- Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 November 2009 22:11
- Published on Tuesday, 24 November 2009 22:11
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Basketball fever is hotter than ever before at the College of Southern
Sports Editor Maryland. Since 2008, the connection between the Northern Neck metropolitan area and the CSM’s lady basketball team is growing stronger. With an influx of talent arising from their newest coaches and King George residents, head coach Phil Hempfield and assistant coach Robin Cobb, to Washington & Lee grad and multi-athlete Ashley Farmer, the Northern Neck link to athletics has found a new home.
Hempfield is the CSM Lady Hawks head coach, and founder and president of the Swish basketball AAU team. After 22 years of service, he retired from the Navy and now works as a consulting analyst for a government contractor at the NSWC Naval base in Dahlgren.
Cobb is the CSM Lady Hawks assistant coach and an assistant coach with the Swish basketball AAU team. In the past, she has served as an assistant coach with the King George High School girls varsity, junior varsity and King George Parks & Recreation Department. Cobb is employed at King George School Board as a central office technician.
Given the fact that Colonial Beach grad and CSM basketball star Tiana Payton’s impact to their program was instantaneous, future CSM players from the Northern Neck area will continue to be heavily recruited. Although Payton is currently absent from the team due to illness, she still has another year of eligibility to play. The mere thought of Payton and Farmer in the same backcourt will give opponents shivers.
The link between Hempfield, Cobb and Farmer originates three years ago when Farmer was a member of the Swish AAU girls travel basketball team. Farmer and her Washington & Lee Eagles teammate Kelisha Johnson formed a formable tandem with both Swish, and the Eagles team.
Now that Farmer has become a full-time student at CSM, majoring in exercise science, her life a leader and captain on the basketball court has taken on new roles. Although she was major factor in point production at Washington & Lee, she must now formulate an entirely different approach by distributing the ball equally among her new teammates.
“We have a long way to go,” Hempfield said. “At Washington & Lee they had a two-man game (Kelisha Johnson and Ashley Farmer). Now I am trying to coach them into a team concept. Ashley is very quick and gets off her shot any time she wants too, but we’re trying to focus on picking certain spots instead of just shooting.”
The CSM Lady Hawks have played two games this season against Potomac State and NOVA. Fighting through an upper respiratory illness, Farmer scored 13 points, while