Panama City, FL---Any coach in just about any sport these days will tell you, in their sport, there's no "off season" anymore. Certainly that's true for area juco basketball programs.
Sure there are no games to be looking ahead to in the immediate future, but check out the gyms on area campuses, and you'll find them rather active. Case in point, the Gulf Coast women's program.
It's just wrapping up an intense summer workout program. Second year coach Vernette Skeete with 6 newcomers to the program this season, 2 transfers and 4 freshman. And the summer, she says, is about teaching them first and foremost how to be a Commodore.
"Well before we can get them to understand how to play our offense and our system." Skeete says. "They have to understand what it means to be a Gulf Coast player. Before we put in any play, any draw up of any defense or offense, they have to understand the tempo, the style of play, the intensity that it takes to play in this conference."
And the summer program also helps these young ladies make a transition that's not necessarily easy, without the pressures of the school work that fall will present.
"Playing collegiate sports and having to transition to college from high school, can be a difference. Especially when everybody's coming from being the best player on their team, in their previous years in high school. So getting to play with kids who are equal or better is a little bit of an adjustment, a little bit intimidating. So it's kind of challenge and a wake-up for them to emerge in their own right."
With this summer program ending, the girls now have a few weeks off before school, and then a few more weeks before official fall practice begins in late September.