No matter how talented, there is always an element of the unknown when it comes to freshman athletes.

But Nacogdoches Central Heights girls basketball coach Ashley Brown had a pretty good idea about what she was getting with Jodi Adkins.

“Well she’s my sister, so I’ve known her my whole life," Brown said. "I’ve been coaching her since she was in the seventh grade."

So it comes as no surprise to Brown that her little sister enjoyed immediate breakout success. Adkins, a 5-11 forward, is the Girls Basketball Newcomer of the Year after averaging 15.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game.

"She’s really come into her own as her own person," Brown said of Adkins, who is nine years younger. "It’s not like she’s trying to follow in anyone’s footsteps. I’m proud of everything she’s accomplished.”

Brown admitted the dynamic between her and Adkins is different than any other coach-player relationship on the team.

"I’m harder on her than I am anyone else because she’s my sister," Brown said. "I know that I can be harder on her. Even her teammates are like, ‘I feel sorry for you.’ But she takes criticism positively and tries to use it to get better.”

The sibling connection helped lead Central Heights to a berth in the Class 2A Region III semifinals, laying the groundwork for even more success in the future.

"It’s going to be hard losing our main point guard, but with Jodi and some other freshmen coming up that will play all summer long, I think the future looks good," Brown said.