Basketball Media Day Returns For Fulton County Schools, Hosted By Langston Hughes
The 2021-2022 high school basketball season is just about here and the return of the Fulton County Athletics Media Day, gave us our first sight of excitement of the upcoming season. Hosted by the Langston Hughes Panthers basketball programs, every Fulton County Schools basketball team was represented at Tuesday’s event, one which Langston Hughes boys basketball head coach, Rory Welsh, who helped organize the event, was excited to see being hosted on their campus.
“It was a pleasure. You know, to be honest, we feel like Fulton County has some of the best basketball, not only in metro Atlanta and the state of Georgia, but in the entire country,” Welsh said, pointing out the accomplishments of teams like the Westlake Lions girls basketball program, who are coming off their fourth straight state title win. Welsh himself led the Panthers to back to back titles in 2017 and 2018 and the Milton Eagles boys team winning last season’s title, Tri Cities boys winning back in 2019 and Chattahoochee boys winning in 2020.
The Lady Panthers, who advanced to the GHSA 6A Elite 8 round of the playoffs last season and are one of this year’s teams who many feel could bring a championship to Langston Hughes this season, were also on hand and the possibility of bringing a state title back to the campus at the end of the season, is something they believe they can accomplish as they expect to “continue moving forward,” as head coach, Xavier Trice put it. “The girls have been here for four years and they’ve continued to raise the bar every year, so going into this year, I expect nothing less but to continue to raise the bar,” Trice said adding that playing on the championship day of the season is where they believe they can be.
Cambridge Lady Bears head coach Lesley Broadwell was also on hand with a few of her players and they all expressed how Tuesday’s media added to their excitement to get back onto the court. “We’re so excited to get in the gym in a couple of weeks and be all together,” Broadwell said. Cambridge junior Jordynn Dudley added that joining new and ole teammates is something she herself is looking forward to and her sentiments were echoed by her teammates in attendance, Ella Lewis and Renee Van Vuuran. “I’m absolutely thrilled. I can’t wait to get back on the court and be with my best friends and have a good time,” Van Vuuran said.
The Fulton County media day was also the official debut of the 35 second shot clock which will be used in various regions throughout the state this season, including Georgia High School Association Class 6A Region 4, which the Panthers are a part of, and then fully implemented next season. “It’s a huge part of the game,” Welsh said of the use of the shot clock, adding that in addition to preparing student athletes for the college level for those that go that route, its usage will help with various skills at the high school level of the game and ultimately, give teams a chance to still be in a position to have “a rally win at the end of a game.”