GUILDERLAND, N.Y. — Guilderland added some star power to its coaching staff. Carrie Hanks, a new assistant coach this season, is getting back to her roots with Team USA on a hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s so much fun to come and work with these girls,” Hanks said at the team’s first practice Monday. “They have great attitudes and you can tell they just want to learn, and they want to figure out how to get better. And if I can help out with that, I’m really excited to.”
Hanks joins head coach Jen Sykes the year after the Lady Dutch won their first ever Section 2 championship to help take the program to another level. The former Niskayuna star and NCAA All-American at the University of Maryland is sharing her technical expertise with the next generation of local players.
“Right now we’re working on backspace shooting, and I’m trying to get them to jump around a ball and hit it at the same time,” Hanks explained. “And I just have to tell them, ‘You’re gonna look silly. You’re going to whiff the ball. It’s gonna happen. But do it wrong because then you’ll figure out how to do it right.'”
Hanks says she coaches Guilderland the same way she would want to be coached. Even though the Lady Dutch won’t get the chance to defend their title (Section 2 isn’t holding a postseason tournament because of the pandemic), they can learn a lot from their new coach.