Quindella Ford doesn’t normally say much to tout her own basketball skills.
She doesn’t need to because her actions speak volumes on the hardwood.
As a junior at Okolona, the 5-foot-9 guard averaged a healthy 27.8 points per game and is currently in the midst of leading her AAU team, the North Mississippi Basketball Hoop Dreams, through the AAU Division II National Championships at the Disney Wide World of Sports in Kissimmee, Fla.
As of press time this morning Hoop Dreams was preparing to play in the Elite 8 after claiming a 76-47 victory Wednesday.
“It’s not a stretch by any means to say that she’s a magician with the ball in her hands,” said Hoop Dreams coach Ron Nichols of Ford, who last week gave a verbal commitment to play for Ole Miss. “She can do things with the basketball in her hands that you just don’t see girls do. When she’s moving off the dribble, she’s phenomenal.
“If you let her get in motion she’s virtually unstoppable. She can shoot the outside shot, but she shoots it off the dribble. She’s not a spot-up shooter. If she’s just shooting flat-footed she’s not a great shooter, but if she’s on the move and coming off of a pick she’ll get up off the ground 24 inches, shoot a pure jump shot and she’s money.
“She will get it to the hole as well as or better than anybody you have ever seen.”
Having coached her since she was a rising eighth grader, Nichols has seen Ford mature as a player.
“The biggest thing I’ve seen from her on the court is her confidence,” he said. “In playing AAU ball she has had the opportunity to see other kids that are highly thought of and highly recruited and she sees that she is as good as or better than (them) and now she’s starting to understand the level of talent that she has. She’s special.”
While Nichols maintains that Ford is a big-time talent, he admits she also has some growing to do.
“She has the potential, she has the ability to be a lock-down defensive player. Now, obviously it takes more energy and effort. She has to get in shape. On the offensive end she just needs to work on consistency,” Nichols said. “She’s never going to be just a spot-up 3-point shooter, that’s just not her game. The biggest thing is she needs to work on her effort and determination. She has to play hard all the time. Obviously, that will come out, it has to. Once she gets to the point where she plays hard all the time she’s unstoppable on both ends of the court. She can lock anybody down and there’s just nobody that can guard her.
“She has to get in shape and dedicate herself to living up to her talent.”
In a move to improve her standing with the NCAA Clearinghouse and become eligible to play at Ole Miss, Ford has decided to transfer from Okolona, which was taken over by the state more than a year ago, to Pontotoc.
“Quindella’s past academic performance has put her behind the eight ball with the NCAA Clearinghouse and the required 16 core courses, but I’ve had some people look at her transcript and it’s absolutely possible for her to become a full qualifier, but it is absolutely impossible for her to do it at Okolona because they do not offer the courses she has to have to become qualified. That’s the biggest reason she’s transferring out of Okolona.
“She can’t qualify if she stays there.”
Ford’s verbal commitment is non-binding. (July 14, 2011, Page 6)