DARLINGTON, S.C. -- Shaniqua Bennett was hired Tuesday as Darlington High School's new girls' basketball coach.
She replaces reigning Morning News Girls' Basketball Coach of the Year, Bradley Knox, who took the same job with the Falcon boys. Bennett had served as a Falcon assistant the previous five season, including this past one in which Darlington reached the Class 4A lower-state final.
"You put in what you're going to get out of it," Bennett said. "My main thing is you practice how you perform, even when it's conditioning or just practicing with your teammates. My main focus is to prepare those girls to be the best they can be on the court."
A 2009 Darlington graduate, Bennett participated in Falcon volleyball, track and field, and girls' basketball. During that time, Darlington won three straight region track crowns. Bennett joined varsity basketball in the eighth grade, and played for then-coach Brian Rozelle during her final three seasons.
During that time, Darlington was the 2008 East Coast Ballers classes runner-up, and the 2009 region and lower-state champ. It was that program's first state finals appearance since 1995, and the team was state runner-up.
Bennett then played college basketball at Voorhees for three seasons, where she was part of its 2011 conference champion. After earning her Bachelor of Science degree in health and recreation, she played semi-pro basketball for five years.
"Coach Bennett is passionate about Darlington athletics and has been a part of helping our girls' basketball team reach success in recent seasons," Darlington principal Cortney Gehrke said. "We are confident our Lady Falcons are going to excel under her leadership."
Knox is also confident about Bennett.
"I think coach Bennett will do an awesome job of continuing the success of the girls' basketball program," he said. "She have been the top assistant and the head JV coach for the past five years. She is well prepared and she knows and understands our student athletes."
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