journey, for this kid. Yes it has been a long journey, but a worthwhile trip, but it has come quickly. I remember calling a good friend of mine, when you were in sixth grade to ask him, did he know of any girls teams for your age group. And he said to me. “Coach what better coach to find for your daughter to coach her than you. “ “There’s enough girls, around town, for you to form a team, for this age group.”
From that point on, to now, it’s been nothing but growth, from out of you. Out of all of the years, I’ve been coaching; I can only remember a couple of players that have what I call the “IT FACTOR.” That,” IT FACTOR” is that drive, and determination, that puts that person, on another level whatever they’re, trying to accomplish!! You had the “IT ‘’ on top of the “IT FACTOR”, almost like a perfectionist. I remember you getting upset, about not being able to do drills, for the first time. Also watching you get mad, because the older kids wouldn’t pass you the ball, when running a full court game, of basketball.
As a Dad/Coach it’s been truly a blessing, and a wonderful ride to have watched, and bear witness, to all that you have accomplished, on and off, the court. While it hasn’t always been a smooth ride, it has had a couple of bumps in the road, But all parents, go through bumps, watching their kids, grow into young adults. But me, as one of your parents, wouldn’t change anything, about this ride at all!! Watching you grow into a beautiful young lady on and off the court!! It truly has been a Blessing!! From the man, up above!! Thank you!! Drea no one knows your journey, like I do, but I told you then, “No One said, this was going to be easy, I said to you, if you kept the course, stayed humble, and stayed focused, in the end, it would all be worth it!!!” All I ask of you, how’s it feel? And has it been worth it?
Your Biggest Fan
When a basketball player is compared to Michael Jordan, it comes as no surprise when they win a few accolades.
Leading the Piscataway High School girls basketball team to an 18-7 record, senior guard Kendrea Williams averaged 18.8 points per game and knocked down 46 three-pointers and has been named the 2016 Home News Tribune Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
“You listen to stories about Michael Jordan, how he used to compete so hard in practice because he never wanted to lose, that’s very similar with Kendrea,” Piscataway coach David Kosa said. “She realizes that every drill is important, and she was always working 100% as far as getting better and understanding what we need to do to be a successful team.”
The tireless hard work that Williams put in was vital to her success this winter. With the graduation of last year’s seniors, the Chiefs became Williams’ team and with that, opposing teams exclusively focused on stopping the co-captain.
Even after being put in the crosshairs of virtually every opposing defense, Williams still set career highs in points scored (469), assists (50) and rebounds (76).
“My parents taught me that your hard work always pays off, so I always practiced hard, always stayed conditioned because it always comes down to who wants it more,” Williams said. “I tried to make sure I had the team on my back because if they see me down, they’re going to be down, so I tried to lead in every possible way I could.”