SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — At some point and time, every head coach gets their first opportunity to lead their own team, but not many get to do so while also starting a brand new program.

“So many good things and its overwhelming at the same time too. Both good and not bad, it’s just a lot of little things you don’t know is involved with starting a new school and then doing it during Covid,” Jefferson Head girls basketball coach Shaunteva Pruett said.

Shaunteva Pruett attended Roosevelt High School and would then go on to play basketball at Augustana University where she became an All-American.

“I love her, I love her energy. She constantly pushes us to be better but in a positive way which is what I really like. She’ll get on us if we aren’t being loud and she’s big on our energy,” Jefferson senior forward Morgan Whiting said of her coach.

Jefferson High school is a new beginning for Pruett but also for every girl involved within the program.

“Some of them might of came for a brand new start and so I think it’s fair as a coach to go into this with that mindset that we’re stepping on the floor for the first time so show me what you got,” Pruett said with a smile.

“Everyone was like why would you go to Jefferson your senior year you just spent three years at Roosevelt?” Whiting said. “I didn’t really see it as a negative thing, I just saw it as an opportunity to experience something new while also being able to help others and establish a program and a culture that is going to carry on for years.”

Morgan Whiting and Talia Hayes will look to make impacts as seniors while underclassmen such as Jaiden Dunn and Ciara Watkins will make a push for playing time themselves. But so far, the team as a whole has gelled well.

“I’ve been very impressed with how our girls have been at practice. They’ve been doing all the little things that we’ve asked them to and are competing which is a good problem to have as a coach,” Pruett said of her team.

“Like coach says you come into the gym, you leave your day behind you and you do what you can to be a good teammate and do your best on the floor and so I feel like basketball is just a good way to maybe release some anger from the day but also be there for your teammates and come together and do something you love,” Whiting said.

Jefferson makes its program debut Friday night as they host Roosevelt. Tip-off is set for 7:00.