With a successful freshman season behind her, guard Layana White has a long summer ahead of her consisting of lifting, training and preparing.
May 9, 2012
With a successful freshman season behind her, guard Layana White
has a long summer ahead of her consisting of lifting, training and preparing. White contributed to the University of Arizona women's basketball team in more ways than one. Her constant intensity and ambition is what the Wildcat coaches love most about her.
Assistant coach E.C. Hill has nothing but great things to say about White. She found a characteristic in White that is hard to find in student-athletes and impossible to coach - intensity. With few chances to prove what she's worth, White took every opportunity she could get and made it count.
"Layana is a great kid," Hill said. "She didn't get a lot of time or opportunity to play a lot of minutes but when she did, her presence was felt because she always played hard and worked hard on every possession. She has really been a joy to coach.
The hardest part for a freshman student-athlete is adjusting to a new level of play and academics load. For White, adjusting to these adversities came easy to her.
"The transition has been pretty good," White said. "I've been adjusting really well to the different level of play. Of course, it is more difficult than high school but overall I had a pretty good first year."
In preparation for the next season, Hill expects White to keep her same intensity in hopes it rubs off on the other players. The rare characteristics that White possesses are what will make her years left at Arizona successful.
"We want her to keep the same intensity that's hard to teach," Hill said. "When somebody like Layana has that, you want to make sure she keeps that because it's contagious. We tell all our players to work on their shots in the off season so she knows what to do. We want her to come back from enjoying her family and getting that break ready to work."
Next year, Hill and the Arizona coaching staff have high expectations for White. Going into her sophomore year, she will have different responsibilities and play a more vital role.
"After having one year of experience as a freshman, she knows what the expectations are now as a sophomore," Hill said. "She knows what she's good at and not good at and she knows our expectations as coaches. Her role will be whatever she wants it to be. We don't like to pinpoint our players so we put them in ideal situations which we think they will benefit and what can help us."