It's no wonder why Charlotte Richman is committed to play at the next level across the country in West Point, New York, at Army.
The Ida B. Wells senior is already a general out on the floor.
Richman tore through enemy lines in the opening game of the season at home Thursday against Sandy, picking up nine points, six assists, three rebounds and one steal as the Guardians won 60-33 in the season opener for both teams.
It's all in a day's work for the four-year starter.
"She just has a deep understanding of what we do, knows where everybody is on the floor and for as good of an offensive player as she is, she's super unselfish and gets everybody involved," Wells coach Anthony Levrets said. "She just committed to West Point, and she's a gold-star human being."
Being that reliable person might be why her teammates trust her so much with the ball in her hands.
Against Sandy (0-1), on multiple occasions, Richman hit a cutting teammate perfectly underneath the basket for open layups, including one on a fastbreak where her pass went between two Pioneers defenders and set her teammate, Eve Hart, up for an easy bucket.
Of course, when the player Richman tries to imitate the most is Chicago Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot, the WNBA's leader in assists for the past five seasons, it's not a surprise to see the senior running the floor to perfection.
"I've been playing since kindergarten," Richman said. "Just this past summer, since I couldn't really play as much, I've been watching a lot of film. A lot of NBA, college, WNBA. And just watching point guards and how they kind of see the floor and get their teammates open shots."
Richman got her teammates involved plenty against Sandy, including fellow senior forward Eliza Digiulio picking up a team-high 17 points. She also pulled down 8 rebounds.
Hart was right behind with 16 points while the Guardians hit five 3-pointers, giving Richman plenty of options down low or up top to give the ball to.
"They've worked super hard in the offseason and even from last spring season, I just see the growth in a lot of my teammates," Richman said. "Just being able to finish shots, finish layups, run down the floor … huge credit to them because without them, none of this would be possible."
Levrets, a former Utah women's basketball head coach, sees the same drive in Richman's teammates and knows it's not a one woman show.
But Levrets also knows Richman has a special something when it comes to understanding the game, having coached her since eighth grade.
"Our bigs are persistent about running and getting up and down the floor," Levrets said. "You can get an easy basket or two within a game and (Richman is) so unselfish and has such great vision, those kids know if they run they're going to get the ball and they like to get their name in the scorebook."
One game down and plenty more to go to keep getting names in the scorebook for Richman and the Guardians, and the challenge won't get easier.
The Portland Interscholastic League is always a competitive one, and it features the reigning state champs from 2019 in Benson.
The Techwomen took home the league title in the abbreviated spring season earlier in 2021 thanks to a close win over Wells, so the Guardians are looking to turn the table for the 2021-22 season.
And sure to be giving out those marching orders will be Richman.
"(Benson) is very good, there's other good teams in the league, but I think we're a good team," Levrets said. "We've got really good leadership, and the kids know how to play together and work together within the system. I think we have a chance to make some noise.
"The goal for this group is to be in the final eight and be in the Chiles Center at the end of the year."
Other local Thursday basketball scores
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