Breion Knox’s college playing days were cut short by injury, but that didn’t diminish her enthusiasm for basketball. She was recently selected to take part in the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association So You Want to Be a Coach (So) program, done in partnership with WeCOACH.
“After I injured my knee, I had time to think…so I was focused on what I needed to do next after college,” said Knox. “I thought about how to stay around the game of basketball.”
An uncle that passed away had been a coach and she saw his impact. “When you coach someone, you’re also their mentor, so that’s what I wanted to do,” she said. “I want to teach people not only how to love the game but help them in life also.”
Knox attended Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham, a Division III school, playing power forward on the women’s basketball team for three years. When an injury left her unable to play her senior season, she became a student-assistant. This past nine-game season she was a volunteer assistant coach.
Due to the tight COVID-19 protocols surrounding the 2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament, So participants were not able to attend the Final Four, but the one-day online workshop still proved to be exciting and enlightening. The objective is to increase the understanding and application of skills necessary to secure coaching positions in women’s basketball.
“I worked really hard to get into this program, so it was really exciting to know this is one of the next steps to becoming the great coach I want to be,” said Knox, one of only four participants this year to come from Division III.
The program began with a Zoom call where everyone introduced themselves. Taped and interactive content followed. Sessions included the role of the assistant coach, how to network and how to take steps to becoming a coach.
Next fall, Knox will be doing a master’s program in sports administration with a concentration in coaching and development at FDU-Florham and will serve as a graduate assistant for the women’s basketball team. She’s excited for the future. Seeing two Black women head coaches, Adia Barnes and Dawn Staley, in the Final Four was highly motivating.
“Being a woman in the sports world is hard, and being a Black woman is harder,” said Knox. “Seeing someone in that position with the success that Barnes has had, especially this season, gives you that faith that ‘I know this is attainable.’ Times are changing and Black women are getting in these positions and being successful.”