In basketball, every position on the court is important to how the team fares, but without a point guard to run the court, the team cannot function correctly.
Point guard Katelyn Bernsen, a sophomore from Sour Lake, exemplifies a team general in the Apache Ladies offense. She averages 3.4 assists per game. Her pass first, score second philosophy helps get her teammates involved.
Bernsen said she knows that her position is crucial in how much success the Apache Ladies have on offense.
“Point guard is like the general of the team, the same thing as the quarterback on a football team,” Bernsen said.
“Being a team leader and getting everyone on the team involved is the most important aspect of being a point guard.”
While dribbling the ball up the court, a point guard must be aware of what the other team is trying to do defensively.
Latika Smith, a freshman point guard from Houma, La., shares the point guard duties with Bernsen. Smith is averaging 4.6 assists per game.
She is more of a scoring point guard off the dribble when she has to, but she still looks to get her teammates involved.
“The point guard controls the game like a leader and they control the tempo of the game,” Smith said.
“Having coaches teach me different things and practicing hard has made me become a better point guard since coming to TJC.”
The point guard is the verbal leader on the court, communicating with her teammates and making sure the team is executing on offense.
“When the point guard is on the court, they should have a leadership mentality,” Assistant Coach Trisha Lyons said. “They have to be the coach when they are on the floor and be able to guide the team to do whatever the coach asks them to do.”
Bernsen and Smith both give credit to the coaches for being the reason they have learned how to be a successful point guard.
“The coaches here at TJC know the game real well,” Bernsen said. “They have taught me a lot about running the offense and getting my team involved in the game.”
Likewise, Smith is learning more as a freshman point guard.
“The coaches have taught me to speak up and be more vocal toward my teammates,” Smith said. “If communication is not going on, the team cannot get things done and handle business on the basketball court.”
In addition, every little aspect can help produce a great point guard. Learning new things little by little and putting them all together can make it work.
“As the coaches, we make sure the point guard knows what we want to do,” Lyons said. “We also make sure that she is 100 percent capable of what needs to be done in a game situation.”