Georgia's Andy Landers speaks to state champion Kendrick at awards luncheon

dmitchell@ledger-enquirer.comApril 18, 2014 

The Kendrick High girls basketball team’s victory tour made another stop on Friday at the Gallery at Fountain Park with an awards luncheon presented by Sportsvisions.

Attending and speaking at the luncheon was legendary University of Georgia women’s coach Andy Landers, winner of 905 games and four NCAA coach of the year awards.

Speaking to the attending players, coaches and parents, Landers let them know that he was in attendance in Macon when the Lady Cherokees defeated Wesleyan in the state championship game, and they caught his attention for doing something few teams are able to do.

“I coach some Wesleyan players and I know all about them and you did something nobody else has done,” Landers told the team. “You made them look normal.”

Landers praised not just the players but the support system around the girls that helped give them the tools to succeed at a high level. It was the parents who took the time to get them to practice and the coaches who run them ragged that got them to a point where they could contend.

“I think sometimes we make success really complicated and it’s not,” Landers said after the ceremony. “It’s ordinary people doing extraordinary things. There’s a reason more people don’t achieve that success, and that’s what I tried to touch on today. For them to do what they’ve done — not only do they have talented athletes, they have coaches, parents and a community that supports them and wants them to succeed.

“There’s not a whole lot in life we can take full credit for.”

Kendrick’s senior lead Kahlia Lawrence reflected that in her comments after the luncheon, as well, praising her teammates.

“The things they do to help me and this team is just incredible,” she said.

She added what an experience it was for her and her teammates to meet Landers, a man who has had so much success at the highest level.

“The way he presented himself to us our first time meeting him, it’s just something you don’t forget,” she said. “It’s pretty awesome.”

The Lady Cherokees have one more big moment for this team when four players will sign scholarships at the school at 12:30 p.m. Monday. Lawrence, Deja Cheatham, Donivan Dyson and Ashunti Jack will all sign.

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