Growing up in the state of Indiana, you are exposed to the game of basketball at a young age. Scenes like the ones found in the movie Hoosiers can still be found throughout rural Indiana. However, that wasn’t quite my experience. I grew up in a suburb of Indianapolis and went to the largest high school in the state. My Indiana high school basketball experience was exactly the opposite of the Cinderella story of Milan High School. Being a school of over 4500 students, we regularly experienced success. Anything short of achieving a State Championship was seen as a wasted season. It was during my four years of high school that I knew that I wanted to coach. But it wasn’t until later that I would realize the reason why.
During my last two years of high school, I came to know Christ. Having grown up in a Mormon home I didn’t know who Jesus really was and the importance of His work on the cross. As I grew in my relationship with Him my love for the game of basketball also grew. I had good people in my life that took an interest in me and helped to answer my questions about faith. I also had a number of coaches that would pour into me, which deepened my desire to learn more about the game. Eventually, I would graduate and end up at Taylor University, a small Christian university 75 miles Northeast of Indianapolis. It was my four years at TU that would shape the trajectory of my coaching career.
At Taylor, I served as a Student Assistant for Coach Josh Andrews and the Men’s Basketball program. Coach Andrews took a vested interest in me and helped to disciple me and teach me over my four years. He helped me to connect my love for basketball and my faith. He challenged me to look through the lens of Christ when thinking about pursuing basketball as a career. My time at Taylor was the most formative period of my life. I built my disciplines, invested deeply in community, and worked relentlessly in pursuit of becoming the best I could be. Toward the end of my time, I started to really look at why I wanted to coach. As I reflected on my past, the people that came to my mind were the people who helped to push me not only in my pursuit of basketball but also in my faith. I was able to see that those people were the ones to stand by me, encourage me, challenge me, and celebrate me.
Today I am an Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach at the University of Northwestern in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and I strive daily to be that person to the girls I get to coach. I feel a strong call from the Lord that I am to use the game of basketball not only to win games but, more importantly, to build young people up to go out into the world and have an impact for the kingdom of God.