RCC basketball coach optimistic

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By Stevie McCarter

By Stevie McCarter

As the season begins for the womens’ basketball team, head coach Alicia Berber has a lot of positive things to say about the program, the sport and most importantly, the women. Berber, in her fourth coaching season here at RCC, knows what it is like to be a student athlete.

After graduating from Perris High School, Berber moved on to UC Riverside where she signed on with a basketball scholarship. After redshirting at UCR, she transfered here to RCC.

Building her experience, gaining knowledge and practicing to be the best, Berber maintains seven single-season records, seven career records and three single-game records at RCC. Also, she was elected a KODAK All-American, the only one in the college’s history.

She concluded her basketball career as the college’s all time leading scorer with 1,280 points.

Berber then transfered to Washington State University, where she earned a bachelors degree. After turning a struggling program around at Norte Vista High School, she felt her job was done and headed back to RCC. Since being here at RCC she has taken all of her teams to the Southern California Regionals and plans on keeping that tradition alive.

Oct. 15 was the first day of practice and the first time Berber realized how much heart the girls really have.

“They love to play the game, and it shows,” Berber said.

During practice the Tigers run drills, condition, lift weights and prepare mentally.

“You have a job to do. Winning is fun, but to win, you must work,” Berber said.

Basketball, like any sport takes a highly trained physical condition, but with this team, mental awareness is a big part of their program. Many of the players, like most of the students here at RCC have a life other than college. Many have jobs to pay the bills, some even have children to take care of. Now with all the obstacles life brings to us, these women have all those things on top of basketball. Berber pushes the concept of togetherness, she wants her women to “feel like a family.”

“Coach Berber is great; she is always concerned with us as an individual. She is more than a coach; she’s a good friend.”

Being mentally prepared, practicing until you feel like you cannot practice any more and loving the game is what our RCC women’s basketball team does. With three returning sophomores, and seven new freshman the team captains seem very excited about the season’s outcome.

“We are all great individual players that work really hard, but communication is key and we need to work on that a little more. We are extremely excited,” Pickron said. “We have strong sophomores and a great recruiting class. Our team is a team, it isn’t the freshman and the sophomores. We are a whole.”

The Tigers played in the Mt. San Antonio tournament on Nov. 12-14 and beat College of the Canyons 79-68 and Compton 61-53, but lost to Mt. Sac 52-46. On Nov. 19, the Tigers played Pasadena City and lost 82-57. The women are now ranked No. 7 in the state. They continue their season with the College of the Sequoias Tournament on Dec. 2-5.

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