MELBOURNE, Ark. (KAIT) - Melbourne sophomore forward Jenna Lawrence committed to Arkansas women’s basketball on Saturday.
She reflected on the Razorbacks after Monday’s practice. “I’ve always just really loved Arkansas,” Lawrence said. “And as a kid, I’ve always wanted to be a Razorback. Because I’m from a small town in Arkansas, it’s everyone’s dream. I just felt that Arkansas was the place for me. And I just want to represent my home town and state as a Lady Razorback.”
Jenna liked the relationship with Mike Neighbors and the Arkansas coaching staff. “I just love all of them, they were so genuine, so nice," she said. "Coach Neighbors, the thing I love about him is he has his players' back. And he will do anything for them. And same as his coaching staff. They’re just amazing.”
Lawrence earned 2A All-State Tournament and All-Conference honors as a freshman last season. She had 11 points, 7 blocks, & 4 rebounds in the state finals as the Lady Bearkatz won back to back 2A titles.
Jenna is working on all facets of her game entering her sophomore season. “I’m trying to work on my offensive game a lot. Like taking my defender one on one, getting open shots, or shooting whenever I have a hand in my face.” MHS head coach Eric Teague is seeing Lawrence grow as a leader. “What’s amazing is how she’s grown from last year to this year. Being a wide eyed open freshman, making freshman mistakes. And now she’s just settled in so well that she’s one of our leaders of our team. She knows what everybody should be doing, including herself. And she’s taken on a lot of responsibility.”
Melbourne returns plenty of experience for the 2020-21 campaign. State Finals MVP Kenley McCarn is back along with a future Williams Baptist Lady Eagle. Kiley Webb committed to WBU last month.
“I hesitate to tell people, they ask how good are we going to be this year? Right now, we look really well,” Teague said. "And that’s from what you were talking about, the experience and just a lot of kids coming back.
The Lady Bearkatz are working on fundamentals in the weeks leading up to the season opener. “Just blocking out, rebounding, triple threat position," Teague added. "All the little fundamentals that sometimes you take for granted when you’ve won a lot of games. Right now they’re buying into that & that’s our main point right now.”
Melbourne opens the season Thursday, November 12th at Jonesboro. The Lady Bearkatz will host Missouri commit Isabella Higginbottom & 2019 5A state champ Batesville on Saturday, November 14th.