Tiffany Collins, head coach of the girls basketball team at Willowridge High School, and her “Lady Eagles” squad were honored for a hard-fought season which earned them the nickname of Fort Bend ISD’s “Cinderella Story.”

Local nonprofit Sister 2 Sistah held a celebratory dinner for the team on April 30 at Davis Street Restaurant in Houston’s historic Third Ward district.

Sister 2 Sistah, founded by Rebecca Briscoe and Nakia Cooper, is a mentoring organization on a mission to provide a “hand up” and not a “hand out.”

Their original focus was to support first generation college women of color, but as the needs of the community grew, so did their focus. Now, they step in to help and recognize people from all walks of life who are fighting to make a better way. They thought the high schoolers were very deserving of recognition.

“These young ladies are our future. Their dedication on and off the court shows how important mentorship and support is to Black women,” said Briscoe.

What made the group so special, is that Coach Collins plucked students – who were mostly freshman and sophomores – from the halls and transformed them into skilled Varsity players within two seasons.

Some of the girls, like Natalie Greene, had never even dribbled before but under Collins’ guidance, the sophomore – a ballerina – was now team captain.

In the 2021-2022 season, the team ended with a disappointing 5-25 record, but turned it around for 2022-2023 with an awe-inspiring 24-9 season. The girls made it to the second round of playoffs before their journey came to an end.

With the motivation from Collins and her dedicated coaching staff, the team proudly said they would be back and better than ever the next school year.

“It was about helping the girls believe in themselves. I sent them motivational texts all the time and take them to college games so they can see people like them in person,” Collins explained.

Obviously, her methods worked. Their accolades grabbed sports headlines from major outlets including the Houston ChronicleVype and the Houston Defender. Even more, the girls all maintain excellent grades, as many are on the honor roll, in dual-credit courses and all have dreams of pursuing higher education.

Sister 2 Sistah holds annual dinners ushering in new mentees and celebrating women on the move. This year, thanks to a generous donation from main sponsor H-E-B, who’s provided continuous support to S2S, the organization was able to help the young women on their continued growth and progress.

During the event, Comerica Bank led an educational session, speaking to students and parents on the benefits and costs of education and training, making sound financial decisions and maximizing credit and other available resources, etc.

Sister 2 Sistah presented a check for $2,500 to the team, which will be used to help with their summer AAU tournaments and travel. The team, which will be competing under the name of the Houston Wildcats, will not have Collins as its coach, but she assured they would be in good hands.

Denny’s also provided swag bags for the team, including gift cards for free Grand Slam breakfast meals the girls can enjoy as they tour across Texas.

The excited young ladies expressed deep gratitude to H-E-B and Denny’s for their support.