Five Minutes with Coach Allen

Coach Logan Allen joined the CJ community as head coach of the women's basketball program in the Spring of 2021 and has witnessed the hard work and talent represented on the team. Throughout their season this year, the team has continued developing strengths, skills, and community all while overcoming challenges and growing together as a team. 

Q: What strengths does the team and individuals within the team possess?

A: Our athletes love to compete and relish the opportunity to test their level of play. It’s never about a single individual with our team — they always encourage and pull for one another. Brooke Haywood ‘25 and Kennedy Gadson ‘23 are two of the top five scorers in the league, and two of the most selfless players that I’ve coached. They are willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win. Our four other seniors Airreana Clark, Morgan Chandler, Sydney Layer, and Aaliyah Vineyard have done a remarkable job leading our team in establishing our identity.

Q: Are there any challenges the team has overcome? Has this led to the team evolving in any way throughout the season?

A: Every year presents its challenges. This year, the team only returned three players with varsity experience. Of our nine full time varsity players, last year six of them either did not play, including freshman starting point guard, Janae Cain, were hurt, or played JV. Finding and learning individual strengths and weaknesses takes time. Our athletes adapted to every change and have faced every challenge head-on. Our league is one of the most competitive in the area; plus, we chose to play some challenging non-league teams. So every day is a challenge and we look forward to taking strong steps forward each day.

Q: What has the team discovered about themselves as a unit throughout the season?

A: We’re learning how to win and what it takes to go from being a good to a great team. Experience has and always will be the greatest teacher — so the goal is to give them as many challenging experiences as we can so they can learn all of the tremendous things they are capable of. We always tell our student athletes, there’s no limit to how good you can be — at anything. Don’t ever put a lid on your possibilities.  

Q: Is there an overall theme, vibe, feeling or mantra that has emerged for this year’s team/program?

A: Next play. No matter what just happened for better or worse, we have to move on to the next play because that might be the play that determines the outcome. No matter what quarter or how much time is left, each and every play counts in the exact same way.

I would also say community.  When I was hired in May of 2021 the first thing the girls brought up in our initial meeting was community. They have seen the CJ community in action. They have watched our people get behind so many groups, organizations, and causes. They aspired to be a part of that by bringing a sense of togetherness to the girls basketball program. The girls basketball program at CJ has a rich history. To step onto Mary, Our Lady of Victory Gym floor with more banners hanging for women’s basketball than any other sport means something. 

The way our athletes have shifted their perspective in pursuit of excellence means everything.  They’re not afraid to take on even the greatest of challenges, but they want to be the catalyst for something greater. I’m often asked inside and outside of CJ, “When are we going to get back to the era of excellence we experienced in the late 90s and early 2000s with standouts such as Tamika Williams, Megan Duffy, Brandie Hoskins, Aisha Jefferson, Maria Getty, and Lindsey Goldsberry and winning State Championships?”  My answer is simple: “We’re on our way. One step at a time”

What new opportunities and/or events are coming up for the girls basketball program?

YOUTH NIGHT - Wednesday, Jan. 25  - CJ vs.Fenwick
After securing their 10th win vs Oakwood last night, the team looks forward to two more games this week. Tonight we welcome our young athletes by hosting Youth Night as we take on the Fenwick Falcons on Wednesday, Jan. 25. CYO student athletes and a guest are eligible for free entry to this game using this link and the code “cjnext.” JV plays at 6 p.m. and varsity plays at 7:30 at CJ. 

SENIOR NIGHT - Saturday, Jan. 28 - CJ vs. McNicholas
We look for our students and fans to come out and cheer on our seniors during our game against McNicholas on Saturday, Jan. 28. JV plays at noon, and varsity plays at 1:30 p.m.