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Jessup women respect basketball elder

By: Cecil Conley, Sports Editor
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Ask Guin Boggs about the women’s basketball team at William Jessup University and the veteran coach is a fountain of information. Ask him to reveal his age and the well suddenly runs dry. Boggs is old enough to know that coaching begins with caring for the athletes. He is a big-time believer in the philosophy of “motivation is the key to success and the key to motivation is love.” After 40 years as a coach, Boggs realizes players are not what they were when he first got a whistle. “If you love them, you can get past the generational things,” Boggs said. “I’m not up with everything they do. I can’t jump into their world. The kids have changed, and I hope I have changed.” This season was hardly a love affair for the Warriors when they lost their first 11 games. They were 2-14 before tipping off the California Pacific Conference season with four victories in a row. Jessup went 9-3 in conference play to share second place, the highest finish in school history. The Warriors won twice in the conference tournament before losing to Holy Names on Tuesday. The appearance in the championship game was the first for the Warriors, who tied the 2006-07 squad for victories in a season with 13. Boggs was named the conference’s Coach of the Year. Jessup sophomore Ashley Rose was also honored as the Player of the Year. It took far more than love for Boggs and his players to endure one loss after another early in the season. “They never stopped working hard and they never pointed fingers,” Boggs said. “Instead of dividing us, it did just the opposite for some strange reason. They came together. It gave us more resolve.” In recruiting players, Boggs looks for faith in more ways than one as he builds a winning program. “If they’re willing to work hard, they can be part of something special here,” said Boggs, who just finished his second season at Jessup. “We’re building a culture here. We’re building a winning tradition. They’re all laying bricks in the foundation. “It isn’t easy, but the challenge is invigorating.” Boggs feels younger every day. In addition to Rose, senior Rachelle Russell and sophomore Nicole Aboumrad were honored as second-team selections to the all-conference women’s team. Jessup’s men had four players honored in the all-conference voting. Seniors Damal Neil and Kadeem Kirsten were first-team picks. Juniors Anthony Anderson and Preston Bramow made the second team. Anderson and Bramow also played together at Granite Bay High School. Aaron Muhic’s team finished third at 8-4 and lost to California Maritime Academy 53-51 last Friday in the semifinals of the conference tournament. Kirsten led the Warriors with 16 points and hit a fadeaway shot with seven seconds to play to give Jessup a 51-50 lead. The Keelhaulers won it on a 3-pointer by senior Haven Piatt, a 2004 Lincoln High graduate. California Maritime and the Holy Names women will represent the conference in the NAIA playoffs.