Auburn Hills Avondale girls basketball coach Roy Christmon speaks with players at a recent game. Christmon recently took over the program.

Auburn Hills Avondale girls basketball coach Roy Christmon speaks with players at a recent game. Christmon recently took over the program.

Photo by Donna Dalziel


Avondale girls basketball leading the OAA White

By: Mark Vest | C&G Newspapers | Published February 12, 2020

 Avondale junior Brala Benion puts the ball up against Rochester Adams. Avondale is in first place in the Oakland Activities Association White Division.

Avondale junior Brala Benion puts the ball up against Rochester Adams. Avondale is in first place in the Oakland Activities Association White Division.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

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AUBURN HILLS — About a month and a half ago, Roy Christmon learned that Auburn Hills Avondale Athletic Director Keith Gust wanted to speak with him.

Christmon is a teacher at Avondale, so it was just a short walk for him to find out what was on Gust’s mind.

What Christmon learned is that the girls basketball coach at the time, Bob Lees, might be resigning his position.

At that time, Christmon was the school’s boys JV coach, and Gust was gauging his interest in leading the girls basketball program, should the job become available.

Not long after that conversation, it did become available, and Christmon accepted.

Christmon was already familiar with the girls team, so he had a notion as to what he was in for.

“I’ve been watching those girls for a while,” Christmon said. “It’s a coach’s dream, that group of girls there. They’re very talented, all eight of them. … All eight of them got something to offer to the game.”

Being familiar with last season’s team, Christmon was also aware of something else.

“We only lost two (players); everybody else came back,” he said. “It was a no-brainer that they can do some big things.”

Times have been pretty good for the Yellow Jackets as of late. At press time, they had won six of their last seven games and were in first place in the Oakland Activities Association White Division with a 6-1 record (9-5 overall).

What Avondale has shown in recent games could be indicative of a team that has gained confidence in its capabilities.

“The sky’s the limit,” Christmon said. “They make my job so easy. They come, work hard every day and listen well; they follow the scouting report. So, it’s fun when we’re out there. … They think they’re the best team in the state, as they should.”

Senior Keiori Lee believes the team can make a postseason run.

“As long as we can get through first and second round of districts, I feel like we can get to states,” she said. “As long as everybody keeps their head on and we stay together and play together.”

Although he wasn’t directly a part of it, Christmon recalled the “pain” that accompanied last year’s season finale.

Avondale lost 50-47 to West Bloomfield High in the first round of a Division 1 district tournament.

The Yellow Jackets and West Bloomfield are also scheduled to be part of the same district this season.

“It was a tough one against — we would call them a rival — West Bloomfield,” Christmon said. “They got the best of us, so we’re looking to see them again.”

Heading toward the tail end of the season, Christmon said his squad is in “good shape.”

“Now we’re on to our league,” he said. “That league is tough, but I think we can do it. I think we can win out and go into states with a high morale — very confident.”

Up next, Avondale plays at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 14 at home against Troy High.

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