As hoops season has finally gotten underway, a few former standout hometown Hope High School alumni female athletes recently returned to Jones Field House Gymnasium to share some inspirational support of encouragement for the current Hope Ladycats basketball team.

As hoops season has finally gotten underway, a few former standout hometown Hope High School alumni female athletes recently returned to Jones Field House Gymnasium to share some inspirational support of encouragement for the current Hope Ladycats basketball team.

Kelly Muldrew, Tiffena Pierce, Carol Booze Smith, Phelencia Wheaton, Crystal Flenory and Vickie Pierce all came to address the Ladycats basketball players about the importance of playing team ball as representatives of Hope High School and the community.

Muldrew, who is currently in the fourth year as the assistant basketball coach of the Ladycats under head coach Susan Powers arranged this occasion in hopes to inspire the current Ladycat players to work hard for achievement and success as she did during her time performing in high school from 1993-95.

Muldrew's focus was to have these former Ladycat greats to share their success and experience to the team that once they step on the court it drives them to be the best they can be and more importantly support each other as a family.

These former Ladycat greats showcased their skills, talents and excitement on the hardwood at Jones Field House Gymnasium during the mid 1980's and 1990's era under the coaching expertise of Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame legendary coach Melba Hall.

There have been many seasons of success in Hope High School senior high girls basketball program under coach Hall and these former Ladycats are apart of these successful accolades achieved as former players of the legendary coach.

Due to having one of the extraordinary coaching legacies in Arkansas, coach Hall produced successful season in Hope from 1973-2000. In her 28 years coaching in Hope, she coached tennis, track, volleyball and basketball. She holds several conference titles in basketball which these former Ladycats have experience as players under coach Hall. She also was the president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and ran the CAT's summer basketball camp for boys and girls 25 years.

Like these former Ladycats, Melba Hall is alumni of Hope High School and graduated in 1962. Coach Hall retired from coaching in 2000 in Hope and holds over 800 wins in her career. These former Ladycats enjoyed their time as former players coached by Hall. They expressed to the current HHS senior high girls team in order to play for coach Hall they had to be always be ready to work, focus and compete with pride as representatives of Hope.

Not only did they have to be sharp on the court, but also in the classroom. Education has always been an important tool and aspect for high school student-athletes. These former Ladycats knew if they didn't take care of business in the classroom, they wouldn't be able to compete on the court.

On of the important tools to their success as a basketball team was supporting one another on and off the court. This was one of the special impacts that led to them being successful as basketball players. All provided motivation to the Ladycats team to come out with good attitudes, listen to their coaches and be examples for the future student-athletes coming up to leave legacy that shows positive effects of team unity.

Coach Powers was an assistant coach under Melba Hall and coached some of these former Ladycats during their era at Hope High School. Coach Powers is very thrilled to have Muldrew as an assistant and apart of her coaching staff to help the Ladycats through their journey performing on the hardwood. The impact Muldrew has brought gives these student-athletes some encouragement and she believes having these former great Hope High School basketball players will uplift them to achieve something special as the season progresses.

Lastly, senior team captain Andria Curtis spoke on behalf of her teammates and thanked all the former Ladycats for inspiring them with encouragement of support. Curtis was appreciative for the message these former Ladycats shared to help motivate her teammates as well as herself to be better team performers and leaders to hopefully have success like they once did.

Curtis with Ke'Azha Roberts, Courtney Davis, Stephenique Morris and MeAshyia Camal all uphold the leadership roles for the team as seniors and look keep a high focus of competitive energy for this year's Ladycat basketball team.

The Ladycats have another challenging year of hoops ahead of them, but aim for a strong finish as the season rolls through February 2018.