By Joyce Erekson
The English High girls basketball team is still in rebuilding mode after making it to the Division 1 state semifinals two years ago, but second-year coach Rachael Bradley added a few tools to the toolbox this winter.
Bradley welcomed two former English High players, Jeanette Anderson and Kayla Murkison, to her staff this winter.
“Having Kayla and Jeanette here brings a wealth of basketball experience and knowledge,” Bradley said. “They’re crucial to our development. We have a very young team. Having two coaches who just came out of college and know the ropes and are Lynn English alumni …. They’re a huge addition to the staff. It really helps us with player development.”
Anderson followed up a fabulous career at English (she eclipsed the 1,000 mark in both scoring and rebounds) with an even more impressive four years at Caldwell University in New Jersey. As a player at Caldwell, Anderson scored 1,816 points and she had more than 1,000 rebounds. She was second on the team, all-time, in field goals made (695); third in blocks (87) and third in rebounding (1,119). Her 1,816 points puts her fifth (all-time) in scoring for the Cougars.
After graduating from Caldwell in 2014, Anderson landed an assistant’s job in the State University of New York at Binghamton women’s basketball program. She was hired by her Caldwell coach, Linda Cimino, who had left to take the head coaching job at Binghamton. Anderson decided not to return to that job this year.
“I ran into Rachael and told her I wanted to get into coaching back at English,” Anderson said. “She was more than happy to put me on the staff.”
Anderson said she works with all the players on all aspects of the game, but she does occasionally take the post players aside to work with them. Anderson said one thing playing college at the Division 2 level taught her was to play attention to details and that’s something she hopes to impart to the English players.
Anderson said she also hopes to stress to any player who has thoughts of playing at the college level that she needs to start working toward that goal on day one.
“Things go by really fast. If you want to play in college. If you want to get a scholarship, you don’t want to wait until the last minute to kick it in and play to your potential,” Anderson said.
Anderson is currently working as a transitional coordinator for a human services agency.
Murkison, who played with Anderson and graduated a year later (2010) spent her final 2 ½ years of college at Framingham State University, where she played basketball.
“It was a good experience. I learned a lot,” Murkison said. “Jumping from high school to college is such a big difference. I’m glad I could come back and give these girls what I know. It’s going to be a lot of work, but we’re going to get better. I’m excited about it. ”
The Bulldogs opened their season Tuesday against Peabody and lost, 44-24.