Harrison Central Red Rebelettes head basketball coach Nancy Ladner was an eighth grader at Harrison Central High School when Renee Ladner was a senior.
Renee received a basketball scholarship at Ole Miss and graduated in 1981. She played for Van Chancellor who was her high school and college basketball coach.
When Nancy was looking for an assistant coach she didn't hesitate to call Renee who had stepped down as the Ole Miss Lady Rebels head coach where she served from 2007 through the 2012 season.
Prior to that Renee was an assistant coach at Ole Miss and at Florida.
She's using that college experience to teach Red Rebelettes' players to excel on the high school level.
"Basketball is basketball as you're in the SEC and you're playing in that league every night, you've got to find ways, it's a chess match, you're got to find ways and what it has done it's taught me how to prepare in a much better light, "stated Ladner. "How to really analyze the game and see the floor and I had some of the best teachers and coaches that I got to coach against."
Ladner who was a sixth round draft pick by the St. Louis Streaks of the Women's Professional Basketball League, started her head coaching career at North Gulfport , coaching the 7th and 8th grade girls basketball teams from 1981-1987.
She later coached the Harrison Central ninth grade girls basketball team for three seasons before taking over the girls basketball program at St. John High School in Gulfport.
Ladner led the 1999-2000 St. John Lady Eagles to an impressive 35-3 record and captured the Class 2A State Championship.
She left St. John to become an assistant coach in the college ranks at Florida from 2000-2002 and became an assistant at Ole Miss from 2003-2007.
Ladner became the sixth women's basketball coach at Ole Miss in 2007 and led the Lady Rebels through the 2011-2012 season.
She's enjoying her days back on the home court at Harrison Central High School, teaching and giving the Red Rebelettes valuable advise.
"It's day-to-day,"stated Ladner. "They have to learn to work hard. They have to learn a higher skill level and what our kids need to know and I think most high school kids need to know, it's a big world out there and there's a lot of opportunities if they decide to work hard."
Coaching along side Nancy Ladner is something she enjoys. She says they have been friends for a long time and even went to church together.
"I appreciate the opportunity she's giving me to comeback here," said Renee. "She was a young point guard and I was the old point guard so I think in a lot of ways I think Nancy and I played a lot alike and we played for the same coaches and she had the same dreams that I had so I even went on family vacations with them so we're more than just coaching friends we're family."
The two Ladners' have guided Harrison Central to the Class 6A South State Championship and the Red Rebelettes open the Class 6A State Tournament in the Big House in Jackson March 12 at 1:00 p.m. facing Olive Branch.
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