2 Burst results for "Karima Christmas"
"karima christmas" Discussed on Winsidr WNBA Show
"We've already touched on that. But what is it, you know, I coach college basketball. I coached the high school level. I've never coached professionally. But what is it in your journey personally? Just kind of having all those different lenses and those experiences. What is it that makes you gravitate towards the WNBA? The chess match of the game and getting to spend most of your time. Now, I say that as an assistant coach and person head because that's what my job was. So now this new role, you know, I hope to spend the amount of time that I would spend studying the game and studying opponents and, you know, coming up with that game plan and, you know, in this league, you have sometimes you don't even have 24 hours to get prepared for that next team. And, you know, you think about playing like in Atlanta on a Friday and then having to play New York this year on a Sunday, which is something we're about to do. That's tough. It's challenging and it's fun to figure out that piece. But, you know, what I took from, you can't take away high school and mid major college coaching experience because when you coach in those at those levels, you wear so many different hats. And so when you get to coach at the highest level in the best league in the world, you find a way to appreciate people that are doing the things that you don't even have to worry about any more things that you used to have to do. And so, you know, I think a lot of people want to take that big step, they want to graduate college if they want to get in that coaching career and they want to jump right to the WBA and I just think it does you a disservice in the long run when you can't find those experiences. You know, I was bringing kids home. I was watching their uniforms. I was, you know, doing the things that you, I don't even have to think about anymore. And it just makes you appreciate the all around game and experience more. Going to college, going back to college after I left the Chicago ska. Coach mcewan gave me an opportunity. Northwestern is an incredible place. I thought that that was probably my next step. And if I was going to be a head coach, I was going to go back to college and take that route, and he offered me that opportunity and named me the associate head coach. And I don't know if you guys remember or know, but during that season, we lost one of our players, Jordan hankins. I do. Yeah, yeah, and so for me, in my coaching career in my life, that was probably the hardest, the hardest thing I've ever gone through as a coach or just a person. And it changed me, I was lucky to have some strong people around me that helped us get through that time. But when I tell you, it affected me to the point I didn't realize until we were about to go into the next season. And I could recognize and see things going on with those players that weren't normal. And, you know, people were still fighting what we had all gone through. And it was just a really hard situation. And it really, I ended up having to take a step back and left northwestern at that time in a really bad at a really bad time. Right before the season started, but it was exactly what I needed to do. And when I did step away, there were two players that stepped away and went and got some help that they needed. So in the big picture of things, if me doing that, help them go get what they needed, done, and both those people are excellent now. They're both successful, but graduated college and doing their thing. But it was, it was a hard time. And so pokey was like, hey, you know, if I want you back and if you want to come to Indiana, you always have a job. So I took some time off and then ended up back in Indiana back in the WNBA. So that's kind of that transition I never thought that that would happen. I kind of thought my next path was to stay in college coaching and, you know, we don't really, when we think we know what's going on and what our path is, that's when there's a different plan of put in place. It seems like, what, well, thank you for sharing all that. I mean, one of the things I've always respected so much about you outside of your work ethic, which has always been evident. It's just the lens, you know, you've seen the game so many different ways. And I think, you know, you've put in that time. Leading up into this point right now, and all those experiences, the ones you've talked about so far on the show, you know, making you who you are in this moment. I'm so happy to see you back in Indiana. Happy to see you in this chair. You know, sometimes we see situations where people get fast track. Come on, what you said, and you've put in that time. You've been in different spots. I mean, you have been primed and ready for this situation, even if it wasn't necessarily the path you thought you were going to take. So very appreciative for you to share your story with us. I do want to talk about your staff a little bit. I know you have reunited with some folks. Karima Christmas Kelly Jesse Miller, Jared Simpson, feel free to tell us about them and kind of what they bring to the table for you. Yeah. Well, before I accepted the job, I knew I needed to have one person. I need my right hand man with me, and that's Jesse Miller. Jesse Miller started off with us in Chicago as a manager for the Chicago sky. She was that little workhorse. She did everything that we asked her to do. She, you know, you always want people around you who aren't just doing what you tell them. They're also being innovative and come into you with ideas. And that is who Jesse was from when she was still playing at UIC. And, you know, I watched her grow. She became our video coordinator. And then I left Chicago and poke gave her the opportunity to go with her to Indy. And Jesse is a smart basketball player. She's a smart coach. She's an X's and O's. She's attention to detail. And she is a grinder. And she loves the relationship piece, and that, to me, is I said it earlier in the podcast, you know, relationships for me are the biggest part of this. She is loyal. I can be somewhere else. And I know that Jesse is going to make whatever decision she needs to make. For me, if it has to be, that's going to be the right one. So when she said she was interested and would
"karima christmas" Discussed on Winsidr WNBA Show
"Anybody who has watched her play, I think, respects how hard she competes. I think they respect what she gets out of out of herself every single day. She has been right up there with tamika catchings in terms of the hardest workers that I've ever coached. And you can't, you know, you think about the example, you can't underestimate the example that that sets for a team. She played with this organization. She played with these players. And so they know how she approaches the game day in and day out. They know how she approaches the weight room. They know how she approaches her diet, you know, her fitness, her nutrition, all of those things. I mean, she's just the ultimate pro. And I also appreciated my work with Brie when I was coaching her in Indiana. You know, Brie comes in the league as a young player who's just always really fast and really athletic. And so helping her understand how to gear down, how to change speeds, how to play it like a 7 or 8 instead of a ten plus. How to read the game, how to become a better leader, a better communicator, and then how to trust your shot, right? Because Brie was always the best defender. She was always great in transition. And then there were times where she passed up shots because she tried to be the ultimate facilitator. And so I think when we were able to win the championship, not only did she do the outstanding job that she did when we changed her to guarding Simona Augustus. But she had some big shots for this team. Big three point shots, which statistically, if you looked at her, it was not the thing that she did. And her and arlena Larkin's playing off the elbow in 2012 and in 2015, they were just really hard to stop. And so I think when you think about Brie, when I think about Brie, I envision all of those things and I look at how she'd become a better communicator, a better teacher. Her collegiate coaching experience and really working with young players, learning how to get what you know as a player out and help others, again, like that conversation that we had earlier start to see it the way that you see it. So Brie was obviously somebody that I've always had in the back of my mind and every time that I've been thinking about a job I've called her and I'm just so thankful that it worked out this time. And I think she's going to be a great teacher for our young players. And I think she's going to be a great head coach in our League One day. Abby Elijah wants a player who I coached in Chicago. Brought to camp in Indiana, but I had long respected and admired what Abby did as a collegiate player as well. I mean, she played three years behind Courtney Paris, rarely saw the light of day on the floor. Yet just kept working, kept grinding. Stayed true to the process so that when Courtney Paris graduated, Abby Elijah won, took over. And she was ready. And that's a true testament I think to her character because lots of players don't want to sit for three years just to play the one, right? And she did that. And she was ready. She took advantage. Every time she was subbed in the game, even for us with the sky, same thing. It was like she didn't pout because she didn't get the minutes. And then when she did get the minutes, she took advantage of them. And I always had great respect for her because of that. She's a great human being. She's been a really great college coach. And, you know, like a lot of coaches that have coached in college, some of the stuff that's going on. It just kind of wears on them, and you know, we've had conversations over the years about her wanting to get back into the WNBA and wanting to coach in the WNBA. And we had run into each other quite a few times. And you know, she was just a young coach in my mind that I thought, you know, is ready to make that jump. I think it's important that we get former players back in into this league who want to be in this league because number one, they understand what the kids are kids. I say kids. They understand what these women are women are going through. They've been there, right? And we want to give back to this league that has given us so much. And so to have two former players that are ready and willing to do that was important for me. We are hired another assistant coach and it hasn't been announced yet, but it will be announced soon. In Austin Kelly, Austin worked with me at Vanderbilt for a while, but Austin was always around our Indiana fever teams. His wife is karima Christmas. And Austin was always our scout guy, right? Like he was our best scout guy. He was always Elena delle donne. He was always my amour. He was always Candice Parker, you know, Nico gumaca. Anybody that we needed him to be. And I worked closely with him because I had him run the scout team. And so we were often, you know, communicating, great basketball mind, great X's and O's sees things forward thinking the way that I do from a basketball standpoint. And as somebody that I just think is a great coach and is going to continue to be a great coach. In fact, you know, I think Austin, you know, you see somebody that I would have to say if he and I were doing end of game situations together or against each other. They probably be pretty similar actions that you would see. So we're very, very similar on that mine.