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Northeast Kansas Lady Deuces
Keener Tippin
4018 Curt Drive
Columbia, Missouri
  Lady Deuces History  

History of Lady Deuces Basketball

Following the winter 2000 Parks and Recreation basketball season, long-time Parks and Recreation coach, Keener Tippin — who was usually disappointed when the season is over — was asked by several parents about summer basketball opportunities for their daughters. Not knowing of any first hand, Tippin began researching and found out that although opportunities did exist, most were either costly or in the case of traveling teams, already existed. To fill a need for players not already on a traveling team, the Manhattan Lady Deuces were born.

That initial Lady Deuces team consisted of several past players and others expressing a desire to play for Coach Tippin. That roster consisted of Heather Markham, Kara Eichman, Shannon O'Shea, Charity Currier, Jazz Dickinson, Diana Gao, Shannon Howard, Caroline Oktot-Kotber, Cynthia Tamboue, Jolene Tamboue and Patricia Tamboue, with coaching assistance from Clyde Howard and Sheila Tippin.

The first team, which faced tough competition in five MAYB tournaments and the Sunflower State Games, endured the growing pains of a first year team. They took it on the chin literally and figuratively, but they NEVER quit. MVPs for that inaugural season were Shannon Howard, Heather Markham and Patricia Tamboue.

Today, Lady Deuces basketball consists of a 4th grade, 7th-8th and 9th-10th grade girls basketball teams co-coached by Tippin and his wife, Sheila. The Lady Deuces also have a brother team in the Young Deuces, an 8th grade boys team.

The Lady Deuces do not have tryouts — any female in the age groups of our teams is welcome to play regardless of ability. Our goal is to not only field a competitive team, but to also provide an opportunity for young girls to develop and improve their skills against high caliber competition, receive maximum court time and prepare them to play at the next level. Personal skill development, unselfish play, and having a fun and positive experience are priorities of this team.

In addition to developing and improving players' basketball skills, it is our vision to use basketball to teach life lessons and develop self-esteem, character, teamwork and sportsmanship.

A trademark of Lady Deuces' teams is their discipline and strong, pressure defense.

The most enduring characteristic surrounding the Lady Deuces is a sense of "family," modeled after the
North Carolina men's basketball team and the family atmosphere surrounding that program. Much has been written and said about the "North Carolina basketball family" and its "bloodlines." Bob McAdoo to Bobby Jones; to James Worth to Michael Jordan; To Rasheed Wallace to the current Carolina players, those "family bloodlines" run deep. No matter where they go or what other team they play for, those "family" ties are never broken.

Throughout his career with the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan wore his Carolina shorts under his Bulls uniform. But the depth of that "family" ties was never more apparent following the retirement of former Carolina Coach Bill Guthridge and the search within "the North Carolina "family" for a coach to carry on those traditions.

No matter when you played or what other team or teams you play for, you are always a part of the Lady Deuces basketball family. The name of every player associated with the Lady Deuces or the teams preceding it are recorded in the team's history. Former players' development as young adults — athletic, scholastic and extra curricular activities — is monitored long after their playing days. Former players are often used to assist the coaching staff with the development of their younger "siblings." In addition to re-enforcing the sense of "family" surrounding the program it also plants a seed of the importance to give back to others what they have gotten out of the sport. Bottom line is, our association does not end at the conclusion of our season.

A "family" type of closeness, loyalty and traditions is instilled into Lady Deuces players from Day One. From words and actions to something as simple as the color of team uniforms. In some combination the color scheme will include Carolina Blue.

Team traditions include the signing of the team ball, team photo and an awards ceremony at the end of the season.

The Lady Deuces began as just a team comprised of 7th and 8th grade girls. They have expanded into the 9th-10th grade girls division beginning in the 2001 summer season because of a desire of the eighth graders from last season, who are no longer eligible to play in that age group, to remain a part of this program. That in itself is a testament to the sense of "family" instilled from day one and a request the coaching staff could not deny.

A fourth grade team was added for the 2000-2001 season at the request of several younger players and to also offset a problem faced by the inaugural team: facing teams that had been playing together for several years. In addition to teaching them how to play the game, the goal is to build for the future; nurturing those skills over the next several years while keeping them together as a team.

While the Winter 2000-01 teams faced a long hard road — the 4th graders finished the season with just one win while the 7th grade team failed to crack the win column — they maintained their "Never Quit" motto and persevered. Those tough lessons during the winter season set the tone and fostered the mission for the Summer 2001 season.

Led by key additions such as Lady Deuces 2001 MVP Whitney Mosier, Monica Bates, Caitlin Clem, Jessica Busch, Morgan Dowell, Gina Buchholz, Alison Bates, Brandice Bishop, Ashley Adams and Ashley Fink, meshed with returning players such as Cynthia Tamboue, Temieka Thomas, Amanda Easton, Jolene Tamboue, Charity Currier to finish the season with a 17-19 record.

The highlight of the season was the team's third place finish in the NEK MAYB tournament in Holton when the Lady Deuces moved up to the 9th/10th grade division and added 4 freshmen players from Manhattan — Calley Crisman, Heather Markham, Patricia Tamboue and Shannon Howard to capture the bronze medals. The Lady Deuces were in the thick of the hunt for medals in several other tournaments as well.

In August 2001, the "Manhattan" was dropped from the Lady Deuces name and "Northeast Kansas" was added to better reflect the diversity of towns in the region our players represented.

Lady Deuces Basketball...We Got Game!

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