MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Basketball has been in the headlines a lot lately for women coaching at the NBA level and now that hits close to home.
Jeff Davis High School has identified their new head coach as LaKenya Knight, the former JD girls coach. Yes, she's a woman.
Knight is the first woman in the history of AHSAA basketball to go through the hiring process to become a head coach of a boys basketball team. There have been other women through out the years to fill-in for coaches that had to leave teams early. This is a historic feat in the state of Alabama.
"I think anything is possible as long as you put your mind and your heart into it, your effort then it will be received by everyone else. I humble myself and have to stay focused on the prize," said Knight.
That "prize" she's talking about is of course a State Championship. Former Head Coach Terry Posey lead the Vols to their last 6A boys title back in 2006. Knight has experience with rings, having won two in her 10 years with the girls.
Initially when she got hired for the job she didn't think it was that groundbreaking to be named the head coach of a boys team. When I asked her why she thought that she replied, "Because it's basketball. It doesn't matter if it's a male or female coaching as long as you go out and do what you need to do then you'll be successful."
She does expect challenges to be met along the way and she cooly replied, "We'll just cross that bridge when we get to it."
The bottom line is women are creating noise in sports across the board and it's becoming more accepted, just as it should be. I talked to several high school players about her being their new head coach and no answer was different: "She will coach us the same as our other coaches did, if not better."
In her initial practice with the Volunteers on March 29, the players said they are drawn to her passion for the game.
Knight is also hoping that her newly innovative role will help inspire younger women to believe that they too can accomplish anything they want: "I'm glad I'm a little trendsetter and breaking barriers for the most part, but hopefully everybody will jump on board and do the same at their school."