Coach Boone

November 7th, 2015 | Uncategorized

Many of my close friends and family always preached how I would make a great coach and the Sport Changes Life program is a true testament of my capabilities. During my time here so far, I have learned that knowing the game of basketball is completely different than teaching the game. I am assistant coach to Tony for the Wildcat’s 12 & under team, but he was not going to be able to make the girl’s Saturday game against Carlow’s 12 & under team. When he told me I was going to have to coach the girls by myself, I was immediately overwhelmed by excitement, worry, and nervousness all mixing into one. With my heart racing and the millions of thoughts running through my head, I felt like the epitome of the phrase, “a fish out of water.” Luckily, Tony had a friend and my community partner’s husband, Allen Hickey, be present in case I had any confusion or issue, and he left me a spreadsheet of the five players to substitute for each quarter of the game.


I love coaching this particular team because they are amazing listeners and love the game of basketball. Whether it is my role model status, my knowledge of basketball, or the simple fact that I am American, all of the girls are comfortable coming to me with just about everything. As a coach, that means the world. Life is bigger than basketball and giving your gifts that God has blessed you with back to the community is intangible. If there is not one thing I haven’t learned from coaching, I have learned that if you build relationships with your players, create open, clear communication, and constantly challenge them, you can get almost anything out of them because they will respect you that much.


Although the girls dominated, I was not light on them as a coach. I reminded them that this is our opportunity improve on areas such as, looking up when we dribble, keeping our man in front of us, and releasing the ball when we have players running ahead of us as an act of teamwork and selflessness. By the sound of the buzzer, you can bet they did what I asked of them. The win signified our team growing and my accomplishment of coaching as the big dog for the first time.


I promised the girls my mom would send them American candy. So after the game, I handed out Hershey’s white chocolate bars with bits of candy corn, green apple caramel lollipops, snickers and jolly ranchers. They went NUTS for them. Eyes lighting up over the unique taste of the green apple lollies or rushing to show me their tongue color that the jolly rancher changed it to. Candies that I took for granted in America, they cherished. I even saved a couple of the candies for myself as they were tastes of home. Since they loved the American Halloween sweets so much, I told them I’ll try to arrange some goodies for them around Christmas time. Thanks to Saturday’s game, I learned that I am growing in places I never thought I was capable of.


Victory Scholar: Jazmen Boone

Present University: Waterford IT

US League: CAA

Club/Community Partner: Waterford Wildcats

Alma Mater: The College of William and Mary

Sponsored by: Teamwear Ireland

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