FAIRFIELD — Russ Ninemire's small office is tucked into a corner of the Sandy Creek high school building, not far away from the gym where he's led the girls basketball program to 10 state championships.
Ask the coach, as he leans back in his desk chair, about nearly any player from the past and he could tell you where she went to college, who her husband is, the name of her kids and where she's working.
In that gym, he's seen quite a few talented players run up and down the court.
The most recent is Mikaela Shaw.
"You know how to play for your teammates and for the community," Shaw said. "That's the thing, you come into our girls basketball program, and people are like 'Sandy Creek — they've got 10 state titles.' But, that's not what we're about.
"We're about the girls in the program. We look at the alumni and the girls that have graduated. Then with the girls on the team now, you play for them. And for the younger girls watching, who will someday be in the program."
Maybe that's the reason Sandy Creek has had more Tribland girls basketball players of the year than any other school in the area.
Two of those honors belong to Shaw, as the senior has been named the Tribland basketball player of the year for the second consecutive season — the seventh time a Cougar has claimed that honor since it was enacted in 1991.