DV grad Spooner running point at Chandler-Gilbert - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

DV grad Spooner running point at Chandler-Gilbert

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Posted: Monday, February 13, 2012 11:55 am | Updated: 3:15 pm, Sat Dec 22, 2012.

There are times Rahnae Spooner thinks too fast and moves too quickly.

Her Chandler-Gilbert Community College teammates have a hard time keeping up with her thoughts and her coach wants her to hide her intentions better.

Slowing down is the Desert Vista graduate's top priority.

In her sophomore season at Chandler-Gilbert, Spooner is making patience a big part of her game and it's paying off.

"She's a lot more patient," Coyotes coach Cassandra Yancy said. "She's been studying her game and the way the opponents are playing. Her patience and not being frustrated as a sophomore has paid dividends in understanding how to pass the ball and be a smarter point guard."

On a team with a 4-21 record through Thursday, it's easy to imagine frustration getting in the way of a point guard's development.

"It's definitely a learning experience," Spooner said. "Growing up I've always been on very successful teams. It does teach you how to lose and then how to get back up."

The Coyotes are a young team, composed of five sophomores and seven freshmen. Spooner admitted that their record is in large part due to their age.

"I have to say we have talent; we just don't know how to use the talent," Spooner said. "Once I think we learn what we're capable of, we'll be very successful."

Speaking as the team's bona fide coach on the court, Spooner just hopes her younger teammates are learning from her.

From Yancy's perspective, Spooner's the perfect teacher.

"She's a teammate that every player wants to have and desires to have," Yancy said. "She's always a person that's trying to explain to her teammates to help them get better. When she sees someone frustrated, she comes over and lends an extra hand."

While Spooner's leadership skills seem to come naturally, she still strives toward becoming a better point guard and passer.

Through the season's first 23 games, Spooner led the team with 2.4 assists per game and was second in scoring to freshman forward Paige Wilds, with 11.6 points per game. With the major ball-handling responsibilities falling on the shoulders of the point guard, Spooner also understandably led the team in turnovers with 4.3 per game.

Improving her assist ratio and cutting down on the turnovers are the changes Spooner desires to implement the most.

"If I have my court vision up, then I can have my passing up," Spooner said. "If I just slow down, that will improve."

Spooner's entire game ties back to patience. It has gotten her this far and she knows it will take her as far as she wants to go.

When she graduates from Chandler-Gilbert in May, Spooner hopes to be playing at a Division II school this fall.

"I've just been using basketball to help with my education because I know without it, I wouldn't be able to afford to go to school," Spooner said. "If a professional contract comes around in my near future, I'll be willing to take it, that's for sure."

Spooner also admits that if basketball isn't in her future, she would be satisfied graduating with a business degree and the intent to become a sports agent.

Right now, though, there's no rush.

How Spooner should handle the time she has left of the college basketball experience resembles Yancy's preferred game plan.

With the 30-second shot clock in college, Yancy likes her players to be quick, but not in a rush. She wants her point guard to be in a hurry thinking, but to slow down and give a good delivery.

"That means when (Spooner's) reviewing the scouting report, when she's delivering the information that's coming from the coaching staff to her teammates (and) delivering the defensive content to how we're changing from one play to the next play, all those things have to come through her because she's the point guard of the team," Yancy said. "As the greatest leader of the team, as she goes, there goes the team."

• Chris Cole is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. He is a sophomore at Arizona State University.

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