The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

Varsity Coach and Leader

Lisa Willis alongside James Parker after press conference
Lisa Willis alongside James Parker after press conference

Lisa Willis balances coaching varsity basketball and helping youth development

Tibebe Gebiso

Lisa Willis has had a multitude of youth development programs dating back since 2005 while she was still at UCLA. Her programs started when parents and young players asked Willis for basketball help after seeing her play. When Willis was drafted into the WNBA(Women’s National Basketball Association) she created a program called Work Hard, Play Hard.

Willis alongside her father taught young players fundamentals in Long Beach, CA. After a few years of being in the league, she began her business called Needed Jumper Basketball Training. This was the beginning of her private training sessions with athletes. “The amazing part about that was that the parents kept coming back to me saying that their kids are becoming better at basketball but their confidence and their grades are going up”.

Willis not only provides programs that are essential to athletic and academic success. She discusses with her athletes and parents to understand each players goal in life.

With success comes failure; unless you’re not alone. Willis has played basketball her whole life but there’s a difference between teaching someone how to shoot from teaching hundreds how to shoot. Willis stated, “just because you’re a good basketball trainer doesn’t mean you’re a good businessman or woman”. With the assistance of mentors, Willis was able to give back and monetize her programs for a different population. After her programs started to blossom she began receiving help from her colleagues.

Outside of basketball, Willis has been consistently helping in her local communities. Willis said, “I do leadership development for all types of populations: non-profits, the government, churches. They’ll bring me in to help people with leadership.” Leadership training events are just like workshops.

This year Willis took job as head coach of TC’s girls’ basketball team. Alongside her comes years of professional ball-playing and connections by way of mentors who assisted her in instituting these numerous programs.

Organizing programs that assist the youth and coaching a varsity basketball team can interfere between each other. “It’s really difficult, Willis said. Although, since one of her leadership programs is required by all of TC’s girls players, this eases the stress and brings her team in connection with one another. By making this mandatory, Willis spreads what has taught her to be successful in the past and pass that down to all of her players.

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Varsity Coach and Leader