Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was also an active child growing up and enjoyed playing many sports for fun, but my first love was basketball. I played at a high-level right from the start and worked hard throughout my elementary and high school days, which helped prepare me for a NCAA Division 1 career. I think I gravitated to basketball because of the fast-paced feel of the game and team aspect. I was fortunate to play on some pretty talented teams while being guided by some amazing coaches. After my playing days were over and I got into coaching, my passion for the game poured out to my players as I pushed them to their best ability. Their growth on the court was vital, but I found that my true passion was using basketball as a tool to teach them about life and gaining the necessary tools they would need later on to navigate the world around them. Nothing brings me more joy to have my players come back years later to say thanks for guiding them in a positive way and for giving them tools they are using now in their adult life. I have had players ask me what keeps me focused as I lead the team and honestly it’s my faith that keeps me grounded. I am also very active with working with young people in church and in the community. Basketball gave me tools and ability to connect with people and my faith gave me the tools to help people on their journey in life.
What habits did you develop in sport help you become successful in your career?
Hard work, ability to function effectively on a team, being a leader when my time came, determination, being able to pull the best out of people.
What sparked your passion for sport? How can it be shared with others?
My parents were former athletes so I would say there was some natural genetics mixed in there, sports just came naturally to me. I enjoyed being able to run and jump and dive. I enjoyed the challenges sports provided and I was always gravitating to sports that had a team concept. Now that I am older I have found joy in individual sports as well like tennis or golf and the mental challenges those provide as well.
What advice do you have for parents, coaches or sport administrators to improve inclusion in sport?
Sports brings people together – it’s a well-known fact. When we can bring groups of people together who can work towards a common goal then we can learn more about each other and ultimately the many things we have in common as a human race. There are so many factors that divide us and show our differences, but I think there are so many more factors that bring us together and show that we are all closer than we think.
5 words that best describe me are: