ASA Lady Avengers aim for more firsts
LOIS ELFMAN Special to the AmNews | 3/9/2012, 12:10 p.m.
In only their third season as a National Junior College Athletic Association member, the Lady Avengers of the ASA Institute in Brooklyn have lofty goals. Those aspirations are well-founded, given the season they've had heading into the District C Division I semifinals tomorrow night in Vincennes, Ind.
"The girls are part of history," said coach Adia Revell. Not bad for a team that doesn't even have its own gym. The players practice at St. Francis College or NYU Poly.
"The growth on and off the court for all of our players has been tremendous," said Revell. "We have higher expectations for ourselves, and I think everyone else has higher expectations for us as well."
This season started with a nine-game winning streak, and a loss in late December was followed by a 10-game winning streak. They finished the regular season 22-4, which included sweeping six teams. The Lady Avengers also won their region outright to earn the trip to the district semifinals.
"We had seven sophomores this year, five who were returners, which is awesome for us, and two transfers, who were huge for us," said Revell, who grew up in Brooklyn and played college basketball at Columbia University.
Revell refers often to a quote from the book "How Successful People Think" by John C. Maxwell: "The right thought, with the right people, who have the right intentions, in the right environment, at the right time, and for the right reason, equals the right result."
She said she is blessed with an awesome staff and people who are part of the program. Revell gives significant credit to first-year assistant coach Kim Blakney, a fellow Brooklyn native who had been a high school and college standout.
"When she came on board, we had another former athlete on the staff the girls could relate to," said Revell.
At a two-year college, the playing roster is constantly changing, but Revell said this year's returning players were hungry for victory. Transfer student Brittany Webb, an imposing 6-foot-4 center, had been highly recruited coming out of high school but attended two other junior colleges prior to ASA. She has blossomed at ASA and expects to attend a four-year institution in the fall. The team hopes the final first of this basketball season will be a win in Indiana.
"Every year, we want to do something better," said Revell.