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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Coach Kelly Ricketts

Kelly Ricketts is someone who has never been afraid to work. Kelly played both basketball and volleyball in high school. She was talented enough to start on a varsity basketball team as a freshman. But it was not just talent which separated Kelly from the average athlete, it was her work ethic. Sometimes a multi-sport athlete uses one sport as “permission” not to do what is needed in another sport. Kelly never cut corners in either sport. For basketball, she never missed anything we did in the off-season.

But I think the big deal about Kelly is that she has always understood it is about “the process.”  She never took days off at practice- she was focused and worked every day. She accepted coaching, whether it was criticism or encouragement- she made eye contact and let you know she wanted to be coached. And Kelly did the “extras”, which separate athletes- she pushed herself in the weight room 12 months per year.

Why do I bring up her being into “the process?” "The process” is what coaching is all about. To be successful, the coach, and then the team must recognize they have to be willing to put in the grind. The old expression in sports- “everyone wants to win, only a few are willing to prepare to win.” Kelly is a natural for coaching because she is all about putting in the preparation to win.

I had a chance to do a Q/A with Kelly....

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Sting of Defeat

1997 was a great year for the Streaks. They finished the regular season a perfect 27-0 on the way to 4th place in the State tourney. Four of the five starters were gone. Going into the 1998 season, the Streaks returned only two players who had played significant minutes.

The 1998 Streaks had no seniors on their roster. The starting lineup was made up of three sophomores and two juniors. The first players off the bench were three freshmen and one sophomore. It was certainly not a lineup that had the experience to bring fear to our opponents.


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sabrina Clay- Impressive Start to College

Too often in “big-time” college athletics, we find sad stories of the athlete who is so invested in their sport that they don’t take advantage of getting an education and don’t position themselves for the future. The expression is “don’t let sports use you, you use sports.”
And sadly, we read stories of the athlete who feels entitled, people owe them something. These athletes never seem to give back to society or others, they are too busy expecting to be given something for their talents.
Sabrina Clay is not one of these negative stories about college athletes. Sabrina has used her passion and ability in basketball to further her education, and to help position herself for success. And while she was getting her education at Sandburg, she was giving back to her school and her community.
It is going to be exciting to follow her successes as she continues her education. She is not only headed for great things- she will make her community a better place.
I had a chance to do a Q/A with Sabrina.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Blue Streaks & Zephyrs At Thiel

The 8th grade girls teams from Lombard and Churchill practiced at Thiel Gym tonight. They both open up next Tuesday night.

Churchill will be hosting Orion on Tuesday.
Lombard will be traveling to Macomb.

It was a lot of fun to watch both teams practice. They both have great coaches, and they are really working hard. It will be exciting to watch how they grow as individuals and as teams over the next two months.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

2001 Sectional Revenge Over Sterling

In 2000-1 season, the Streaks lost a tough game at Sterling, 50-48 in Overtime. Sterling had a good ball club, but we felt it was a game we should not have lost. Sterling packed it in a zone to take away our inside game of Sarah Pacheco and Ashley Shepherd.

Our scoring during the season was- Rachel Bicego 6.1ppg, Shanell Jackson 8.8ppg, Shannon Williams 10.7ppg, Ashley Shepherd 12.0, and Sarah Pacheco 17.1ppg.

Sterling feared our inside scoring enough that on the opening tip, they put one player in the circle to jump, and the other four back in the lane to get ready to defend our inside game. This strategy worked well in their overtime win when we shot only 30% from the field.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Athletic Scholarships

It can be very confusing figuring out how athletic scholarships and financial aid work out with colleges. Here are some resources which give some information about college scholarships...

These articles address:
What are the odds of getting an athletic scholarship?
Do all sports have to give full athletic scholarships?
As far as financial aid- what is the best in terms of getting money?
Do college coaches want to look at home made videos?

This is from US News and World Report, providing- 7 Things You Need to Know About Sports Scholarships.

From CBS Sports, they look into- 8 Things You Should Know About Sports Scholarships

This is a series of charts looking at actual amounts of athletic scholarships in 2016.

Kevin Walden- Knox College Basketball

(From Knox website)
Kevin Walden is headed into his 6th year as the Knox College men’s basketball coach. Becoming a college coach at any level is a real journey. To succeed in college coaching, you have to have toughness. Often when a coach starts the journey, they are starting with very low pay as an assistant, grad assistant, or video coordinator.

Kevin graduated from Knox in 2001 as an Elementary Ed major. He became assistant coach for Tim Heimann at Knox immediately. In his first position, he was not just assistant basketball coach but he also had 2-3 other job titles to try to make ends meet. My point, it wasn’t a life of luxury. Whether on D3 or D1 level, becoming a college coach requires someone to have a strong vision of where they want to get. And no matter the bumps in the road, they have to just keep going.

To reach your goal in any field, you have to be willing to challenge yourself. Sometimes you have to be willing to do the “uncomfortable.” For Kevin Walden, the comfortable was to be willing to leave his job as Knox assistant to go to St. Ambrose as an assistant. This was a challenge but a way to grow. Then he made the move across country to become the head coach at Warren Wilson in Ashville, NC. When the Knox head coaching job opened up in 2012, Kevin had experience at Knox, at St. Ambrose, and head coaching experience at Warren Wilson. He had been willing to prepare himself.