Tamara James working to help her alma mater return to Lakeland

She sits in the stands, using her video camera to capture every play.

Occasionally, she shouts a few words of encouragement. She bemoans tough calls.

She'll smile, shake hands with fans around her and savor every moment of the game.

To those unfamiliar with women's basketball in South Florida, she's an unassuming presence.

But to the South Broward girls basketball team, Tamara James is an inspiration.

She's a state champion. The University of Miami's all-time leading scorer. A first-round WNBA draft pick.

At South Broward, James is a legend, and for this brief window in time, she's a sort of volunteer coach, hoping to help lead her alma mater to a seventh state title.

"Not many players come back to help their school, but she is always here," said South Broward senior forward Kenidi Robinson. "She's committed to helping us get better and helping us get to college. She's a huge example to us."

Throughout much of her career, James, 27, has made it a priority to help her alma mater.

The former Washington Mystic has donated time and money to the program she helped turn into a state power.

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