Former Central Valley girls basketball coach Freddie Rehkow, who was named the 2017-18 National High School Girls’ Basketball Coach of the Year, has been working with Scorebook Live to shine a light on girls basketball players and coaches across the state of Washington.
Rehkow recently caught up with La Salle High School girls basketball coach Alyssa Goins, who led the Lightning to the 1A state championship and a 27-0 record.
Why did you get into coaching?
Initially I got into coaching to stay connected with the game. I have always been very competitive and coaching allowed me the outlet that I missed when I stopped playing. I have stayed in coaching because I love the relationships that are created. Fellow coaches, parents and players have become lifelong friends from our shared moments on the court. I also get so much self-satisfaction helping to develop amazing young people. I am fortunate to coach some of the most amazing young women and I love sharing in their successes.
What are your coaching aspirations?
I hope to keep developing as a coach and finding ways to stay current in the gym.
Who is your coaching mentor?
I have been so fortunate to be coached by and coach with some of the best coaches around. Jim Berndt and Cheryl Holden were my high school basketball coaches. Jim knows so much about the X’s and O’s of the game and how to develop players. Cheryl was the best person I have ever seen at motivating talent and interpersonal relationships. I also was fortunate to play for Marco Azurdia at WVCC. His intensity and passion for the game inspires me still. I am also fortunate to have relationships with great current and former coaches like Al Smeenk, Corey Baerlocher, Jeff Pietz to name a few.
What is your best coaching resource?
One of the greatest things about coaching is how many coaches are ready to share and help each other. Our coaching community is always ready to collaborate on a drill, an offensive or defensive set, a game film, or coaching strategies.
Best coach you’ve matched X’s and O’s with?
One of the greatest coaches to match up against was Al Smeenk from Sunnyside Christian. Every time we played there was a new wrinkle or twist that he would add. Our games were a constant chess match. One coach would find a weakness and exploit it, and then the other coach would have to fill that gap and find the next weakness. He was always a class act, a great competitor and a good friend.
Who is the best player you’ve coached?
I have been so fortunate to coach so many great players. I think that I have a couple that I am coaching right now that could end up on this list. The two best players I have ever coached are Jasmine Stohr and Savannah Bonny. Jasmine went on to become a three-time college All-American and they are preparing to retire her jersey at Lewis-Clark State this spring. Jasmine was a pure scorer who had an amazing shot. What was always surprising about Jazz, was that she was an equally amazing passer. She would spend hours in the gym perfecting her craft and developing her game. She was a gracious teammate and a real student of the game.
Savannah Bonny is the fiercest competitor I have ever coached. In her four years at La Salle she set the scoring record (1314), assist record (300), steals record (300), and free throw records. She went on to play on the National Championship Rugby team for Washington State. Like Jasmine, she was a gym rat. She would spend hours on her game and had a refuse to lose mentality that separated her from everyone else.
Who is the best player you’ve seen at the high school level in Washington?
Hayley Van Lith. She is the best player I have seen in the state. She brings so much to the game offensively, she is a dominant rebounder and the best defender in the gym. She gets all the attention from every team’s defense and is still putting up crazy scoring numbers.
Hometown: Yakima, Washington
High School: La Salle and West Valley High School
College: Wenatchee Valley Community College, Concordia University (played basketball at both)
Started coaching at West Valley HS in 2000 as the ‘C’ squad girls coach. Became the JV girls basketball coach at La Salle in 2003, coaching with Todd Kent. In 2006 took over the boys varsity program and in 2007 became the girls head coach for La Salle.