A New Team With Some Familiar FacesNewest NM Women's Professional Team Has Several Familiar Faces

A New Team With Some Familiar Faces

I had an opportunity to sit down with Arryon Bird Williams, the head coach of the Lady Bullsnakes, the women’s half of the New Mexico entry in the American Basketball Association (ABA).  The men’s Bullsnake team has been in operation for several seasons, but this is the first season there will be a New Mexico women’s team playing in the league.

The ABA has 12 teams across the Western and Southwestern US.  The Lady Bullsnakes currently have an 8 game regular season schedule that may expand by a few games, with the playoffs to follow.  April 1st is the team’s first home game after playing Las Vegas, NV twice.  They lost to the defending league champs in two very competitive games where the lead changed upwards of ten times.

Coach Williams played at Highlands, and then professionally including in Iceland, Denmark, Mexico, and Peru.  His goals with the Bullsnakes—besides playing winning basketball—is to connect with the community (which is why all the current players have some previous connection to New Mexico), give women a chance to keep playing basketball, and help those who want to play overseas get some exposure to do so.

Fans who go to Saturday evening’s game will recognize several players including Aisia Robertson and Antiesha Brown, both of who have played professionally in Europe, will be the starting backcourt on Saturday.  Also, Nike McClure has been added to the team roster and is getting familiar with the rest of the players.  A fourth player with Mew Mexico basketball connections is Ni’Asia Mcintosh who played HS ball in Gallup and went to Northern New Mexico College.

I got a few minutes to talk with Aisia prior to practice, and then see how quick she looked on the court after not seeing her for a few seasons.  Coming off two tough losses in Las Vegas, Aisia felt good that the Lady Bullsnakes were very capable and very much talented enough to beat Las Vegas.  She had the same air of confidence she had when playing at UNM, “We just need to get a bit of experience playing together, and finish games out better.  But we fought to the last minute and never gave up.  That’s not us, giving up.  We’re dogs out there.”

Watching her run the court with the ball in her hands on a fast break I did notice a few things slightly different from her last Lobo games:  maybe a tick slower running the length of the floor, but more in control, more fluid looking.  And the passes:  faster, lower trajectory, and they hit the wing runners more in stride.  I look forward to seeing my first game, and I don’t know who will be running the wings with her during the games, but they better not turn their heads away when Aisia has the ball.

The tickets for the game are $10, and the game will be at the Legacy Church school at 6900 Los Volcanes RD NW, a few blocks west of Coors.