A new AAU girls basketball program has formed in Richmond with an eye-catching name.
Introducing The Richmond Tenacity Basketball Academy.
The youth program was formed by Jeff Jaymot, head coach of the Richmond High girls varsity basketball team and a physical education teacher at the school.
If anyone can exhibit tenacity, it’s Jaymot, who started the AAU program as part of a broader effort to uplift his school’s basketball program and to expand opportunities for talented local players.
Jaymot took over the Richmond High basketball program after a 0-22 season. In the three years since, he has committed to improving the program. This past season was the first in over a decade that the Oilers reached double digit varsity victories (11 wins, 16 losses). The team remained winless in league play.
But Jaymot said the program needs a lot more tweaking to become a respected contender. The coach has noticed how local eighth grade players often attend schools other than Richmond High. His girls’ basketball program is working to raise the “tarnished” reputation of Oilers athletics.
To help achieve that goal, Jaymot became the school’s physical education teacher so he could better recruit players. But the real strategy lies in the creation of The Richmond Tenacity, which aims to build basketball skills among local players even before they reach Richmond High, and to provide opportunities for year-round play.
“We plan to play all year round except for the high school basketball season,” Jaymot said.
The first practice is set for this Saturday at Richmond High. About 15 to 20 girls plan to participate at the program’s inception. Players represent Richmond High, Kennedy High, Hercules High and Making Waves Academy, Jaymot said.
While practices are getting started, the program is a long way from viability.
The league’s tournaments and gear come with a cost, and Jaymot hopes to provide the program to local girls for free. He has launched a gofundme.com page and is looking to connect with corporate sponsors.
“It is often said that it takes a special kind of tenacity to become successful if you’re raised in Richmond,” according to the program’s new website. “Our organization attempts to foster that required tenacity.”