• 66°

Floor Generals: Hood weathers storm, embraces new role

Delta Charter’s Laken Hood tries to convert a layup in the lane in a contest earlier this season. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Delta Charter’s Laken Hood tries to convert a layup in the lane in a contest earlier this season. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

 

Ferriday — Laken Hood isn’t your typical point guard.

Hood is tough, prides herself on her ability to muscle her way to the goal and has an uncommon hobby.

“She does a lot of MMA, and that type of stuff,” Delta Charter head coach Ronald Ellis said. “She’s strong.”

So what’s an MMA practitioner doing running point for Delta Charter? Well, Ellis said she’s the girl who has the best handles, and therefore, earned the job. Hood, who used to play down on the low block, was surprised to say the least when Ellis approached her about playing the position.

“Oh it’s a big difference,” Hood said. “When coach told me I would be playing point guard, I said, ‘Point guard? I can’t even dribble.’”

But Hood worked hard with her teammates, learning how to become a facilitator and a scorer for The Storm. So far this season, Hood has led the team in scoring, averaging double figures on a nightly basis, but she knows her and her team are far from becoming what they hope to be someday.

“We don’t know how to work together yet, but we all just have to adjust to the game,” Hood said. “Basketball isn’t a game that you play by yourself, you have to work as a team to play basketball.”

Though Ellis was adamant that his team needed to practice more and become more accustomed to playing against varsity teams with older opponents, the improvement is still visible. In fact, individually, since accepting the point guard role, Hood said she’s improved dramatically.

“Beginning of the season I was probably a one out of 10, and now, I’d say I’m about a six,” said Hood with the upmost confidence.

Ellis acknowledged that the team has improved with Hood running point.

“It’s a work in progress, but she’s getting better,” Ellis said. “They’re all starting to learn each other, but we need much more practice.”