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The Lady Sharks share their excitement ahead of season opener

The women’s basketball team shares their thoughts on the new head coach and season ahead
Connor Yee Kee
Freshman Elizabeth Shelton said basketball has been a positive emotional outlet at a practice on Nov. 3. (Compass News/Connor Yee Kee)

The Suffolk women’s basketball team is back for the 2023-24 season with a new head coach and high expectations from the players. 

Rebecca Levy, who started coaching when she was 15 and has coached high school, travel, and college basketball. She earned both a bachelor’s degree in physical education and a master’s degree in health education from Hofstra University and said her experience at Hofstra has helped her relate to Suffolk students. 

“I’ve been coaching for a very long time but I’m really excited to be the head coach and look forward to our season,” Levy said. “I really enjoy the players that we have and I’m really looking forward to a good year.”  

Goal No. 1: Get into the playoffs 

“My first goal is to feel the team and have a good season, help all my players leave here better people and better players than they came in,” Levy said. “I like to have a lot of fun, but I’d also like to win and go into the playoffs and see what we can do.”  

Elizabeth Shelton, a first-year student who comes from Bay Shore High School, has been playing basketball for four years, starting in her sophomore year in high school and has already noticed differences in playing college ball.  

“I feel like it’s more intense level. You’re definitely playing harder. You’re definitely held to a higher expectation than in high school. It’s more than just a team. And I feel like your connection with your coach is more on an emotional level, and it’s more than just the team at the end of the day,” Shelton said. 

Shelton said Levy isn’t just a coach. She also teaches the team life lessons. Shelton said Levy is “open doors and is willing to talk about anything.  

“Most coaches aren’t really like that, and I feel like that was a good aspect to have. Because at the end of the day you’re not just playing a sport in college… It could be a new experience for you, especially if you’re a first-year student, so there’s more than just basketball at the end of the day in college. You’re like in a whole bunch of new things.” 

Good vibes  

Shelton said this season’s players are meshing well. “The vibe around the team, we’re really like, supportive. We’re always encouraging each other to do good. It’s just a great vibe all in general, I feel like anybody on this team would be happy to be a part of it.”    

Shelton also said basketball allows her to express her emotions in a positive way.  

“I used to be a very closed-off person, so having basketball in my life, it allowed me to not be so closed off and be aggressive. I was able to take my anger on the court. I didn’t have the best family life, so basketball was my getaway, so I can escape,” Shelton said.  

Mia Khan, a second-year student out of Mattituck High School, played in 18 games of the 2022-23 season, starting in 16 of them, averaging 5.2 points per game and 5.8 rebounds per game, while shooting 26.8% from the field goal and 47.4% from the free throw. Levy said Khan is a good leader for the team and will help the team on the court as they go through the season.  

“I love basketball, I want to coach when I’m older so I’m always excited to play in college,” Khan said, adding that she wants to be a coach like Levy.  

“I love Rebecca. She’s such a great coach… you can really tell she cares about her players. Like, she’s always worried about not only our mental on the court but our mental off the court. She’s always telling us, ‘I’m always here for you guys if you need to talk.’ She’s always checking in on us before practice. Like she’s definitely a coach that’s for her players,” Khan said.   

Lessons learned 

Mia Khan, a second-year player, said she has high expectations for the season at the Sharks’ Nov. 3 practice at the Brookhaven Gym. (Compass News/Connor Yee Kee) (Connor Yee Kee)

Thinking about her experience last season, Khan said, “The leagues and the teams we played were so physical and so difficult. We didn’t have that height, and towards the middle of the season we didn’t even have the bodies or the players to be playing these games, but we kept pushing through. We had like, six or seven girls and we just kept going. It was a hard pull through last year. It’s city ball. It’s not like what I grew up with at Mattituck.” 

Khan is one of the only three second-year students on the women’s basketball team this season. “I think it’s really fun to work with. Especially wanting to be a coach when I get older, I really like working with the girls, especially those who play my position…” 

“I look back at myself last year, I had difficulties adjusting and learning all these new things and I try and look out for them and make sure like ‘hey I know I didn’t know these things coming into here I just wanted to let you know you can try doing this or this that…’ I think they’re really a joy to work with,” Khan said. 

“These girls have so much potential, they pick up things pretty quick.”  

“After our scrimmage against Hunter, my expectations are pretty high. We have potential to go places in this league. This team has speed, this team has the effort. These girls want to be here. And that’s something in high school I struggled with on a team… These girls want to work. I’ve played with these girls over the summer and then I come back here at tryouts and they’re playing like completely different players. I’m impressed, I’m happy they like to be here,” Khan said.  

The Suffolk County Community College Sharks open their season on Thursday against Dutchess Community College.  


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Connor Yee Kee
Connor Yee Kee, Managing Editor
Connor Yee Kee is a freshman journalism major at SUNY Suffolk. He is the managing editor of Compass News.

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