Bullock accepts no less than best
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on March 18, 2012 1:52 AM
LaTina Bullock knows what it takes to be successful on the hardwood and there are certainly few coaches who have her level of expertise.
As a standout prep player, Bullock developed skills that would last a lifetime such as hard work, intensity and attention to detail. As one of the best female players in Norfolk State University history, Bullock learned patience, consistency and toughness.
All of those qualities have spilled over into her time as the head girls' basketball coach at Goldsboro High School. On the heels of a 24-3 season and a second straight trip to the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A eastern regionals, Bullock has been named the 2011-12 News-Argus All-Area girls' basketball coach-of-the-year.
The Cougars have fashioned a 48-8 mark over the last two seasons, won two Carolina 1-A Conference regular-season titles and gone 7-2 in the playoffs.
"I try to practice everything that I preach to my teams," Bullock said. "If I can't do the things I say then how can I expect my players to do them."
Two seasons ago, Bullock inherited a team with a wealth of potential but hit-or-miss success on the floor. A new approach at practice and a fresh outlook regarding team interaction helped get the Cougars over the top.
"My players get straight-forward answers from me," Bullock said. "I do not sugar-coat anything at practice or in games. If they need to be told something I am the first one to tell them and I think that the players appreciate that."
Playing in the Carolina Conference, the Cougars have been nearly unstoppable over the past two years in regular-season play. Bullock, who once dropped 51 points in a college game and had her profile in Sports Illustrated, understands the importance of being humble and never overlooking an opponent.
"My girls know what I expect of them every single night no matter who the opponent is," Bullock said. "They know the effort level that I want to see and they know the kind of basketball I think they are capable of."
With so much success as a young head coach it would be easy for Bullock to sit back and relax. It is simply not going to happen.
"Each season we want to get better as individuals and as a team," Bullock said. "I tell my team the same thing I tell my own children, 'You can improve yourself every single year'.
"If you are a great shooter, but you don't have the ball handling skills you can work on that. If you are a good rebounder, but not a good shooter you can work on that. And so forth."
Next season the Cougars will return three starters and five of their eight rotation players. Bullock has no plans to slow herself or the program, which has emerged as one of the best in the state, anytime soon.
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