Athlete Of The Week: Leilani Wimbish-Gay

Our Athlete Of The Week Is Leilani Wimbish-Gay

Our Athlete Of The Week, getting it done on both ends of the basketball court in two big wins for her team.

At 7-2, East girls basketball, off to another fast start in district play. The Titans defeated rival West on Friday night, getting a game-high 23 points from Leilani Wimbish-Gay in the win. But the Titans’ leading scorer says a defensive mentality has been the key.

“I would say our defense. Last year we played in our zone, but this year coach wanted us to be more man, 55, full court defense. So that’s what has really helped us get the wins that we wanted and the intensity we need in order to start games.”

The East girls had five senior players return to the varsity this season, continuity that’s contributed to the team’s fluid court chemistry.

Said head coach Yulonda Wimbish-North, “Those kids, we have like five seniors. So they’ve been together for what, two or three years, and I think that now we’re coming into our own of just being together.”

Said Leilani, “We have the best connection that we’ve ever had in a long time. It just helps us become basically family, and it’s just really great our team is the way it is right now.”

Coach Wimbish-North says a change in position for Leilani this season has helped unlock parts of her game — in addition to her improvement outside the paint.

“I mean I think because really we’re making a conscious effort of trying to get in on the inside. She’s actually playing the four spot, so we’re really trying to get her into spots where she’s getting 15-foot jumpers and she’s actually shooting more consistently from that range.”

For a defensive-minded team and player, those are results a coach can live with. Sean Coffey, Newscenter 25 Sports