Basketball: Lady FLY team is national runner-up

Published 1:54 am Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Coach Mayfield and Coach Imes
Staff report

SALISBURY — Local first-year basketball program Lady FLY finished runner-up in the United States Basketball Association Girls National Championship held recently in Charleston, S.C.

Lady FLY (For Love of Youth) is a 6th-grade team (ages 11 and 12) coached by former West Rowan players TanUnika Imes and Rashonda Mayfield. The cousins put the team together from Salisbury and the surrounding areas, and after some tough practices, the girls debuted on the hardwood the third week of April.

Lady FLY went undefeated in a series of spring tournaments.

“We couldn’t ask for better girls,” Imes said. “They’ve got heart and dedication.”

The next task for Lady FLY was raising the necessary funds to make the trip to the Nationals. The girls, coaches and parents made it happen $1 at a time, mostly through food sales — fish, hot dogs and wings.

Once they made it Charleston for the five-day tournament, they faced three days of pool play, followed by bracket play.

Lady Fly went 3-0 in pool play to advance to the semifinals.

A win against a Georgia team put Lady FLY in the championship game, but the local team lost in the finals.

“Our girls wanted it bad and they fought had until the end, but we came up short in the championship game,” Imes said. “To watch our girls cry at the end of the game broke our hearts, but it also gave us the drive and motivation to keep coaching, teaching and investing in our FLY family.”

The second-place finish ended the summer travel ball season for Lady FLY, but Imes said this is the start, not the end.

 “We brought hardware back to Salisbury, and this is just the beginning of greater things for us,” she said.