ST. PETERSBURG — Once a standout basketball player at Pinellas Park and UCF, Tamika Coley concedes her daughter, St. Petersburg junior guard Kamika Idom, probably has more athleticism than she did at the same age.
That said, Coley believes she could have held her own in a game of one on one.
"She might be more skilled than I was, but I worked harder," Coley said.
That is one thing Coley is trying to change, and she certainly has the time, and position, to achieve it. That's because Coley isn't just Idom's mother; she's the Green Devils' coach.
"It's helpful having her," Idom said. "When I'm on the court, she sees what I need to work on. Then in practice she's there to correct it."
A 1991 Pinellas Park grad, Coley was a four-year starting forward at UCF, where she scored 2,006 points, pulled down 1,211 rebounds and was later enshrined into the school's athletic hall of fame.
Today, her focus is on a Green Devils team (16-4) that has the ability to advance deep into the playoffs, provided it can survive this week's Class 6A, District 7 tournament. And on that squad, the 5-foot-9 Idom, a Gibbs transfer who does a little bit of everything, is the leading scorer with an average of more than 14 points per game.
"She's a pretty complete player," Coley said. "Defensewise, too. She's pretty well-rounded."
In the team's recent win against Lakewood, all of Idom's skills were on display. She not only finished with 18 of her team's 35 points, including four in the final 24 seconds on foul shots, but she made timely steals, crashed the boards hard and helped shut down the opponent's best player.
"Sometimes, I take the team on my shoulder," Idom said.
6A-7 at various sites
Tuesday: North Port at Sarasota Riverview, 7; Palm Harbor University at Countryside, 7; Wednesday: PHU/Countryside winner at St. Petersburg (1), 4; North Port/Sarasota Riverview winner at Sarasota (2), 7; Friday: Final, site TBD, 6
The dish: St. Petersburg figures to be the team to beat. Not only are the Green Devils, led by guards Kamika Idom and Kamyia Smith, coming off a big win over Lakewood, but they beat second-seeded Sarasota by 10 two weeks ago.
Pick: St. Petersburg
5A-12 at Northeast
Tuesday: Pinellas Park (5) vs. Northeast (4), 6:30; Friday: Boca Ciega (1) vs. Pinellas Park/Northeast winner, 6:30; Largo (2) vs. Gibbs (3), 8; Saturday: Final, 7
The dish: The area's most consistent team this season, Boca Ciega might have final four potential. Much of the Pirates' firepower comes from guards Tamara Taylor and Latavia Dempsey, but ninth-grade point guard Alexis Ungro is another outstanding playmaker.
Pick: Boca Ciega
5A-11 at Tarpon Springs
Monday: Tarpon Springs (4) vs. Dunedin (5), 7; Wednesday: Clearwater (1) vs. Tarpon/Dunedin winner, 6:30; East Lake (2) vs. Seminole (3), 8; Friday: Final, 7
The dish: Can anyone topple Clearwater? Probably not. The Tornadoes had no trouble whatsoever with their district opponents during the regular season. Guard Victoria Cecil, who can score inside and out, leads a balanced Clearwater offense.
4A-10 at various sites
Tuesday: Bradenton Braden River (5) at Palmetto (4), 7; Osceola (6) at Lakewood Ranch (3), 7; Dixie Hollins (7) at Bradenton Bayshore (2), 7; Wednesday: Braden River/Palmetto winner at Lakewood (1), 7; Osceola/ Lakewood Ranch winner vs. Dixie Hollins/Bradenton Bayshore winner, site TBA, 7; Friday: Final, site TBA, 7
The dish: How much of an edge does Lakewood have? Consider: In a recent game against second-seeded Bradenton Bayshore, the Spartans won by 33. Look for center Jenae Wilson, a Jacksonville recruit, and her teammates to roll.
3A-10 at St. Petersburg Catholic
Tuesday: Clearwater Central Catholic (4) vs. Berkeley Prep (5), 7; Wednesday: Tampa Catholic (2) vs. Academy of the Holy Names (3), 6; St. Petersburg Catholic (1) vs. CCC/Berkeley Prep winner, 7:30; Friday: Final, 7
The dish: SPC caught a break when, via coin flip, it got the top seed. That means the Barons can avoid Tampa Catholic until the final. It also virtually assures SPC and standout guard Jerica Coley are headed to the playoffs.
Pick: Tampa Catholic
2A-11 at Sarasota Out-of-Door Academy
Tuesday: Admiral Farragut (4) vs. Bradenton St. Stephen's (5), 6; Friday: Shorecrest Prep (2) vs. Sarasota Out-of-Door (3), 6; Northside Christian (1) vs. Admiral Farragut/St. Stephen's winner, 7:30; Saturday: Final, 7
The dish: If Northside Christian center Kayla Walton isn't the county's most valuable player, she's certainly in the conversation. Games of 20-plus points and 20-plus rebounds have been the norm.
Pick: Northside Christian
2A-10 at Indian Rocks Christian
Friday: Tampa Prep (2) vs. Calvary (3), 6; Indian Rocks Christian (1) vs. Bishop McLaughlin (4), 7:30; Saturday: Final, 7
The dish: Led by a balanced scoring attack, Indian Rocks Christian eased through regular-season play against district opponents. Four players, among them guard Tori Trador, are capable of reaching double figures any given night.
A-9 at Keswick Christian
Tuesday: Tampa Bay Christian (4) vs. Canterbury (5), 6; Cambridge (3) vs. Academy at the Lakes (6), 7:30; Thursday: Lakeside (2) vs. Cambridge/AATL winner, 6; Keswick (1) vs. Tampa Bay Chr./Canterbury winner, 7:30; Friday: Final, 7
The dish: Keswick Christian coach Karrmayne King has lamented about her team's trouble putting the ball into the basket at times this season. But that hasn't been a problem for guard Tori Hale and company in district play.
Pick: Keswick Christian