The Duncan Banner
Duncan senior Tania Elix remembers watching her brother play Demon hoops.
“He was really good,” Elix said. “He got me excited when I watched him. I was like, ‘I can’t wait to play here.’”
She and fellow senior Rainy Sanford have logged the most years playing for the Demon girls basketball team. Now the two want to pass on the love of the game to their younger teammates.
Elix recalled the days in which she played in the youth leagues at The Simmons Center, and that was when she knew she wanted to play for Duncan.
“When I played there, I couldn’t wait to play for my school,” she said. “I like playing for my school.”
Although the Demons have had three different coaches the past three years, Sanford said it was important to her to stick with the program.
“Some of the girls before me were there for four years and they kept me wanting to do it,” Sanford said. “Hopefully these girls will look at me and do the same.”
The two have enjoyed playing for first-year head coach Grant Givens. Although the players now have to learn a new system, Givens has shown that he wants his players to do well.
“You can see that he cares,” Elix said. “He really, genuinely cares. That’s why he stays so hard on us.
“That’s important. It’s not just a job to him. He really wants to build something.”
Givens appreciates what the two do for the program, along with the other seniors and juniors.
“This is a group that especially should be commended for coming out and playing,” Givens said. “They played all four years and stuck with it all four years, while some people who played in middle school are no longer playing.”
The Demon coach said it could have been easy for the seniors to quit, given the multiple coaching changes.
“It’s hard on a senior, to go through three different systems,” he said. “They should be recognized for sticking with it and being patient.”
Despite the Demons losing their first nine games, the team maintains a positive attitude.
“We all get along,” Sanford said. “We do things together as a team. We are really close.”
“We all have our own personalities,” Elix added, “but we have bonded.”
It hasn’t been an easy season for the Demons. But the two seniors enjoy playing with their younger teammates and see the program enjoying winning seasons in the future.
“Right now, we are just building it, and they will have to keep it going,” Sanford said.