Jamie Redd passed another marker Thursday – earning her first state-tournament victory as a high school girls basketball coach.
Redd, 37, has experienced a lot of basketball milestones. She is the University of Washington’s all-time leading scorer. She played three seasons in the WNBA, and two seasons overseas in Greece and Israel.
After retiring from playing professionally in 2004, she eventually joined former coach Kelly Robinson’s staff at Pacific Lutheran University.
But now, this new chapter does not involve some run-of-the-mill program. Redd is the first-year coach at two-time defending Class 3A girls champion Cleveland High School in Seattle, replacing Stephenie Wheeler-Smith, who left to become the director of women’s basketball operations at the University of Oregon.
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“Obviously I’ve had to follow really big shoes — Coach Stephenie and Coach ‘D’ (ex-assistant Derrick Wheeler-Smith) did a tremendous job,” Redd said. “So there was a lot of pressure.”
The Eagles escaped with a 53-50 victory over Wilson in the 3A quarterfinals Thursday morning, giving Redd more than a few nail-biting moments.
But much like her predecessor, Redd is calm by nature on the bench, but knows when — and how — to push her players’ buttons.
She has surrounded herself with a good staff, too, retaining longtime Cleveland assistant Andro Bernard, and hiring former UW teammate Tara Davis, who played in the American Basketball League.
“I am very fortunate for the staff I have,” Redd said. “They are good. We are balanced. We all bring something different to the table.”
*Back on the bench: A year ago Friday, Leah Krautter was sending best wishes to her Bellevue girls basketball team from her room at Evergreen Hospital Medical Center in Kirkland.
She was giving birth to her first son, Emmett – and handed the reins over to Wolverines assistant coach Noah Wulbert.
Krautter returned to coaching this season, and was on the bench for Bellevue’s 51-39 victory over Prairie in the 3A quarterfinals Thursday.
“It is great to be here. I have been kind of thinking about that,” Krautter said. “I am glad we had an early game, because it felt like forever.”
Just how does Lynnwood High School power forward Mikayla Pivec stay so nonstop relentless for 32 minutes as a double-double machine? “My mom ran cross-country. I ran cross-country in the fall to stay in shape. That helps the endurance,” Pivec said. She is a top recruit for 2016. … Absent from the Bellarmine Prep girls bench Thursday was lead assistant Kim Butler, the former Lions’ standout. She was at her rehearsal dinner for a Friday wedding in Suncadia. … Academic state champions for girls basketball include Woodinville (4A), Holy Names Academy (3A), Ellensburg (2A), Naches Valley (1A), Lind-Ritzille-Sprague (2B) and Grace Academy (1B).