By now Mexico senior varsity basketball guard Adria Costley has to have had her fill of people telling her how great it is that her father is also her coach.
Because her father, Ed Costley, and her mother Kim Costley are also teachers for Mexico Community Schools, that theme probably runs even deeper than anyone outside the family will ever truly know. Like it or not that influence is eventually going to get mentioned when appropriate. though, as it did Thursday in the Bulldogs sports complex as Adria signed her national letter of intent to play for the Central Missouri women's basketball program beginning next school year.
"Through the years her game has really grown. She's knows how to facilitate. Adria isn't really a true point guard. She's also scoring guard," said Ed Costley. "Not only can she score, but she also makes timely passes that put her teammates in position to score. She has confidence on the floor and we talk about that a lot. When your a top player, you keep finding ways to elevate the people around you."
In 2016-17 Adria Costley began the season sidelined by injury. She was back in plenty of time for Class 4, District 8, though, which the Lady Bulldogs began by beating Fulton 47-31. The squad then just barely fell against St. Dominic's 42-41.
"I'm very excited. It feels great to get the nerves out of the way and just play basketball," Adria Costley said. "When I come in at Central Missouri they just want to see what I can do. They have an excellent point guard right now (Paige Redmond), but I'm going to see what I can do to help the team out. I'm excited to see what I can do, meet new people and have some new experiences. With my dad, it can be hard to listen at times, but I try and remember he's my coach and be as coachable as I can."
One of the other schools Adria Costley was considering was Missouri Science and Technology (S and T), which won its season opener in Rolla against the St. Louis College of Pharmacy 105-61 on Oct. 29. The team then played four games in two days at the Lady Miner Classic in the Gale Bullman Building Nov. 10-11.
"Sometimes you go through moments, especially when you're working on your game during the offseason, things don't go well and players start breaking down their own shots," said Ed Costley. "Then you have to figure out what they did because now we're seeing something totally different. You've got to study the mechanics and try and build things back up. You like that their showing independence and trying to prove themselves, so you have to let them learn from it."
The one other program Adria Costley considered was Southern-Illinois in Carbondale. This year the Lady Saluki's began the season with a pair of exhibition wins prior to starting the regular season at home last Friday against the University of Tennesee at Martin.
"We want her to not just use her athleticism and on-court skills, but to also try and find different ways to contribute. If it's not working on the offensive end, there are other things you can be doing," Ed Costley said. "You're not always going to score, but she's unselfish and I'm pleased by her growth. You also have to find ways to get players to step beyond their comfort zone. Sometimes they just have to take charge and play a more aggressive role and be a leader."
For Central Missouri, its season began Friday and Saturday in Kansas City with back-to-back games against the University of Mary and Northern State of the Northern Sun Conference. This is the Jennies 48th year of competition. Last season the Jennies qualified for the National Collegiate athletic Association and this year the squad was ranked in the top-15 in two preseason polls according to Central Missouri Sports Information Director Joe Hoffman.
"Over the past few years we talked about one of the areas she needed improvement in was defense. We always felt like she was a skilled offensive player, but we wanted to find ways for her to get better defensively," said Ed Costley. "She worked on all of the inatngibles. Defense, quickness and that first-step burst. It's not always about the points or the stats. It's about finding ways to keep imrpoving your game."
Last year Adria Costley scored an avearge of 21.0 points per game while hitting 44 percent of her two-point field goals, 40 percent of her three-pointers and 73 percent from the free throw line. She also pulled down 73 rebounds, 71 assists and 53 steals.