Newcomb boys team have high expectations
When Jamaal Russell completed his master’s degree at Arkansas State University he wanted a fresh start.
As a graduate assistant for the men’s basketball program, Russell was hoping to find another coaching position elsewhere at the collegiate level. And although he didn’t have the connections to find a job at that level, Russell opting for the next best thing.
“I wanted to get out of Arkansas a little bit and I saw a job posting for Newcomb, New Mexico,” Russell said. “I didn’t know where it was and I didn’t know it was on the reservation but I applied for it. I got the position and I am glad that I got it.”
It didn’t take long for the Newcomb coach to get acquainted with ‘rez ball’ and so far that style of play has done wonders for his boys’ basketball team.
The Skyhawks are currently holding a 14-7 record, which includes a 5-0 outing in district play heading into Friday’s game with Rehoboth.
“When I first got here I didn’t know I was going to have this much speed,” Russell said. “I just adjusted my game plan and how I usually like to run things. I adjusted with what the players bring to the table.”
Under Russell’s leadership, the Skyhawks push the pace of the game not through their offense but through their defense.
“The press gets them going so I like for them to press the entire game,” he said.
Newcomb senior Nizhoni Johle says his team likes to get up and down the court.
“We have a lot of speed and we try to use that as an advantage,” he said.