Taking the torch: Coffey appears ready to take reins of Syracuse offense in sophomore season

first_img Comments Erica Morrow knew exactly how Rachel Coffey felt last year. Three years earlier, Morrow was a highly touted freshman struggling to adjust on the court at Syracuse. After dominating in high school, Morrow received a rude awakening at practices in which mistakes piled up, the coaches criticized every little thing and the physical play wore her down. Morrow’s confidence was broken, and it took time to build back up. Three years later, the senior guard watched Coffey wrestle with the same challenges in her freshman season. ‘The point guard position is probably the toughest position to play on the collegiate level, especially transitioning from high school to college,’ said Morrow, now an SU graduate assistant. ‘So she had the typical bumps in the road that any freshman has — having to play intense at every moment, having to play at a faster, more physical speed.’ Coffey arrived at Syracuse as a top recruit — ranked No. 19 overall in her class by Blue Star Basketball — known for her uncanny ball handling and passing ability in high school. But she only saw limited action last season as she settled into her role waiting behind four-year starters Morrow and Tasha Harris in the SU backcourt. Following the graduations of Morrow and Harris, Coffey will likely take over as Syracuse’s starting point guard in 2011-12. With the growing pains of her freshman campaign behind her, Coffey is confident in her ability to lead the Orange.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text The sophomore has been preparing for this role since she first started dribbling at 5 years old. Coffey wasn’t interested in playing with toys as a kid. She just played basketball, emulating ‘Pistol’ Pete Maravich and eventually learning to dribble two balls at once and spin the ball on her finger as he did. And like Maravich, she dribbled everywhere — around the house, to the store and to church, where Coffey even left during the service to work on her ball handling outside. ‘I didn’t really practice at it,’ Coffey said. ‘I just always had a ball and kept dribbling and it became good.’ Another place she dribbled to was the Rondout Neighborhood Center in Kingston, N.Y., where she played every day for four hours after school. On snow days, she was there from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Rob Dassie, the recreation leader of the center, always saw Coffey with a ball. When she wasn’t at the center, Dassie said, she was on the playground. Whether she was playing at the center or at the playground, Coffey was taking on older boys. They didn’t give her any breaks. She needed to get better and develop mental toughness if she wanted to survive. Coffey did more than just survive, she took it to them. ‘That’s what I really believe helped her out so well that she played so hard and she did so well against those guys,’ Dassie said. ‘A lot of times, they were nervous about guarding her because at the end of the game they’d sometimes be arguing, ‘She’s a girl. She’s too good. She did us wrong. She took us off the dribble.” Those countless hours spent at the center and on the playground honed her game and laid the foundation for a stellar high school career. Stephen Garner first saw the phenom play in fourth grade at a ‘Sports Saturday’ program held for elementary school students at Kingston High School. She fired one-handed, no-look passes that surprised her teammates and displayed an array of advanced dribbling moves. Impressed by her moxie, Garner kept an eye on Coffey. Garner, Kingston’s girls basketball head coach, made Coffey his manager in sixth grade. A year later, she starred on the JV team, and by eighth grade, she was ready to play varsity. It was the start of a five-year show at Kingston’s Kate Walton Field House. Word quickly spread about Coffey. Soon, the girls team was a bigger draw than the boys. The community flocked to the field house to see the basketball prodigy play. Her no-look passes dazzled the crowd and stunned her teammates. Her killer crossover made opponents fall to the floor and ignited a roar from the fans. ‘Every game, it was almost like you were always wondering what she was gonna do next,’ said Louise DiIulio, her teammate at Kingston. ‘She always put on a show.’ DiIulio said Coffey’s court vision was ‘unreal.’ She could see her teammates were open before they even knew it, and she hit them with perfectly placed passes. Those unbelievable passes happened in every game. Garner always knew when one was coming: on a pick-and-roll with teammate Charlise Castro. Coffey started with a head fake and hesitation dribble to freeze her defender for the screen before exploding around the corner. As the defense frantically collapsed on her, she snapped off a shovel pass to a wide-open Castro under the basket for the layup. Sitting on the bench, Garner hardly ever saw how Coffey managed to thread the needle. At home after every game, he’d pop in the tape of the game and watch the play again, rewinding it over and over in disbelief of the pass he had seen hours earlier. ‘I would rewind that sucker three, four times and go, ‘How did she get it in there?” Garner said. ‘I mean, traffic, traffic, traffic. ‘How did she get it in there?” Rewinding it wasn’t enough to satisfy the coach, though. He’d freeze frame the play and go through it one frame at a time just to see exactly what Coffey saw. But Garner and DiIulio still don’t know how she did it. ‘I saw her do things that I’ve never seen any other female basketball player do to this day,’ DiIulio said. By the time the curtain closed on her career at Kingston, Coffey led the team to five sectional championships and set school records with 1,507 points and 569 assists. Her spectacular play grabbed the attention of multiple top programs, and she ultimately decided to play for Syracuse. SU head coach Quentin Hillsman recruited Coffey to be the point guard-in-waiting as a freshman. He knew he needed a replacement for Morrow and Harris, and Coffey was the total package. For the first time in a long time, Coffey wasn’t the best player on the team. Her confidence disappeared as she sat and watched from the bench. But she pushed the senior guards at practice and never complained. By the end of the season, Morrow saw a different player step in for her at practice as she nursed a knee injury. One filled with the confidence and mental toughness developed at the center and on the playground. The freshman needed that year to learn how to play at the college level. With that experience under her belt, Hillsman said she needed to improve her conditioning for this season, especially because he expects her to handle the ball for 25 to 30 minutes per game. ‘She’s one of the top point guards in the country,’ Hillsman said. ‘And I just believe that once she gets her conditioning together, where we keep the ball in her hand, and she can play for longer stretches, we’ll be a very good basketball team.’ Six days a week during the offseason, she was at the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center preparing for her increased role. She ran on the treadmill, lifted weights and then ran some more. Now, Coffey feels she’s ready for the challenge. After spending the last 16 years with a ball in her hand, it’s time for her to run the show at Syracuse. ‘I feel comfortable with the ball in my hands,’ Coffey said. ‘I just gotta make sure I make good decisions and don’t turn the ball over.’ rjgery@syr.edu Published on November 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: rjgery@syr.educenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Peter Woodfine, Vermantia: Why retail can still rival the solitary world of online betting

first_img George Fotopoulos, Vermantia: The future for retail betting April 30, 2020 StumbleUpon Related Articles George Fotopoulos, Vermantia: Decoding the customer engagement enigma June 30, 2020 Share Submit Share SBC Digital Summit Latinoamérica’s Land-Based 2.0 track to focus on casinos, lotteries & payments June 11, 2020 On the eve of next week’s Betting on Football conference at Stamford Bridge, Peter Woodfine – Business Development Director at Vermantia – says in-shop betting is changing. But he is a firm believer that retail will always be detail.There’s been a lot of talk in the media about the death of retail, but to paraphrase Mark Twain – it’s been greatly exaggerated. While online giants like Amazon have changed how we buy things forever, when it comes to the betting industry there will always be the four walls of a betting shop. Customers thrive on live action, and when you put a television on the wall, you instantly cross into the world of shared entertainment, something which will never be achieved in the solitary world of online betting. While we can be confident that these shop-goers will always relish the thrill retail can provide, this is not to say change isn’t needed. It is. The retail industry needs to adapt to survive against the competition of online. There are many ways it can, of course, both by meeting the evolving demands of the new generation of customer and by reducing the cost of operation. For retail betting the digital experience is both a threat and an opportunity. The tech-savvy customer of the new generation is far different to their predecessor. They want the same convenient, digitised, and cashless retail experience that they are used to in other areas of life, with a user experience that is personalised to them. If retail can provide the benefits of digital while also offering the thrill that physical betting provides, the future will certainly be bright, and more exciting than ever before. Supplying customers with the right live pictures and data and giving them an incentive to engage with exciting live action is going to be an essential proponent of that successful retail offering. Live content is what draws them in, and the better the quality of data and content that we can provide operators with, the more engaged the customer will be. As any of our partners will tell you, the holy trinity for customer engagement is good quality data, readily available markets, and live pictures. Content-driven technologies, like ultra-low latency have a big part tο play here too.However, this trinity isn’t enough on its own to compete with online. Delivery needs to be around the clock, instantaneous and tailor-made for every corner of the world. We’ve created an end-to-end solution to provide for this, with a complete odds service, adaptable data feed, automated channel production platform, and the latest in broadcasting and streaming technologies. But there’s one final piece missing from retail’s evolutionary jigsaw: the sale itself. The digitisation of retail betting needs to be a complete ecosystem, and as part of the next generation of the retail experience, the SSBT will have a key role to play. As we already know, younger customers want their user experience to be as simple, convenient, and frictionless as possible. Our new breed of self-service solutions V-POS and FLAVOR cater for that demand by merging premium gaming content with cashless payment options. By remodelling the player journey, our award-winning FLAVOR offers infotainment and a self-contained betting environment, while V-POS, our complete betting ecosystem, will act as a shop within a shop for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Unlike the larger cabinet-based SSBTs, our solutions offer a compact desk top self-service with a complementary printer, integrated bank payment POS and mobile app, as well as a decoder, with which to coordinate the on-screen live action in-shop. This unique combination of retail solutions is here to unlock a cashless and cardless world full of opportunities, bundled with both card and mobile payment solutions. The future of retail is far brighter than many think – and as the key provider of every aspect of the physical betting experience aside from the walls themselves, we’re excited to be there to meet that demand. From our modern SSBT solutions that provide customers with the convenient, digitised and cashless retail experience to our expansive content portfolio that ranges from our ultimate live racing and sports channels, we’re here to deliver on a localised, content and data-driven future that is customised for every corner of the world.Held from 19-22 March, Betting on Football is the only trade conference that brings together decision makers from international operators to address the recent issues and opportunities in the sports betting industry.Stamford Bridge provides the perfect setting for 200 expert speakers across 40 sessions, including high level business and networking opportunities for key suppliers, top affiliates, sports clubs and organisations to meet with the operators.For more information about Betting on Football, please click HERE.last_img read more

Greta Morgan, 87, Hillsboro: Jan. 20, 1928 – Oct. 7, 2015

first_imgGreta MorganGreta Charlene Morgan, 87, died in Hillsboro, Kans. on October, 7th, 2015. Greta was born January 20, 1928 in Champion, Neb. to Samuel Fred and Nettie (Steele) Goddard. Greta was the tenth of eleven children. Due to the Depression, this very large family moved many times in order to survive.  After her father died, when Greta was still quite young, she moved with her mother and two of her sisters to Woodward, Okla. It was in Woodward that she met Floyd Lewis Morgan and on March 28, 1945 the two were married in Buffalo, Oklahoma. As they were only 16, their mothers had to give them permission to marry. The couple moved to Oklahoma City where Floyd became a baker and the first of their 4 sons was born. The family moved many times while Floyd worked for the Bond Bread Company. In 1971, Floyd left Bond Bread and went into the restaurant business. He later went to work for Smith International in Ponca City, Oklahoma. Floyd passed away in January 2004. Greta continued living in Ponca City until 2007 when she moved to Valley Center, Kansas to be near her son, DeWayne and his family. Greta moved into assisted living in Hillsboro in 2013. Greta is preceded in death by her husband of almost 59 years; her parents; nine siblings; sons, Donald Fred Morgan and Gary Eugene Morgan and a grandson, Brock Morgan.Survivors include her son, DeWayne Morgan (Erlene) of Valley Center, Kansas; son, Dennis Morgan (Kathy) of Hutto, Texas; daughter-in-law, Brenda Morgan of Ponca City, Oklahoma; sister, Noma Files of Duncan, Oklahoma; nine grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.Greta was a long time and very active member of the Hartford Avenue Church of Christ.Graveside services for Greta will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, October 12, 2015 at the Blackwell Cemetery in Blackwell, Oklahoma. There is no visitation scheduled. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Hartford Avenue Church of Christ, Ponca City, Okla. or your choice of charities. Contributions can be mailed or left with the funeral home.Arrangements are by Cornejo|Day Funeral Home & Crematory, 1030 Mission Road, Wellington, Kans. 67152.To share a memory or to leave condolences, please visit www.cornejodayfuneralhome.com.last_img read more