Yeboah makes first career start vs. Dieruff
“Sometimes, it’s the players that don’t start that make the ones who do [start] good.”
That’s how Parkland girls basketball coach Ed Ohlson looks at senior Kendra Yeboah. His rationale is that the hard work Yeboah puts in during practice, going up against fellow senior Kassidy Stout “gives Kass everything she can handle in practice and that makes Kass better and that’s why we appreciate what [Yeboah] does.”
“She is a tireless worker in practice,” added Ohlson. “She really works hard, so every once in a while, we’ve got to reward her for that and we thought this was the game. She came in and did a great job, a tremendous job.”
In her fourth season with the team, Yeboah made her first career start Tuesday night against Dieruff (3-12 overall, 0-10 EPC). It wasn’t until the team was in the locker room prior to the game that she found out she was in the starting lineup as Ohlson looked to reward her for the work that she’s put in during her time with the team.
In the game, which Parkland won 41-28, Yeboah scored two points and settled back into her role off the bench after getting early minutes in the game. The opportunity to start was admittedly a different feeling for her.
“It was a different experience and I was definitely nervous,” said Yeboah with a big smile. “But you have to put the feelings aside and step up.”
Basketball has been something that Yeboah has enjoyed and played since fifth grade. Like every other role player on any other team and in any other sport, Yeboah would like to get more playing time but has accepted her spot with the team and works as hard as any other player during practice.
A lot of high school student athletes may have gotten frustrated with the lack of playing time, but Yeboah just continues to steadily do her job and takes pride in the fact that she’s able to help other players in practice and with her attitude. She’s a player that an assistant coach referred to as “inspirational.”
“My love for the sport and everybody else’s energy makes me want to keep going,” said Yeboah. “My teammates are great and we all work hard and I just enjoy the atmosphere.”
One of her former teammates, Shelby Staib, gets the credit for leading Yeboah into another sport in which she has excelled. The two had a conversation last year where Staib suggested that Yeboah might be good at shot put and that she should try out for the track and field team.
Yeboah gave it a shot and as it turns out, Staib was right. She’s good enough that she’s going to continue her shotput career at Stevenson University in Maryland where she’ll major in psychology.
In the win over Dieruff, Ohlson constantly shuttled players in and out to take advantage of a game where he could find playing time for younger players and give a bit of a breather to his starters.
“It is nice to get more kids playing time,” said Ohlson. “After our seniors, we get pretty young pretty fast, so it was nice for us to play more kids. We played four freshmen and three or four sophomores, so it was nice to get everybody some playing time.”
Parkland (9-4, 6-3) will face a much tougher test Friday night when it returns home to play Pleasant Valley (10-3, 6-3).
“They’re going to be tough,” said Ohlson. “They’re having a great season and they’re going to be confident. We’re going to have to be able to come out and set the tone if we’re going to be able to stay with them.”