The Jackrabbits are coming off their 14th consecutive Moore League championship, but Poly is putting a different kind of roster on the floor than they have in a few decades. The Jackrabbits have only four players returning who had significant varsity experience last year, and will rely on young or inexperienced players to fill in the other spots.
“You know every year you say you want to be playing your best ball at the end of the year, this year it’s really really true,” said Poly coach Carl Buggs with a laugh.
The good news for Buggs is that his “core four” are all talented, intelligent, experienced players. In the middle of it all is Kalaya Buggs, the daughter of Buggs and his wife and longtime assistant coach Lakeisha. Lily Buggs (no relation) is back after a junior year that saw her win Moore League Player of the Year, and is signed with Cal State LA. Senior Simone Morris is a lanky wing who can shoot it and has been an improving defender as well; Morris is signed with Robert Morris University.
All three seniors were nominated for the McDonald’s All-American Game. The fourth member of the core group is Nala Williams, a third-year varsity player now in her junior season, and the younger sister of Poly alum Zafir Williams.
“I think this will be a really competitive year for the Moore League,” said Buggs. “We’re going to work on getting better every day and getting ready.”