Lawrence Central Girls Basketball coach is breaking barriers beyond the game

Coach Jannon Lampley made history this season as the first Black woman to lead a team to an IHSAA girls' basketball state championship.
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Posted at 5:28 PM, Mar 29, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-29 21:58:26-04

INDIANAPOLIS — This Women’s History Month, WRTV is shining a light on a local high school team and their head coach.

Lawrence Central Girls Basketball Coach Jannon Lampley made history this season as the first Black woman to lead a team to an IHSAA girls' basketball state championship.

Coach Jannon Lampley in action

It was a dream turned reality for the Lawrence Central Girls team, who won the Class 4A State championship on February 24, 2024.

“To see young adults set a goal and have the courage to chase it, to sacrifice and commit to it, phenomenal, phenomenal feeling,” said Coach Lampley.

The win also made history for the high school girls program as their first ever state title.

“It's showing young girls that we're still breaking down walls and barriers,” she said.

Coach Jannon Lampley with championship trophies

Barriers Coach Lampley broke down herself.

In just two seasons with the Bears, she made history across Indiana as the first Black female coach to lead her team to a state victory.

“It’s as special for me as it is for them," she said. “When they tell this story 10 to 15 years from now, I'm blessed to be part of that chapter in their life.”

The win is a memory that’s extra special for two of her players in particular, her daughters Laylah and Lola Lampley.

Coach Lampley with daughters Jaylah and Lola

“I’m just proud and I’m happy for her. It's great to see, not only black women succeed, but your own mother,” said Laylah.

“On and off the floor. It's just as a woman, I look up to her and she lets me know that you can do so many things,” added Lola.

Coach Lampley said it’s like having a team full of daughters.

She’s built life-long bonds with her several of her players, including point-guard Laila Abdurraqib, who she’s known since Laila was in elementary school.

“She came in with a YMCA basketball second grade, I didn't know what to do. I used to be a gymnast, so, for me, basketball was new. But she took me under her wing, she was just an amazing role model,” said Laila.

The state championship win for the Bears was years in the making.

Lampley coaching Laila

“Last year, we made it to the finals, we lost and finally we got over that. I think that just made them a little more hungry for more,” said Coach Lampley.

“The behind-the-scenes journey has just been wonderful to watch. Our student athletes, of course, and our coaches are putting a lot of work to be where they're at,” added the school’s Athletic Director.

Coach Lampley and her staff helped lead the team to a 30-1 record on the season.

In addition to the State Championship title, they walked away with Conference, Marion County, Regional, and Semi-State Championship wins.

For Coach Lampley’s players, her inspiration goes well beyond the basketball court.

"I'm just so proud and happy,” said Jaylah.

Lawrence Central Girls basketball state championship win

“She built me up as a person, as an individual, as a basketball player, as a young lady. I take that with me,” said Laila.

Coach Lampley has been coaching for more than 20 years and has been with Lawrence Central since 2022.

She says she’s still soaking in all they accomplished this season while looking forward to doing the same next season.