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Life Lessons: Breaking records on the court

By Nancy Werteen, Anchor / Reporter, NWerteen@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 01 2013 09:43:32 AM CDT
Updated On: Apr 02 2013 06:04:54 AM CDT

Life Lessons Breaking records on the court

A new poll shows Americans now expect to retire at an average age of 67, up from 66 in 2011. The average expected retirement age has been gradually increasing over the past 17 years from age 60 in 1995 to 67 today.

Some people just keep working simply because they want to.

These are people like Leta Andrews who has been coaching high school girl's basketball for 51 years. She holds the record for the most wins in the nation with 14-hundred victories.

Leta says she has that winning attitude because, "The only win that's important to me, is the next one."

Her game plan is a hard learned lesson for the girls she coaches. Incidentally, she works at the same school where she learned the game.

She tells the girls, "Basketball is very simple. You just have to do those little things well." She demands a total commitment from her players.

"If you're not running a 104 temperature and throwing up, you roll out of that bed and come to school because not only will you miss my class, and I consider my class a classroom and it's important, but you're going miss those solid subjects that you've got to have to go on to college and taste the fruits of success."

How does a woman who could be the player's great grandmother gain a teenager's respect? The kids say it's her determination and spirit.

Senior Lilley Vander Zee, is a center on the team.

"I couldn't do a pull up and she got up there, pulled up and was talking to me, looking down on me and saying, 'Lilley, if I am 70 something years old and I can do this, I'm pretty sure you can too."

For every free throw missed, a hundred are shot on a player's own time.

Lose the ball and you run the bleachers.

Point guard Morgan Northcutt says she knows what the coach wants.

"She expects your best out of you and it's tough, but it's rewarding."

Point guard Ashley Bonugli agrees, "She pushes you to limits you didn't even know you had."

Leta's players have gone to play Division 1 ball.

This year's center has a full ride to the University of Texas and past player Jia Perkins now plays for the WFNBA.

Leta says, "Kiddos of today, they really don't care what you think until they know you do care, and then they will appreciate how much you do know."

Leta still runs four miles a day at age 74.

When asked if players have changed over the years, the coach says it's the parents who have changed. She says parents today are too easy.