I am writing in regard to the column written by Casey Gisclair titled, “Why punish the innocent?”
I have personal experience and five years of memories with the girls basketball program through my daughter, who played under Kathy Luke from 1995-99, beginning with her eighth grade year ending her senior year.
Her interest in basketball began with Terrebonne Parish Recreation teams at the age of 7, and deepened by going to the VCHS basketball camps given by Coach Luke every year. She dedicated every minute she had to becoming a better player and could not wait to go to Vandebilt to play on “the best girls basketball team ever.” And it happened for her. It was something just about every young girl who loved and played basketball wanted – to be on THE TEAM.
Every year, the gym was full and the girls’ basketball team drew in as much interest for the school as the football team did. It was unreal to witness the loyalty and dedication all these young girls gave not only to the sport, but to the coach or perhaps because of the coach.
My daughter lived and breathed basketball during those years and to read that all those memories – tears of joy and disappointment, sweat from hard work and dedication and the friendships that developed during all those years – have been erased is unfathomable. My daughter, as well as every other young woman who was ever a part of THE TEAM deserves the recognition that comes from all the sacrifices they made for Vandebilt. And yes, of course, it is an injustice to the one who made it all possible, Coach Kathy Luke.
Coach Coleman deserves better as do the school’s current and future players. As the saying goes it is time to “change the game” and put the walls and Halls of Fame back where they belong. Grownups need to grow up and the current administration has the power to make it happen. Please put the pride back into the VCHS girls’ basketball program so it can once again be “THE TEAM” everyone wants to be a part of.