BY TIMOTHY RAMSEY
The Greensboro Swarm is not the only Professional D-League basketball team in the triad area. The Winston-Salem Lady Warcats is an all female team based out of Winston-Salem. This season their plan is to bring more awareness to the game and become champions.
According to Andrea Maine, owner of the Lady Warcats, the team has been around since 2010. She took over as owner of the Lady Warcats in February 2016. She says she wanted to run the organization to give young ladies a chance to pursue their dreams on the basketball court.
“I strongly believe in elevating female athletes,” said Maine. “I don’t think that the female athletes today get the same opportunities of their male counterparts, which is another reason why I wanted this. We have girls from all over, and right now, we are the only female profession-al women’s team in the Triad.
“I want to get the community behind us. We offer family fun, we offer affordable family entertainment and we want to get the community behind us.”
The Lady Warcats will play their home games this season in the gymnasium on the campus of Piedmont International University (PIU). They will also play a few games at the Coliseum annex as well. They are a part of the Women’s Blue Chip Basketball League (WBCBL), which encompasses 40 teams from around the country.
The Lady Warcats’ season will tip off on April 1 and run through the latter part of August. They have just begun their practice sessions in preparation for the season. The Lady Warcats have a total of 14 women on the team.
Shooting guard Ayshia McNeil has been with the team for two years. She says she really enjoys the atmosphere of the league and is grateful for the opportunity to play.
“All of the people here and the staff have so much passion for what we are doing,” McNeil said. “We are pretty close as a team. We always try to do stuff as a team to bond as much as possible.”
Rashida Thomas, Lady Warcats’ head coach, says she enjoys seeing her players develop and move on to the next level. She says she has loved the game since she was a child and has been coaching for the past six years.
Warcats’ guard Jenaya Abernathy says she is a “gym rat” and loves the game of basketball. She says the Lady Warcats were one of the few teams that gave her a chance once she left college.
“My goal is to get overseas to play the game of basketball. I have had a lot of ups and downs chasing this dream. Once I spoke to Ms. Andrea, I knew I wanted to play for her. It was something about her energy and vision and I felt like this is where I needed to be,” Abernathy said.
Maine says she loves when her players come to her and thank her for giving them an opportunity to continue their dreams. For more information on the team, visit the website at www.LadyWarcats.com