DeSoto Girls Basketball Receive National Attention

DeSoto Lady Eagles
Photo by John Askew

DeSoto Girls Basketball Ranked By ESPN

DeSoto, TX- The DeSoto High School Girls Basketball program had an impressive 2019-2020 season ending with three of the players being ranked in ESPN’s Class of 2022 HoopGurlz Recruiting Rankings – Super 60.

Published by the sports network’s female-focused platform, espnW in late April, DeSoto Forward, Sa’Mayah Smith placed #15 on the list. While Forward Amina Muhammad ranked #24 and Wing Ayanna Thompson ranked at #57.

“To be ranked by ESPN is an exciting thing to experience,” Smith said. “But I do have to stay humble and know that I can easily be removed from the list.”

Making the list didn’t happen overnight for Smith or her teammates but was imminent as Head Coach Andrea Robinson knew they were a group to look forward to.

“My coaching staff has been following these young ladies since 6th grade when they first entered McCowan Middle school,” Coach Robinson said. “They are a special group of young ladies and to see several of them be ranked as top players in the nation has been exciting. It has been rewarding watching them grow as young ladies as they are evolving to be great basketball players.”

At the beginning of the 2019-2020 basketball season, the Lady Eagles were ranked #1 in the nation by USA Today putting them on the path of what would become a very abounding season. The Lady Eagles ended the season with a 13-1 record placing them at #1 in the 6A Region 1 District 7 category and #2 in the state, according to MaxPreps..

However, achieving these impressive rankings is not the main goal for the program. Getting these young ladies into college or even to the professional level is the true determination of the team.

“We work extremely hard to make sure we prepare our athletes for the next level academically and athletically,” Robinson said. “We require them to maintain the highest GPA’s to ensure they are NCAA ready. We also create a college atmosphere for them as it pertains to basketball. Our program is remarkably like college as we use a lot of the collegiate philosophy for example, the structure of our practices, demanding expectations on the court, and the way we prepare for our opponents.”

Focusing on academics and being encouraged to improve is one of the main reasons Smith says she enjoys playing at DeSoto. “Playing basketball at DeSoto is really different than planning anywhere else,” Smith said. “Our coaches push us past our limits to make sure we are great. We compete every day within each other and ourselves.”

“We help our student-athletes with scholarships by making sure we are playing a schedule and level of competition where they can get exposure,” Robinson explained of the ways she helps her team prepare for the future. “We also make sure they are academically eligible by partnering with our school counselors to ensure they are taking NCAA approved classes,” she continued.

While the basketball season has ended for the Lady Eagles, the team is still hard at work doing at-home workouts and adapting to the district’s Anytime, Anywhere Learning Plan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Hoping to get back on the courts of Chris Dyer Stadium soon.