Yavapai College women’s basketball team builds on team culture after 11-year hiatus

By Joanna Dodder Nellans

With the help of a generous booster and lots of enthusiasm, the Yavapai College women’s basketball program is bouncing back to prominence after an 11-year hiatus.

After forming a team of freshmen for the 2022-23 season, Coach Gerrard Carmichael is looking forward to solidifying the team culture with the help of his talented returning sophomores this season

“Work hard in class, in court, and in the community,” Coach Carmichael emphasizes to his players. “Be unselfish and enjoy the moment.”

That community work included volunteering to box food for the poor and making blankets for foster kids. Coach Carmichael believes it’s important to pay it forward.

“We have all sat in the shade of trees we did not plant,” he says.

Carmichael’s decades of experience coaching high school and club teams in the Valley of the Sun helps draw talented players to Prescott.

Returning team leaders include:

  • Forward Kishyah Anderson of Phoenix, earned Second Team All-Conference and Second Team All-Region honors last season. She led the team in scoring with 453 points (2nd in ACCAC), rebounds with 211 (7th in ACCAC), blocks with 24 (6th in ACCAC) and steals with 41 (24th in conference). She turned down an opportunity to move to a Division 1 school and chose to stay at YC for a second year.
  • Guard Saydee Allred, ranked #7 for total 3-pointers in the National Junior College Athletic Association and #14 for a percentage of 3-point field goals made at 41%.
  • Guard Hollie Dalton, a Prescott High graduate led the team in assists last year.

“First, the reason why I originally chose to come [to YC] is the interaction I first had with Coach Carmichael, the person he is and the integrity he has,” Saydee said. “Second is the location and atmosphere of the campus that’s inviting and friendly. Third, I believe in the program that Yavapai and Coach Carmichael are building and creating. I also am excited about the quality of education I’m receiving here at YC.”

Coach Carmichael emphasizes education as much as sports.

“Our team culture establishes our foundation and who we want to be,” he explained – and that means who they want to be for the rest of their lives, not just on the court.

An anonymous Prescott donor with fond memories of coming up to Prescott from Phoenix for summer basketball camps helped revive the men’s and women’s Roughrider basketball programs in 2022 after budget woes ended in 2011. The women went 11-17 last season, finishing 8th in the Arizona Community College Athletics Conference. The team is looking forward to playing for fans this season from October through March. Check out the game schedule at https://goroughriders.com/sports/womens-basketball/schedule