Legendary coach passes torch to former players

From left are NCHS head coach Nikki Jones, LHSAA Hall of Fame Coach Emma Boozman and Meredith Graf.

By Marco Clark, exclusive to the Times

Natchitoches Central’s legendary girls’ basketball coach, Emma Boozman, was on hand to watch two of her former players, Nikki Jones, NCHS head coach, and Jenna Bolin, head coach of the Ruston Bearkats. These ladies have taken the torch from Coach Boozman and are continuing to run that long marathon with it.

“While coaching these two, they were so engaged in what we were trying to do. Both Jenna and Nikki were coaches on the court. I could trust them to make the right adjustments if the opposing team changed what they were doing. I tell you the truth, I count this achievement just as high as winning state championships. The fact that two of my former players have taken on the responsibility of helping shape and mold young ladies to be successful in life really means a lot to me.” Boozman said.

“I was heavily influenced to become a coach after coming into contact with coach Emma Boozman. She remains a constant in my personal life as well as my coaching career. I could never thank her enough for simply being my coach,” Jones said. “While I’m coaching, and my team is not playing well, I can hear Coach Boozman in my ear telling us to calm down, take a deep breath, think it through and let the game come to you. These are things I try to remind myself of as well, while instilling it into my players.”