NY/NJ ballers get their shot at coaching
LOIS ELFMAN | 3/21/2019, midnight
The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association in partnership with WeCOACH recently announced the class for the 17th annual So You Want to Be a Coach program. As it is every year, the program will be held in conjunction with the WBCA convention at the Women’s Final Four, which this year will be held in Tampa, Fla.
This year’s class includes participants from Divisions I, II and III as well as NAIA. New Jersey native Sierra Gerald, who attends D II University of Bridgeport, is excited to be the first person from her school selected for this highly sought after program. A human services major, she’s always seen coaching as her future career.
“I’ve always been around basketball and picked up so much from it,” said Gerald, whose father founded the New Jersey Sparks AAU program. “I saw the impact that my dad had on other young athletes’ lives. I wanted to do the same thing—be able to give back and teach the game of basketball. Getting into this program is the first step to helping me get more experience and learn more about coaching.”
A message that the program participants get is that they may not land a D I job to start their careers. Gerald is fine with that because she knows players still get a great collegiate basketball experience at a D II school. She said she’s a motivator and team player—like her favorite player, Candace Parker—and she is the captain of her team at Bridgeport.
“Staying involved in basketball is something I always wanted to do, and this is an awesome program to be a part of,” said Queens native Aryn McClure, who attends D I Quinnipiac University. “I’m looking to learn more about basketball behind-the-scenes.”
McClure hopes to work at the collegiate level, but she’s open to exploring options. She’s eager to hear about tips and tactics for being a good coach. Growing up playing on New York City’s outdoor courts helped hone her competitiveness, which she hopes to impart to players. Last year, she did an internship with Harlem Children’s Zone, where she loved teaching the kids some hoop skills.
Other locals who will take part in So You Want to Be a Coach are Erica Balman/Monmouth, Kaity Healy/Seton Hall, Khadaizha Sanders/Rutgers, Jasmine Sina/St. John’s and Isis Young/Syracuse.