Lady Dragons are hungry, young, and despite massive success, are only getting started [VIDEO]

It’s been known that players take on the persona of their coaches. At 9-0 and ranked #2 in the state, Jefferson Lady Dragons head coach Greg Brown could care less about rankings and the hype. The apple certainly hasn’t fallen far from the tree, as the girls themselves do not believe their own press – good or bad.

“We really just don’t talk about it,” says Brown. “We talk about, ‘what’s next?’ We know every game is different, and we have to bring our best every single game. Our kids have really bought into that; I have a really unselfish team.”

That speaks volumes for a team that boasts some top-shelf credentials. Since they won’t say it about themselves, we’ll say it for them. They are ranked #2 in Class 3A, playing without blemish at 9-0 so far heading into a tough non-region matchup Friday night against #3-ranked North Forsyth, and 1-0 in region play.

The offense is electric (58 pts/game) behind the play of All-State guards Livi Blackstock (junior) and Deshona Gaither (sophomore). AND the team is still so young, despite holding that denotation a year ago and making a state quarterfinal run.

“Everybody kind of forgets that,” says Brown. “Everybody thought we were young last year, and we really were, but we only have one senior this year. We’re not much different, we’re a year older. The [girls] are a year older, and more comfortable.”

Jefferson was the surprise team last year, with a high number of top-tier players graduating from the prior season, and were bringing in new head coach Brown. That group went on to go 25-4, finishing as Region Champions and advancing to the Elite 8. This year, the team knows despite still being young that they will get everyone’s best shot each night.

While the Lady Dragons have the stellar play of Blackstock and Gaither and many other weapons around them (Natalia Bolden, Chloe Hiatt, Courtney Kidd, Alianne Clark, etc.), the guards are quick to point to another factor that results in wins on the hardwood.

“We all get along really good,” says Gaither. “We bond with each other off the court. It helps a lot because if we’re down in a game, we lift each other up and don’t start fussing with each other.”

That has paid dividends in 4 games this year in particular, in which the games came down to the wire and were won by 9 or fewer points (Banks County, state-ranked Dawson, Mill Creek, and Druid Hills).

“It was great for our confidence,” says Blackstock. “When we were down, we still held our head high, and it really showed our maturity. It’s just preparing us for the end of the season.”

The Lady Dragons live by a recipe of amnesia (not resting on success or thinking too highly of themselves), playing unselfish ball, playing solid defense and sticking to the fundamentals, and being the best version of themselves nightly, as well as taking it one game at a time.

What’s cooking this year for Jefferson might just be something special that includes some major hardware when the final buzzer sounds.

Digital Copy of Interview (Livi Blackstock & Deshona Gaither)

Digital Copy of Interview (Livi Blackstock & Deshona Gaither)


Digital Copy of Interview (Greg Brown)

Digital Copy of Interview (Greg Brown)


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