HAMPTON—Jericka Jenkins hasn't given much thought to life without basketball just yet.
"It'll definitely be different," said Jenkins, HU's senior point guard. "I never really had a coach like Coach (David) Six. I'm gonna miss him a little bit. Just a tad."
And what else will Jenkins, who led the Lady Pirates to three straight MEAC tournament titles and the nation in assists for a large portion of the 2011-12 season, miss?
"Winning. Just winning," she said. "Every year, we had a different team, a different personality. I'm going to miss that."
In Jenkins' four seasons at HU, the Lady Pirates went 87-40, including a 71-24 mark in the three seasons Six has been head coach. Six is quick to credit that record to Jenkins and HU's other four-year seniors, guard Choicetta McMillian and forward Melanie Warner.
'They took me on the ride of my life," Six said. "It ended each year with us playing a storied school (in the NCAA tournament) Duke, Kentucky, Stanford. An opportunity to match wits with three great coaches. I'm just eternally grateful to them for that opportunity.
"I learned (coaching) in high school, as much as you would like to, you don't get to keep them. They've got to move on."
So, too, do the Lady Pirates, who won a Division I school-record 26 games in 2011-12.
"Unfortunately, coaches are artists who don't get to admire their work," Six said. "As soon as you get done, it's 'Whatcha gonna do for an encore? Whatcha gonna do next year?' "
That answer remains the same for Six: win.
"The year before I got the job, I was talking to one of the players," said Six, who won two state titles at Hampton High, then spent one season at HU's director of intramural sports before taking over the women's job in 2009. "I guess (the team) was 2-8, 2-9, something like that. (The player) said, 'We'll be OK when we get to the MEAC.'
"And I said, well, what does that mean? Does that mean that you should be accepting of mediocrity and take losses until you get into the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference? I said, I can't subscribe to that school of thought."
HU's 27-17 non-conference record with Six, including wins against Florida, Pitt and Boston College, attests to that, and Six intends to keep on winning, even without Jenkins and her fellow seniors. He's excited about HU's returners and incoming recruits, and said, "The announcement of our demise will be over-stated."
"With each group of kids comes a different type of hunger," Six said. "You're going to have many kids that haven't won a championship. They'll have an opportunity to rejuvenate the ones that are here. The ones that are here will be able to say, 'Here's the way it's done.' They'll kind of help each other."
And Six hopes to find more players who, like Jenkins, help take him on more memorable journeys.